After many months of waiting, tickets for the Choir and Orchestra’s 2018 Classic Coast Tour performance on Monday, June 25, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, will go on sale on Thursday, May 3. The Shoreline Amphitheatre is an outdoor performing arts venue in the San Francisco Bay area that regularly hosts classical and contemporary artists. It is a highly sought after musical venue for concerts under the stars in the California summer.
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was one of the very first songs uploaded to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s YouTube channel when the channel was launched in 2012, and now it has officially surpassed 5 million views.
Cinderella on stage in the Conference Center with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square! It doesn’t get better than this.
Ahh, the Big Apple—glittering lights, enormous buildings, and millions of people. Well, add another 600 people to that number because the Choir, Orchestra, staff, and guests have descended upon “the city that never sleeps,” as it has been immortalized in the popular song “New York, New York.”
They were pretty young to have a dream come true! Eleven singers from four local high school choirs sang on stage with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the afternoon sound check at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center July 29. They were joined on the risers with three of their school conductors. Unanimously they beamed, “It was a chance of a lifetime!”
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Duke Devlin has been at Bethel Woods since the Woodstock festival in 1969. The two share the same farmer’s fields. He was 26 when he hitchhiked with a friend from Texas to attend the three-day festival with 500,000 of his “friends.” He planted his feet in the small farming community of New York and never left. He married, raised a family and today, at 72 with a flowing beard, he acts as the site interpreter for Bethel Woods sharing his personal experience at Woodstock. The field sits just next door to the sprawling outdoor amphitheater.
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Twelve days on tour and the Choir is still singing. Choir members don’t get much of a break when they get home with Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals, Sunday morning Music & the Spoken Word broadcast and then the Pioneer Concert featuring award-winning Broadway star Laura Osnes. The concert, “Music for a Summer Evening” is July 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
Flags flying. Cannons blasting. Cadets marching. Fireworks. Drums and bugles, a crowd of more than 12,000. And the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Choir’s concert July 4, 2015 was an extravaganza of sounds and sights “Under the Stars” at the United States Military Academy best known as West Point.
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The Citi Wang Theatre in Boston is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is fortunate enough to be on its program of scheduled performers.
Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday, July 3, 2015 at the age of 90. Known for his teaching of doctrines of the Restoration, he was also an advocate for music and the arts. For more than half a century he has encouraged appreciation for music, in particular the singing of the hymns of the Restoration. “When music is reverently presented, it can be akin to revelation,” he taught. “At times, I think, it cannot be separated from the voice of the Lord, the quiet, still voice of the Spirit.”
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It’s one thing to sing in the Choir. It’s another to be the president of the massive volunteer musical organization. Ron Jarrett has done both. He is the first choir president since pioneer times to also have been a singing member of the choir.
Applications to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir open July 1 and close August 15. The Choir leadership will be auditioning for all positions.
As chairman of the General Church Music Committee, Leroy Robertson was always looking for good music for the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While serving in this position he wrote, “On This Day of Joy and Gladness” for the youth choruses that were being encouraged in the Church at the time.
Imagine yourself walking down the street in New York City with the usual sights, smells, and sounds, when suddenly someone in a maroon dress walks by. No big deal because if you’ve spent any time in the City, you’ve seen pretty much everything. Suddenly another person and another and another walk by with the same dress. Now you’re also seeing men in black suits and bow ties, followed by men and women dressed in black carrying instruments. “What’s going on?” you ask.
During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals, “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me,” and “I’m Runnin’ On.” In the final video of our 4 part series, Boyé explains how he handles questions of racism in relation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The night was full of excitement. The stage was set for a big announcement—Choir and Orchestra members buzzed as they waited in the Little Theater of the Conference Center. What could it be? The wait for the big announcement was almost over, but first there was one other announcement to be made. It was a moment of suspense to add to the already unfolding drama.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s final stop on this summer’s tour was in Boston, Massachusetts, at the prestigious Wang Theatre. During the soundcheck, Danielle Tumminio was able to sing with the Choir’s soprano section. Tumminio is an Episcopal priest and a three-time graduate from Yale University. She holds a doctorate in practical theology from Boston University, has taught at Yale and Tufts, and is currently chaplain at the Groton School. In her own words, her original intent for being there was to “describe what it was like to perform with such an elite group.” She ended up getting more out of the experience than she expected.
