Thomas Waldron, the first conductor of Bells on Temple Square, recounts the early days of the bell choir in the video above. LeAnna Willmore became the conductor after Waldron's retirement.
We’ve been teasing you about it for a couple of weeks. Now here’s the big news: The Choir has a new feature on its website -- a music stream powered by the Mormon Channel. Now you can listen to Choir music all day, without interruptions. And, all night, too. The music stream is programmed with selections from the Choir’s deep reservoir of recorded music.
In 2004, Collin Allan traveled to the Netherlands with his granddaughter, Arianne, and grandson, Jim, to commemorate the anniversary of Dutch liberation. Allan shared a story from the trip with Liahona Magazine. An excerpt is below:
Did you know the Choir has a past performance music archive that lets you find your favorite songs from specific general conferences? Perhaps you heard a song during last April’s general conference that you keep humming but can't quite remember the title—you’ve come to the right place. Here are some easy steps on how to use the archive:
In 1999, Bassoonist Christian Smith received a call about joining a newly formed Orchestra at Temple Square. President Gordon B. Hinckley had approved an all-volunteer orchestra and the roster was beginning to take shape. Smith's skills as a bassoonist were needed and he was put on the roster though his first official concert was in January 2001, due to him still attending school. Smith has been performing with the Orchestra ever since, which was the beginning of what would eventually become a family affair.
Choir member Katie Bastian had an early connection with the British vocal group The King’s Singers—“When I was about 10 years old, my mom took me to see a concert with The King’s Singers at the Tabernacle. I was completely entranced the moment they started singing, and continued to be so through the end of the concert. I’d always loved music, but I think that was one of those defining moments in my life where I just knew that music was my thing. That night also began a total obsession with The King’s Singers.I know every word (and part) of their songs from that time period,” said Bastian.
In 2001 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir toured many states in the southern part of the United States. Tour stops included Houston, Orlando, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Miami, and more. The trip required the use of 3 chartered airplanes, 2 luggage trucks, 1 equipment truck, and 10 buses to transport members of the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
There’s no place like home.
The Wanamaker Organ is located in Philadelphia and is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. Richard Elliott, the principal Tabernacle organist, played the Wanamaker Organ for 4 years while he was a student. In this video, Elliott talks about what it's like to play such a large and unique organ.
With a shared faith in God and the gift to touch hearts and lift spirits, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a fascinating presence in the world of music. As ambassador's for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Choir's mission is to transcend cultural and generational boundaries and to unite people through music around the world.
Have you ever wondered what type of music missionaries are allowed to listen to? Have you ever wanted to send a missionary music but weren’t sure if the music fit within the guidelines for missionaries of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Missionaries are counseled to listen to music that "invites the spirit" and "directs" their thoughts to missionary work and the Savior.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir often publishes stories to its blog. Here are a few of our favorites which reflect the goodness we see around us. Our readers have enjoyed these and shared them with their friends. We hope you do too.
The wait is over! This year’s annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert guests have been announced, and you’re in for a major treat. Frozen’s Santino Fontana returns to join forces with world-famous The Muppets® from Sesame Street®. The concerts will take place December 11–14. As an added bonus, the minimum age for this concert event will be lowered to ages 5 and up, rather than the usual 8 and up.
For more than 50 years Alexander Schreiner played the organ at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He performed daily recitals, supported the Choir during broadcasts, and toured the world showcasing his talent. Below are nine facts about his marvelous career:
It was 150 years ago, in 1864 just as the Salt Lake Tabernacle was being completed, that Mormon pioneers settled in the Sevier valley in central Utah. There they found valleys surrounded by beautiful red rock mountains and snow covered peaks. Richfield, the county seat and largest city in central Utah, was named in recognition of the fertile soil. Even today, farming continues to be a major way of life for many residents. The history and heritage of the people is a cause for a sesquicentennial celebration.
The Choir has officially launched a 24/7 commercial free music stream on mormontabernaclechoir.org. This stream, powered by the Mormon Channel, will enable you to listen while you get ready for your day, relax, do your work, or when you want to feel inspired, hopeful or at peace.
In his book, A Century of Singing, J. Spencer Cornwall, former music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, details many events in the history of the Choir. One important event discussed is the very first concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The following is an excerpt from the book:
Carol C. Madsen, daughter of J. Spencer Cornwall, former conductor of the Tabernacle Choir, wrote a presentation, designed for a chorus with narration, titled "Our Heritage of Hymns." The presentation gives the details behind many favorite hymns and gives insight to the history of music in the Church.
One mystery has been solved but another of similar magnitude has arisen. Recently, a photo of a man was found in an old leather case by Salt Lake City resident, Glen Beckstead. The photo was taken in the 1850s and was later identified by historian Ron Fox as John Parry, the first music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Fans of the organ and Temple Square visitors will be interested in two upcoming events. Details below:
Every summer the Mormon Tabernacle Choir moves from its home in the Tabernacle to the Conference Center next door to make room for the thousands of visitors who attend the Sunday broadcasts, Thursday rehearsals or Pioneer Day concerts. Visitors hail from nations across the globe. Not surprisingly, many are journalists.