Watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s new video released Thanksgiving weekend on the Choir website at https://www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/wexfordcarol.html featuring “The Wexford Carol!” The new Mack Wilberg arrangement of this unforgettable carol was performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square at the 2015 Christmas Concert and on their recently released Hallelujah! CD and DVD.
Today, almost 275 years since its premier performance, Handel’s beloved Messiah oratorio has become a favorite of both Christmas and Easter celebrations everywhere. Many will be surprised to learn that Messiah was not originally intended to be performed primarily as Christmas music. The first performance of Messiah took place in April, 1742 in Dublin and Easter-time performances continued during the decades that followed. Over the years, as the appreciation for Messiah spread, the number of Christmas season performances increased.
J. Spencer Cornwall (1888-1983) was the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1935-1957. Under his leadership, the Choir traveled abroad to perform for the Swiss temple dedication in 1955. One of his early music instructors was George Careless, who was the sixth conductor of the Choir. Cornwall also composed the music for “Softly Beams the Sacred Dawning,” which is included in the current hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A special guest from South Africa joined her voice with Mormon Tabernacle Choir members in their Thursday rehearsal before the October general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Roma Thompson, a producer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), practiced with the Choir many of the songs performed on Sunday’s Music & the Spoken Word broadcast.
Musical guest for Music & the Spoken Word on Sunday, November 13, 2016, will be Tenebrae, the acclaimed London-based chamber choir. Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), the award-winning ensemble has established itself as one of the most sought after chamber choirs in England and around the world. The group has the precision of a small chamber ensemble combined with the passion of a large cathedral choir to create a unique and enchanting sound, as effective in medieval music as it is in contemporary works.
The timeless Primary song “He Sent His Son” was written by the prolific poet and songwriter Mabel Jones Gabbott (1910–2004) and Michael Moody. Gabbott (lyrics) and Moody (music) also cowrote many other Primary songs that are included in the current Children’s Songbook, such as “Sleep, Little Jesus,” “Who Is This Child?” “There Was Starlight on the Hillside,” and “Have a Very Merry Christmas.” The two also worked on the General Music Committee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 2012 the Mormon Tabernacle joined the world of YouTube. The first 1 million views were celebrated as a big accomplishment—now, just four years later, we’ve reached 60 million! We want to thank you so much for watching and sharing the Choir’s videos.
FamilySearch, a non-profit family history organization, has announced that a special concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will be the opening event at RootsTech 2017, the annual global genealogy conference This unique performance entitled “Music–It Runs in the Family" will be held Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on historic Temple Square. RootsTech attendees will receive tickets with their registration, but the public is also invited. Free tickets for this one-night-only performance are required and are available now at lds.org/events.