The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Utah Premiere of Wilberg Work Headlines Orchestra at Temple Square and Temple Square Chorale Spring Concert

SALT LAKE CITY — The Orchestra at Temple Square and Temple Square Chorale will join their musical talents for this year’s Spring Concert on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, 2016. The evening’s performances will be under the baton of Ryan Murphy, associate music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and conductor of the Temple Square Chorale.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle, the first half of the concert will feature the Orchestra performing an excerpt from the Suite from The Wise Virgins orchestrated by William Walton from music by J. S. Bach and From Death to Life by C. Hubert H. Parry.  The concert’s second half will feature the Utah premiere of Mack Wilberg’s work The Prodigal performed by the Temple Square Chorale accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Suite from The Wise Virgins is an orchestral suite extracted from the musical score of a ballet employing J. S. Bach cantata and chorale music.  The score ballet was originally assembled in 1940; the orchestral suite has been recorded multiple times between then and 1976.  From Death to Life is a symphonic poem in two movements written by C. Hubert H. Parry in 1914 as his personal reaction to the start of World War I. 

This concert will mark the Utah premiere of Wilberg’s The Prodigal.  Commissioned by the University of South Mississippi Choral Activities, the work was first performed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on February 12, 2015.  The music is set to a text by David Warner based on the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  Preceding the Wilberg piece will be two sacred musical settings.  The first is an exuberant new composition, “Let All the World in Every Corner Sing,” by conductor Ryan Murphy with words drawn from a text by George Herbert.  The second is Franz Joseph Haydn’s Te Deum, a short work for chorus and orchestra composed for the wife of Austrian Emperor Franz I and premiered in 1800.

The Orchestra at Temple Square is an all-volunteer musical organization formed at the direction of Gordon B. Hinckley, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Its charter is to accompany the musical ensembles of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization and also to perform in concerts of its own.  The Temple Square Chorale was formed in 1999, as part of changes to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization which included the creation of the Orchestra at Temple Square.  The Chorale serves as a training ensemble for new members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It is comprised of new members completing their audition process as well as those members who were new to the Choir the previous year plus a few other current Choir members to provide a complement of roughly 110 singers. 

Ryan Murphy was appointed associate music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in March 2009. In this capacity, he assists the music director with rehearsals, concerts, tours, and broadcasts and serves as the conductor of the Temple Square Chorale. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Murphy conducted six choirs in the Boston area, served as music director of the Tuacahn Theatre in the St. George, Utah, following five seasons as music director at the Sundance Institute in Provo, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in piano and organ performance and pedagogy. He also has a master’s degree in choral conducting from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in choral conducting from Boston University.

Complimentary concert tickets are available, first-come, first-served, beginning Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. on or by calling 801-570-0080.