Although every day could be dedicated to mothers, Mother’s Day is a yearly opportunity to show love and appreciation for all that a caring mother does. “My Mother’s Love” serves as a wonderful tribute to mothers everywhere. The video above uncovers the true inspiration behind the song, with an exclusive interview with the author of the song,Janice Kapp Perry.
Ten years of bell ringing is something to celebrate. This year, the Bells on Temple Square marked the milestone of its creation in 2005 with special performances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and concerts at BYU-Idaho and in the Tabernacle. “The 10th anniversary is a great tribute to the 32 musicians,” Leanna Willmore, conductor of the Bells says.
Our 2015 Pioneer Day concert guest artist—talented Broadway leading lady Laura Osnes—sat down with us for a post-concert interview and discussed her relationship with her husband and how her Christian faith keeps her grounded.
The Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015 made its final stop in Boston, Massachusetts. The Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed for a full house at the historic Citi Wang Theatre. The concert included highlights such as associate music director Ryan Murphy’s childhood teachers cheering him on, Alex Boyé splitting his pants while doing a split, and Jane Clayson, guest conducting the finale.
The Orchestra at Temple Square fall concert is always a favorite. This year’s concert entitled “Music for the Soul” features Kevin Kenner, considered “one of the finest American pianists to come along in years” with conductor Igor Gruppman, well known to Tabernacle audiences.
Elder Richard G. Scott, tenderhearted member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1988 and dear friend of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, died Tuesday, September 22, 2015. Elder Scott will be remembered and revered by Choir members for his support and encouragement.
Former director of music at King’s College, Cambridge, England, Sir David Willcocks passed away last week at the age of 95. Willcocks spent his lengthy career raising the standards of British choral music and earned over 50 honorary degrees.
You’ve seen their videos, now see them live! The Piano Guys—famous for their state-of-the-art videos, which have amassed over 700 million views—will participate in a live, worldwide chat. Previous Face to Face events have included conversations with David Archuleta, Lindsey Stirling, and Elder David A. Bednar and his wife, Susan.
The moment is here! This year’s Christmas concert guest artists are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. We have not two, but six guest artists who will make the Christmas concert something never to be forgotten.
“The Washington Post March” is one of the most popular marches in the United States and many other parts of the world. John Philip Sousa, who was the United States Marine Band Director, composed it in 1889 at the request of the Washington Post newspaper for an awards ceremony. The ceremony, which took place on June 15, 1889, honored 11 winners of the newspaper's Amateur Author essay contest and was held in front of 25,000 people assembled on the grounds of the Smithsonian.
Longtime friend and former Music & the Spoken Word announcer J. Spencer Kinard has retired after 32 years of service with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization. Kinard has served as a Sunday morning host since the concept of having a host address the audience was inaugurated in the fall of 2002. Kinard, Duane Cardall, Mark Eubank, and Kent Norton were the initial four hosts and Ruth Todd has also served as a host. With Kinard’s departure to serve an LDS mission with his wife in Washington, DC, an interesting new hosting arrangement will be made to fill his shoes. Watch for a future blog with this announcement.
Visiting Music & the Spoken Word in person in the Tabernacle or the Conference Center? When you do, come early so that you can hear from our hosts before the broadcast begins. Some new hosts will be at the microphone and they come with special credentials. They are members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
This video will make your day! During the rehearsals of last year’s Christmas concert with Santino Fontana and the Muppets® from Sesame Street®, we captured area footage of the Sesame Street® puppeteers getting to different points under the stage by using what they refer to as “rollies.” Rollies are small round cushions with wheels that help them maneuver in small spaces.
