More than 30 years ago, two neighbors—Obert C. Tanner, benevolent founder of the O.C. Tanner Company, and his friend Gordon B. Hinckley, beloved past president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—conceived an idea to foster unity in the burgeoning community of the Wasatch Front and focus new attention on the arts.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has 360 members. The Orchestra adds another 150 plus. But the massive organization can connect with its community one-on-one through social media, explains Heidi Green, social media producer. “We are establishing places where the Choir and fans can come together, share stories, experiences and access music. And, it is working.” Using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and its own website, the Choir can connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
When audiences watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir they see 360 members singing with their hearts, souls and expertise, which is legend in the music world. Jeanne Hall, member from 2004-2009, recalls the experience as simply a “miraculous experience.” A convert to the Church, she understood the power of the missionary role the Choir plays and its powerful influence in the lives of so many. She credits the Choir’s reach to the musicians but more so to the “genius, humility and gracious natures” of director Dr. Mack Wilberg, former director Dr. Craig Jessop, and principal Tabernacle organist Dr. Richard Elliott, the leadership of former Choir president Mac Christensen and the behind-the-scenes stage management of stage and properties manager Alex Morris.
Salt Lake City — On Sunday, August 11, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will commemorate the 85th anniversary of its Music & the Spoken Word broadcast. Music director Mack Wilberg has invited two former conductors of the Choir, Jerold Ottley and Craig Jessop, to join him and associate conductor Ryan Murphy in conducting this week’s broadcast.
Former Conductors to Join in Special Music & the Spoken Word Broadcast
When James Taylor, five time Grammy Award-winner, walks out on stage at the Conference Center in front of what will no doubt be a packed house September 6-7, he will be representing all of the guest artists, singers and musicians who have participated in the Tanner Gift of Music for 30 years. This series of concerts, held almost every other year for three decades, has accomplished what it set out to do – bring together segments of the community uniting them through the beauty of song.