Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Story of How a Former Choir Conductor Walked out of the Tabernacle Before "God Be with You Till We Meet Again" Was Finished

The tradition of closing every Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast with “God Be with You Till We Meet Again” is a long one, but here's how the tradition of the music conductor singing, rather than leading, during the song began.

In 1974, the Choir’s 11th conductor, Richard P. Condie, was set to retire.  On his last broadcast, he came up with a plan to avoid all the sad goodbyes and unwittingly started a new tradition for the beloved concluding song. Here is an excerpt from the book America’s Choir: A Commemorative Portrait of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

“Condie gave the Choir the downbeat, and then, with no fanfare, simply set down his baton, stepped down from the podium, and walked out of the Tabernacle. Since that day in 1974, the conductor, at the conclusion of each performance, has put down his baton, turned to the audience, and joined the Choir in singing those poignant words, “God be with you till we meet again.” Guest conductor Weston Noble, an elder statesman among choral directors, said of his experience many years later at the conclusion of a guest-conducting experience, “I would have loved to have gone to heaven right then. The feeling went deep into my heart.”

Here is a video of the Choir singing “God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” with the lyrics below:

God be with you till we meet again;

By his counsels guide, uphold you;

With his sheep securely fold you.

God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,

God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,

Till we meet at Jesus’ feet,

Till we meet, till we meet,

God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again.