Frank W. Asper Performed Approximately 5,000 Organ Recitals for Temple Square Visitors During His 40-Year Career
Frank W. Asper was a Tabernacle organist for more than 40 years. During his impressive career, Asper performed approximately 5,000 organ recitals for Temple Square visitors and played for more than 1,000 network Choir broadcasts, plus he had his own weekly organ broadcast. Additionally, he published many volumes of organ compositions and, for more than 30 years, conducted the McCune Symphony Orchestra, which he founded.
The melodeon was Asper’s first instrument. His father had brought one across the plains in a covered wagon. By age seven, Frank was playing piano accompaniments, and by 12, he played his first organ solo in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.
Asper studied at Stern’s Conservatory in Berlin, Germany, and later he graduated with honors from from Boston’s New England Conservatory. In 1938, Bates College awarded him an honorary doctor of music degree.
Asper wrote lyrics or composed music for several LDS hymns. Seven of his hymns are included in the current LDS hymnbook, including “God Is in His Holy Temple,” “’Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love,” “O Thou, Before the World Began,” “Hear Thou Our Hymn, O Lord,” “This House We Dedicate to Thee,” “Rejoice! A Glorious Sound Is Heard,” and “Rise Up, O Men of God.”
Asper retired in 1965, but his contribution continues to be felt. To this day, daily organ recitals are performed in the Tabernacle at Temple Square. The recitals take place at noon Monday through Saturday and at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. These performances are free and open to the public.