The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Starting 2017 with the Choir School!

Thomas S. Monson, LDS Church president and advisor to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said, “There is no better time in all the world to make important choices than…at the beginning of a new year.”  For 34 talented singers, 2017 brought the wonderful choice and opportunity to participate in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Choir School. This once-a-year training is the last step in the audition process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir whose singers serve as good will ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The process for these singers to become Choir members began nearly six months ago when applications to audition became available. A rigorous three-phase audition process followed that included submitting a voice recording, a written musical skills assessment, and an in-person audition. These 34 applicants made it through all three steps and were invited to participate in the Choir School to fine tune their vocal and ensemble skills as the final step to becoming a member of the Choir.

In addition to weekly instructional classes in the Choir School, the singers will also rehearse each week with the Temple Square Chorale. This hands-on training, under the direction of associate music director Ryan Murphy, culminates with a combined performance with the Orchestra at Temple Square—this year on March 17 and 18 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The Chorale also includes those singers who attended the Choir School the previous year and a handful of veteran volunteers from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Choir School, sometimes lovingly referred to as a “boot camp” for singers, focuses on basic singing techniques, vocal blending, singing responsibly, listening skills, sight-reading skills, rehearsal expectations, and Choir policies. The Choir School faculty consists of seasoned professionals, including director Cherilyn Worthen, vocal coach Rebecca Wilberg, and Temple Square organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts. Together they work to train these singers to be prepared for the intense schedule of the Choir which includes the weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast in addition to special concerts, recordings, touring, general conference music, and other special events.

Watch Choir Notes for more details about the Temple Square Chorale concert in March and for information about the next round of Choir auditions which begins in July.