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The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Credit: Scott Scheetz

Temple Square Organist Joseph Peeples’s First Organ Solo

On August 18, 2019, newly appointed Temple Square organist Joseph Peeples will perform his first organ solo on the Music & the Spoken Word broadcast. Peeples was announced as a new organist this past April after an extensive, worldwide search.

On the broadcast, Peeples will perform Scherzo from Dix pièces pour orgue no. 8. Organ solo pieces for the broadcast are recommended by the organists to Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, who makes the final selections. Peeples explained why he recommended this piece for his first broadcast performance as a Temple Square organist, saying, “I enjoyed learning this piece as a student at Brigham Young University. I was intrigued by the ‘echo’ musical effect in the middle section, achieved by quickly alternating between two manuals. I also remember thinking it would be a fun challenge as a performer to execute that and recognized how that technique is quite unique to the organ.”

Prior to his assignment as a Temple Square organist, Peeples was an organist at California Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks, California, and was also an organist at First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, where he accompanied the chancel choir. He received his master’s degree in organ performance from BYU and is on the faculty of the annual BYU Organ Workshop.

Peeples is still in disbelief over being selected for this organist position. “The whole process of auditioning and being hired and starting here has been absolutely surreal. Every day as I walk into these profoundly historic and sacred buildings to come to work, I can’t believe this has really happened!” He joins three current full-time Tabernacle organists—Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, and Brian Mathias—and two part-time Temple Square organists, Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts. “I am honored to be working alongside musicians that I have long admired and am humbled that I was invited to join a very short list of people who work as organists on Temple Square,” added Peeples.

As with all weekly Music  & the Spoken Word organ solos, Peeples’s performance will be posted on the Choir's YouTube channel. In the meantime, enjoy an organ recital by Peeples that he recorded at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Watch Joseph Peeples first organ solo live on Music & the Spoken Word on Sunday, August 18, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. mountain daylight time.