Can You Name the 7 Prior Choir Presidents?
With the August 6, 2021 announcement of former Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt’s call as the eighth president of The Tabernacle Choir, you may be wondering about others who have served as president of the Choir.
Here are some interesting facts about each of the former 7 presidents from an article published in the Deseret News. For more information on each, read the full article found here.
- David A. Smith (1879-1952), served as the first president of The Tabernacle Choir for 30 years, from March 1908 to February 1938, while also serving as a member of the Church’s Presiding Bishopric. He was the son of the Church’s sixth president, Joseph F. Smith.
- Lester F. Hewlett (1896-1962), served for just under 25 years, from February 1938 to September 1962, and organized the first Choir tours to Europe in 1955 and to Canada and the eastern U.S. in 1958.
- Isaac M. Stewart (1904-1990), served as Choir president for nearly 13 years, from April 1962 to September 1975. During his tenure as president, the Choir performed at inaugurations for President Lyndon B. Johnson (1965) and twice for President Richard M. Nixon (1969 and 1973).
- Oakley S. Evans (1926-2013), served as the Choir president for nine years, from September 1975 to July 1984. During his administration, the Choir sang at President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration (1981), toured in the Scandinavian countries and England (1982), and recorded 13 albums, including the first digital album.
- Wendell M. Smoot Jr. (1921-2011), served as president of the Choir for 17 years, from July 1984 to November 2000. During his presidency, the Choir went on its historic tour to eastern Europe in 1991 which included stops in the four “Iron Curtain” countries of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Russia.
- F. MacRay “Mac” Christensen (1934-2019), served as president of the Choir for 12 years from November 2000 to August 2012. During his tenure, the Choir continued touring, created its own recording label, and sang at the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001.
- Ronald B. Jarrett (1947 - ), served as president of the Choir for 9 years, from August 2012 to August 2021. He was the first Choir president to have also been a singing member of the Choir. During his administration, the Choir sang at the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump and returned to tour Europe in 2016.
- Michael O. Leavitt (1951 - ), the former governor of Utah, was announced as the new president of the Choir on August 6, 2021. President Leavitt will be joined by his wife, Jacalyn, in fulfilling this new role. In another organizational change, Leavitt will lead a presidency in his new position. His two counselors will be announced at a later date.