Counselors in The Tabernacle Choir Presidency Announced
Two counselors have been called to serve with Michael O. Leavitt, former White House Cabinet member and three-term Utah governor, who was called as president of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on August 6. In an organizational change announced at that time, it was indicated that Leavitt would serve with his wife Jacalyn and lead a presidency, similar to an organizational structure used in Church missions worldwide. Leavitt replaces Ron Jarrett who has served as president of the Choir since 2012.
At a Choir devotional on Thursday evening, August 26, presided over by the Choir’s adviser Bishop Gérald Caussé, L. Whitney Clayton was sustained as first counselor and Gary B. Porter as second counselor in the new Choir presidency. Elder Clayton is an Emeritus General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Brother Porter is a Senior Vice President at Deseret Management Corporation. Together with Leavitt, the new leaders will manage the administrative components of The Tabernacle Choir organization, including the supervision of over 700 volunteers.
The devotional, held in the Tabernacle and via Zoom, was open to all Choir organization members. Remarks were given by outgoing Choir president Ron Jarrett and his wife Lucie, the two new counselors, President and Sister Leavitt, and Bishop Caussé. Attendance in the Tabernacle was available to those who are fully vaccinated with social distancing and masks required.
In interviews following the announcement of his calling on August 6, Leavitt said, “The objective needs to be to give a global church a global choir, and to provide a means by which the world can begin to feel the value of sacred music in a way that will give them peace and joy.” Leavitt further explained, “The Choir provides what the world needs, what the world hungers for right now. I think that’s an important mission. It’s what the Choir has always done. I think our objective is to do it better every day, and to reach more people around the world.”
Biographical information for Presidents Clayton and Porter follows.
L. Whitney Clayton
L. Whitney Clayton was granted General Authority Emeritus status at the October 2020 general conference. He served as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2001 to 2020. During that time, he was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and Senior President of the Quorums of Seventy. His assignments gave him responsibility supervising, or serving in Area presidencies, for the Church in Mexico, Middle East/Africa North, South America South, and others. Elder Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Utah and a law degree at the University of the Pacific. Prior to his call as a General Authority Seventy, he was an attorney in California, from 1978 to 2001.
Gary B. Porter
Gary B. Porter is currently a Senior Vice President at Deseret Management Corporation where his responsibilities include Human Resources, Community Relations, Executive Director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation, and the President and CEO of Temple Square Hospitality Corporation. Recently Porter was also named the chairman of the board of governors of the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest business association. He previously served in the Welfare/Self-Reliance Services department and was appointed as Secretary to the Presiding Bishopric and served as managing director of the Presiding Bishopric Administrative Services department of the Church.
For more detailed information read the official Press Release of The Tabernacle Choir organization.