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Keep Christmas With You, Featuring Santino Fontana and the Muppets® from Sesame Street®
In this one-of-a-kind video, music director, Mack Wilberg, and associate director, Ryan Murphy, take you through an in-depth look at Keep Christmas With You. Recorded during the Christmas concerts in December 2014, a unique combination of talent came together to make a truly memorable album.
Many people grew up watching Sesame Street, but how many can say they made friends with the characters? Santino Fontana can!
Christmas may belong to December but who doesn’t love the songs and celebrations all year long! The newest CD and DVD release from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square—Keep Christmas with You—is filled with the magic and joy of the season. And its star-studded cast is one you will love to watch again: Broadway leading man Santino Fontana, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and their friends from Sesame Street®, over 100 dancers, the Bells on Temple Square, the Orchestra at Temple Square and of course, the Choir.
In a previous blog post titled 10 Music Videos for Your Sunday Afternoon, we shared inspirational videos that are perfect for a Sunday afternoon but can be enjoyed anytime. With so many choices on our YouTube channel, it is hard to pick the perfect combination, but we managed to find 10 more videos that are perfect for Sunday viewing.
You might be surprised to know that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearses only twice a week—Thursday nights and Sunday mornings before the weekly broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word. Because of the limited rehearsal time, the Choir’s music director, Mack Wilberg, has to maximize each rehearsal, making sure to get each phrase and note correct.
Right-hand Man—Puppeteers from Sesame Street® Discuss the Teamwork Involved in Two-handed Puppeteering
Spoiler alert: If you don’t want your children to know that the Sesame Street®
characters are hand puppets, please do not show them this video. :-)
This year’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts are packed with talented performers, including returning Pioneer Day concert guest Laura Osnes, four Metropolitan Opera soloists, and British actor Martin Jarvis. Jarvis will serve as the narrator for the concerts and boasts a large resume full of roles you might recognize from every facet of performing arts. Let’s take a closer look at Martin Jarvis.
Undoubtedly, there is no broadcast that has touched the lives of so many for so long as has the weekly program Music & the Spoken Word. The December 13 program will be the 4,500th broadcast. What a run! And the program is still continuing its run of uninterrupted broadcasting, adding listeners and viewers in scores of countries around the world! It’s the longest continuous running weekly broadcast anywhere—and rightly so. Where else can you hear such glorious music coupled with a brief, compelling message of inspiration?
Guests of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have described their positive experiences with the Choir by describing feelings they haven’t felt before. Beloved actress Angela Lansbury, who performed at the Christmas concerts in 2001, said: “I didn’t realize that I was going to be hit by this extraordinary spirit. I haven’t experienced this before. It’s quite unique, people doing something for the love of it." 2010 guest David Archuleta said, “Getting to be up on that stage with the Choir was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.”
When guest artists come to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, their schedules are tight and focused. Often, the only time fans get a glimpse of the artist's personality is during the Friday morning press conference and the few moments on stage between songs.
When guest artists come to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, their schedules are tight and focused. Often, the only time fans get a glimpse of the artist's personality is during the Friday morning press conference and the few moments on stage between songs or narrations.
Nearly every week for the past 25 years, Lloyd Newell has stood at the microphone and presented a message of inspiration to people in all corners of the world. The announcer for Music & the Spoken Word, the longest continuously running weekly network program in broadcast history, Newell welcomes listeners and viewers to the half-hour program as well as sharing a message—one that he usually writes himself.
The broadcast is a gift to people everywhere. The messages are filled with hope, universal principles, and good news. Newell reads all the time looking for stories, examples, hints, and commentary that will appeal to listeners and help them.
A former news anchor for CNN and WSEE-TV in Pennsylvania, Newell started out with the Choir broadcast as the interim announcer. After months of filling in, he was asked by LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley to serve on a permanent basis. November 29 marked 25 years serving in a position Newell never imagined would last a quarter of a century.
Newell, who is a volunteer in his post, as are the Choir members, is a professor at Brigham Young University. It’s his day job, but his heart is with the Choir. He tours with the Choir as well as serving as the announcer for the broadcast. He usually meets six weeks in advance with Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, to correlate the message of the Spoken Word with the music. Sometimes there is an obvious connection with the music; sometimes not. Whichever way it comes together, the program’s seamless presentation lifts the spirits of all who are listening.
