The author for “I Need Thee Every Hour,” Annie Sherwood Hawks, wrote over 400 hymns in her lifetime. Born in Hoosick, New York on May 28, 1835, Hawks had a love for writing poetry, and her poems were published in local newspapers while she was still in her youth.
Richard Elliott became a Tabernacle organist in 1991. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Elliott studied at the Peabody Conservatory and the Catholic University of America. Additionally, he earned a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
Although construction on the Logan Tabernacle began in 1864, the building wasn't complete until 1891—27 years later. During that time, progress was delayed twice, once when plans were made to expand the size of the tabernacle and again when resources were shifted to building the Logan Temple.
One of the more popular videos on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s YouTube channel is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” It is a Christian hymn written by Reginald Heber. Born in England in 1783, Heber was a hymn writer who attained a reputation as a poet while attending Oxford University. After being ordained in 1807, he served as a clergyman for 16 years, where hymn writing integrated with his other responsibilities. Most of the 57 hymns he wrote in his lifetime are still used today.
Katherine Jenkins is known and loved throughout the world. Born in Neath, Wales, the mezzo-soprano has brought classical music to mainstream audiences, releasing 10 studio albums since 2004, when she signed the biggest ever classical record deal. When her fifth album entered the charts at #3, Jenkins said, “I never imagined when I was a young girl listening to them on the radio that I would outsell the Spice Girls and Celine Dion. It’s almost too much to take in. I can’t thank my fans enough for all their support." Her albums have sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
Every April, following a broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, Choir members say goodbye to their fellow singers, some with whom they have shared the loft for their entire Choir membership. The joy of touching people’s lives and sharing testimonies through music and song is a powerful feeling, one that retiring members aren’t eager to lose. For a job that doesn’t pay, you would think it would be the opposite, but they do it for the love of music, the love of their fellowman, and the love of the Savior. Where else can you sing for kings and presidents, sing with Grammy Award-winning artists, or sing at the feet of prophets, all while being a part of history by singing in the longest-running broadcast Music & the Spoken Word?
In the Early Days of Radio Someone Accidentally Piped a World Series Game to the Tabernacle During a Conference Talk
And the gospel must first be published among all nations (Mark 13:10).
Anton Armstong is no stranger to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In 2005, the St. Olaf Choir, which he conducts, shared the stage with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, California, for the national conference of the America Choral Directors Association. Armstrong is also a professor of music at St. Olaf College, where he serves as conductor.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is pleased to welcome Bob Chilcott as a guest conductor for the April 27, 2014, episode of Music & the Spoken Word. Born in Plymouth, England, Chilcott has an extensive background in singing and composing. He has sung in the Choir of King’s College and was a member of the King’s Singers from 1985 to 1997 as a tenor.
A BIG thank you goes out to fans around the world for picking up the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square's latest release, He Is Risen. Thanks to your support, He Is Risen has reached the No.1 spot on not one, but two Billboard charts. The album went from fourth to number one on the Classical Albums chart, and from third to number one on traditional Classical Albums, surpassing many top artists such as Il Divo and Piano Guys.
Written in the 18th century by Robert Robinson when he was 22, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is a beloved Christian hymn. The song has been included in most Protestant hymnals in England and the United States and was also included in the hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until a new version was issued in 1985.
Wow! Thanks to everyone who has watched, or is about to watch any of our YouTube videos. We are proud of the music we share with the world and wanted to express our gratitude. We have reached a huge milestone in getting 10 million views and hope it is a sign of what’s to come…
William Wines Phelps, born February 17, 1792, in Hanover, New Jersey, wrote “The Spirit of God.” Phelps has a storied history with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that traces back to April 9, 1830. After purchasing a copy of the Book of Mormon from Parley P. Pratt, he spent many hours discussing and learning about the Church. Just over a year later, in June of 1831, he came to Kirtland, Ohio, where he met with Joseph Smith and asked him for a revelation. When the Prophet sought the Lord for information concerning Phelps, section 55 of the Doctrine and Covenants was recorded.
Born in Germany in 1847, Louis F. Moench studied education at a college in Chicago before setting off to become a teacher in California. His trip west took him through Utah and it was there that his path in life would take an unexpected turn.
With more than 1,000 songs, over 60 albums, and 9 cantatas, Janice Kapp Perry is a musical force to be reckoned with. She has composed music that ranges from sacred hymns to children’s songs including 10 songs that are published in the Children’s Songbook. Her husband Doug said, “Anytime you go to primary, 99% of the time you’ll hear at least one of Janice’s songs.” Her musical career would eventually lead her to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which has performed and recorded many of her songs throughout the years, such as “Love is Spoken Here,” and “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.”
Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in 1861. In this video, her great-great-great-grandson discusses the history behind the song.
Appointed a Tabernacle organist in 2007, Andrew Unsworth was raised in Potsdam, NY. He earned a bachelor of music degree in organ performance and pedagogy from Brigham Young University. Later, Unsworth went on to receive master’s and doctoral degrees in performance practice from Duke University.
Joseph Townsend Wrote the Lyrics to “Choose the Right” -- The CTR Ring was Introduced Nearly 30 Years After his Death
Health issues brought Joseph L. Townsend to Salt Lake City in 1872 when he was 23 years-old. He was a hardworking man of many talents who not only ran a Payson drugstore for 15 years and taught at Brigham Young Academy, but also wrote the words to 10 hymns in the current hymnal. "The Day Dawn is Breaking", “Nearer, Dear Savior, to Thee”, “Reverently and Meekly Now”, “Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words To Each Other”, “Choose the Right”, “O Thou Rock Of Our Salvation”, “Hope of Israel”, “Oh, Holy Words of Truth and Love”, “The Iron Rod”, and “Oh, What Songs of the Heart” were all written by Townsend.
Isaac Watts wrote the lyrics for nearly a dozen hymns in the LDS hymnbook, including “Come, We That Love the Lord” and “Sweet Is the Work”. In 2008, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed Watts’s life in a talk he gave at Brigham Young University. An excerpt from that talk is below.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a reputation that stretches far beyond the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of millions worldwide. Many people have come from far and wide to experience the Choir’s vibrant sound in their hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. Others have gathered in large numbers to see them as they toured the United States and various parts of the globe. Award winning artists and world leaders have experienced the distinct voice that is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Countless people have praised the work and dedication of the Choir and below are just some of the examples:
The Salt Lake Tabernacle organ contains 11,623 pipes, 147 voices, and 206 ranks. While the large pipes are the most visible, many of the pipes are small and hidden. Take a look at these hidden pipes in the behind-the-scenes video above.
The story of Parley P. Pratt’s conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is an inspiring one; in 1830, at age 23, Pratt and his wife sold their property in Ohio and traveled to New York by boat. He felt prompted to stop in the village of Newark, New York, prior to their final destination of Albany. It was this inspired decision that led to his encounter with The Book of Mormon, and his eventual conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On August 29, 1893 250 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir plus 100 friends and relatives boarded a ten-car train and headed to Chicago. This would be the Choir’s first trip outside of Utah. While the Choir would perform at various stops along the way, the main purpose for the trip was to compete in a choral competition at Chicago’s World Fair.
Joel Johnson was born in Grafton, Massachusetts, March 23, 1802 and grew up in a religious family. He wrote in his journal:
Former FranklinCovey CEO Jon Rowberry currently serves as an assistant to the President of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A short Q&A with Rowberry was recently published by Marriott Alumni Magazine, a publication of the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University that showcases innovative business research, provides lifelong learning opportunities, and highlights alumni achievements.