President Ron Jarrett: Moving the Choir Forward for 6 Years
In August of 2012, Ron Jarrett began serving as the president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization—a massive musical organization of 700-plus volunteers that includes the Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, and Temple Square Chorale. As the president he also oversees the Choir’s operations, staff, and marketing to make sure things run smoothly and that programs stay within budget.
President Jarrett—himself a volunteer—is the first Choir president to have been a singing member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Prior to his call as president, he was a first tenor in the Choir from 1999 to 2008 and had served as an assistant to former Choir president Mac Christensen from 2008 to 2011.
“Music has been a big part of my life. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it,” remarked Jarrett. “Music can bring strength for people to carry on with whatever they’re dealing with. And that strength can be brought to people of all cultures and all ages, because music is the only truly universal language.”
When President Jarrett is asked what his goals are for the Choir, he responds, “To keep moving the Choir forward by expanding our audience and increasing our digital presence.”
Over the past six years, President Jarrett has helped the Choir to do just that. Here are some of the noteworthy achievements during his six-year tenure:
- Since 2012 the Choir has increased the its digital presence by adding to their existing Facebook channel three more digital channels: YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. The Choir’s digital newsletter, Choir Notes, is now sent out to over 70,000 subscribers every week. Recordings are now available for purchase as digital downloads.
- Since 2014, during the Easter season, the Choir and Orchestra has performed Handel’s Messiah every other year live in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and streamed it throughout the world over the internet. The Choir’s Messiah audience has continued to grow with each concert. In 2018 the live performance and digital stream of the concert reached over 250,000 people.
- Music and the Spoken Word continues to broaden its reach as it enters its 90th year of broadcasting. In addition to being carried by over 2,000 broadcast stations, it is now streamed live each week over the internet to audiences around the world. Twice a year, in conjunction with the semiannual LDS Church general conference, the broadcast is translated and then posted in over 50 languages.
- Concerts on Temple Square with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple have been performed live and streamed over the internet. The Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square concerts are rebroadcast the following year on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) stations across the country are the #1 Christmas show of the season. Annual Pioneer Day concerts are live streamed and posted for on-demand viewing on the Choir’s website and YouTube channel.
- The Choir has continued and expanded its touring activities. In 2016, the Choir traveled to Europe for the first time in almost 20 years, introducing the Choir—and for the first time the Orchestra at Temple Square—to new audiences in Berlin, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Zurich, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
“We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, dedicating their lives to music because of its power to unite and give comfort, peace, and joy,” remarked President Jarrett. “We will continue to pursue excellence in song for generations to come.”
Watch President Jarrett’s “Person to Person” interview with Shauna Lake, KUTV News in Salt Lake City, which aired August 5, 2018.