Where Does the Title “America’s Choir” Come From?
The Choir’s first major tour across country from its remote mountain hamlet of Utah—not yet a state--was to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.The Choir has been touring the nation—and the world—every since performing in every region of America and nearly every state and for many presidents. In 1911 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed for a U.S. President William Howard Taft. Since then, the Choir has performed for an additional nine presidents, including six inaugurations of presidents. In 1963 the Choir provided the music for an event at the Tabernacle at which President John F. Kennedy spoke. Shortly after, the Choir participated in a national broadcast honoring the death of President Kennedy.
That might be why Ronald Reagan in describing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir called the chorus “America’s Choir.” So taken by the Choir’s sound and message of hope and healing, he went on to say, “At my first inauguration as president of the United States, I wanted very much to reignite the fires of liberty and re-inspire the American spirit. And no one sings the anthems of America quite like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.” He continued, “The Choir’s singing was a highlight of our inauguration, as we knew it would be. I’m sure I speak for all Americans when I say thank you for saying so well what all of us feel about this land of the free and home of the brave. There is no more inspirational moment for any American—and that includes Ronald Reagan—than to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing ‘Glory, glory, hallelujah, His truth is marching on.’”
He was referring to the lyrics of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a song which has become one of the outstanding signature pieces of the Choir. The Choir received a Grammy Award for “Battle Hymn” which they sing in the video below.