The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Starting 2019 with the Choir School!

The start of the year brings 36 hopeful singers (15 women, 21 men) to this year’s Choir School and the opportunity to sing with the Temple Square Chorale—and ultimately to become members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

This will be the last step of a months-long audition process that began last summer with a written application and voice recording submission, a music skills assessment test, and an in-person vocal audition and interview. Those who pass each level are invited to join the Choir’s 16-week training school, which is like a graduate course in choral singing but is sometimes thought of as a choral “boot camp.” The choir training also includes singing with the Temple Square Chorale. As in past years, this part of the training culminates in a concert by the Temple Square Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square for the public on March 29 and 30 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. 

Choir School

Each Thursday night, the Choir School’s participants receive training in sight-reading, music theory, rehearsal techniques, vocal blending, listening skills, attendance expectations, Choir policies, and being committed to the intense schedule of the Choir, which includes concerts, recordings, touring, general conference music, and other special Church events. Unlike most other choirs, Tabernacle Choir singers must be ready to perform for the public every week of the year on the Music and the Spoken Word program, now in its 90th year and broadcasting over radio, television, and internet throughout the entire world.

Temple Square Chorale

On Tuesday nights—in addition to the Thursday night Choir School classes—Choir associate music director Ryan Murphy leads the singers as the conductor of the Temple Square Chorale. The Chorale includes not only the new potential members but also those who became members of The Tabernacle Choir the previous year, as well as other volunteer Choir members who want to participate. The Chorale was formed in 1999 as an ensemble of The Tabernacle Choir organization.

The Final Preparatory Steps: Concert and Final Exam

As the participants prepare to join The Tabernacle Choir, those in the Temple Square Chorale perform a spring concert with the Orchestra at Temple Square under the direction of Ryan Murphy and take one final exam in the Choir School. At the completion of the concert and passing the final exam, Choir School participants will become members of The Tabernacle Choir. As Choir members they will be able to sing for a total of 20 years or until they are 60 years of age—whichever comes first. 

This year’s spring concert will take place on March 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The repertoire for the concert and ticket availability will be announced soon!