Choir Celebrates Nine Years on YouTube!
What began in 1847 as a ragtag choir singing in a branch-covered bowery in the middle of the desert has become The Tabernacle Choir, known around the world for sacred, classical, folk, and popular music. Nine years ago, on October 30, 2012, the Choir launched its own YouTube channel with a promise to become a musical force in the digital age. In the first month, Choir fans around the world collectively spent almost 600,000 minutes—more than one year’s time—watching Choir performances, concerts, and music videos on the Choir’s channel.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The Choir has a storied past of taking advantage of new technologies to share its music. In 1929, the Choir began reaching out across the nation from its Tabernacle home on Temple Square with a weekly radio broadcast of inspiration. That program, Music & the Spoken Word, is today the longest continuous network broadcast in the world. (It has just resumed live broadcasting after a 19-month COVID-related pause during which it re-aired prior broadcasts.) In 1962, the Choir added television to its broadcast schedule. Today, with YouTube, anyone anywhere can hear the great sound of The Tabernacle Choir. Choir listeners reach from the United States to Europe, the Philippines to the United Kingdom, Peru to Canada. In other words, everywhere.
In its nine years on YouTube, the Choir has developed a fan base in 189 countries with total views of 377,000,000 and subscribers totaling nearly 600,000. It’s the music that brings them. Episodes of Music & the Spoken Word are featured on the channel as well as excerpts from Choir concerts including performances with guest artists. The Choir channel has 1,245 videos posted and of those there are some stand-out favorites. Among the top videos on the channel are:
- "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," arranged by Mack Wilberg, music director of The Tabernacle Choir.
- "Amazing Grace," also arranged by music director Mack Wilberg.
- "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel’s Messiah, a perennial favorite of audiences around the world.
- "Come, Come Ye Saints," a pioneer hymn that is a signature piece by the Choir and Orchestra.
Edging into a top spot is the “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, released in conjunction with celebrations of the Choir’s over 110 years of recording. The Choir’s YouTube channel always has something new as videos are posted from Music & the Spoken Word, weekly Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square, as well as specially prepared videos for holidays.
Fans do more than listen. They write comments about what they hear. Here’s a sampling from all over the world:
“I’m pretty sure that no one can deny the incredible feeling you get when listening to these guys.”
“The Tabernacle Choir with the Orchestra just knocks it out of the park!”
“No one does it better than The Tabernacle Choir!”
“I love how everyone of all faiths and beliefs love this.”
“Exceptional! Just exceptional! You’ve taken these beautiful Christian hymns and made them a wonder to listen to.”
“Your music is happiness for everyone! Thank you for genuinely caring about our entire world and all its people!”
“Many greetings from Germany. It is wonderful. This Choir touches my heart und (sic) move to tears.”
“I’m an atheist but really do love the music.”
“Praise the Lord for giving us like this great Choir!”