Choir Music Adds Spiritual Emphasis to Conference Messages
Religious movements flourish with the aid of religious song. In fact, music has long been the handmaiden of religion. President Harold B. Lee, eleventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, “The most effective preaching of the gospel is when it is accompanied by beautiful music.” So it is that The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has sung at General Conferenced of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The twice a year gatherings, April and October, give leaders of the Church an opportunity to speak the words and will of God. The music of the Choir adds spiritual emphasis to their messages.
Since its first gatherings in the fields of the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 to later filling the Choir loft in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in 1867 to singing from seats in the Conference Center beginning in 2000, the Choir has illuminated thoughts of the divine with words and melodies beloved by audiences around the world.
During the COVID pandemic, several General Conferences were broadcast but not before a live congregation. For those conferences, the Choir accompaniment to the preaching was provided by pre-recorded performances from prior conferences. For the October 2021 General Conference as pandemic conditions eased, the Choir provided the music but half of the Choir sang one day and other half the second day. For the April 2022 General Conference, the full Choir will perform as usual in the Saturday morning, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon sessions.
Listeners can tune into all General Conference sessions on the live events page of Broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Many of the hymns sung at General Conference have poignant and striking sentiment portrayed in memorable phrasing:
“A mighty fortress is our God”
“E’re you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?”
“God be with you till we meet again”
“God moves in a mysterious way”
“High on a mountain top a banner is unfurled”
“Hope of Israel”
“I need thee every hour”
“Come, come ye saints”
In recent years, Choir music director Mack Wilberg and associate music director Ryan Murphy have created new arrangements of many hymns that have given new life and energy to seasoned favorites including “The Spirit of God,” “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah,” “High on a Mountain Top,” “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” “Redeemer of Israel,” “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy,” and “I Am a Child of God.”
You can access The Tabernacle Choir’s beloved and inspiring prior General Conference music on the Choir’s Sacred Music Library or select your favorite music selections from specific Conference sessions from the Church website.