Last week’s Choir Notes looked back at the mountains the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization climbed in 2015. Now to the mountains of 2016.
Lindsey Stirling’s star continues to rise, as she was just named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Music list: The Class of 2015. The list highlights influential artists under the age of 30 from a mix of various musical genres. In the article, Stirling is pictured holding a see-through, jewel-encrusted violin, with the caption reading, “Self-described ‘dancing violinist’ produces choreographed videos of herself playing a palatable dance-pop mix. The America’s Got Talent quarter-finalist has more than 5.8 million subscribers on YouTube; her second album, 'Shatter Me,' reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200.”
This will be one of those rare “Aha!” moments in life where you’ll think, “Oh, I get it—that makes so much sense.”
What is HD?
The new year brings with it new beginnings, and this is particularly true for the 48 new singers who will participate in the 2016 Choir School which started this week. The once-a-year Choir School which continues for sixteen weeks, is the last step in the application process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The process actually began six months earlier when applications to audition were accepted. A rigorous three-phase audition process followed that included a voice recording submission, a written musical skills test, and an in-person audition. Applicants who progressed through all three steps were then invited to attend the Choir School to fine tune their vocal and ensemble skills before being accepted into the Choir.
You may have heard of a tabernacle of clay, but chances are you’ve never heard of a tabernacle of gingerbread…until now, that is. Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Gregory Marsh spent three weeks constructing the replica, which measures 25" x 16" and stands 9 inches tall.
On Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, 2018, the Temple Square Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square will join their musical talents for this year’s Spring Concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
2015 was a landmark year for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—it was a year so jam-packed with firsts and highlights that it was hard to keep up with it all. Because the Choir dates back to 1847, you might think they have seen it all. Surprisingly, they haven't—and that’s what makes life with America’s Choir so interesting.
The audition process for becoming a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir includes multiple steps, and the final step consists of being invited to participate in a 16-week Choir School. Each year, hopefuls begin the fine-tuning process of twice-a-week Choir School after submitting a voice recording, auditioning in person, and taking a musical skills test. This year, 48 new singers started Choir School after the New Year and got their first taste of what it's like to be a part of the Choir as they were taken on a tour of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
What 2014 Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert sold out in seven minutes? What 1959 Choir recording was one of the most successful classical recordings of its time and became a benchmark for classical musical recordings? The answer to both questions is Handel’s Messiah. This musical masterpiece by George Frideric Handel, first performed in the spring of 1742, has become one of the world’s most beloved musical works.
As children we learn we must be kind to others, but as we grow into adults do we remember to continue that pattern of behavior toward others? Do we look for ways to reach out to others who might need our help? A well-known youth leader has said recently, “It is the love of God and neighbor that gives meaning to life.”
As a fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you would expect to hear them sing during general conference, Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts, Christmas, and Pioneer Day concerts. Where you might not expect to hear them sing are a prison, Las Vegas, A Christmas Story (the movie), Disney World, and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
How do you say goodbye to a good friend? Clay Christiansen, a Tabernacle organist for nearly 36 years, recently announced he will retire from his full-time position at the end of April 2018. On Sunday, April 1, after playing the organ during Sunday morning’s Music & the Spoken Word broadcast and the general conference session, Clay Christiansen received a standing ovation from the Choir and others in the Conference Center. Christiansen acknowledged the applause by raising his arms in gratitutde and nodding a silent “thank you,” first to the Choir and then to the audience.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the attic of the Salt Lake Tabernacle? Well, wonder no more because your virtual chance has arrived. In this video, you will get the rare chance to see the historic Tabernacle as you’ve never seen it before.
Virtual "Hallelujah" Chorus
As if singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir wasn’t enough, there are now more reasons to join this historic gathering of voices—some famous names are submitting their videos to be a part of the Choir’s epic virtual chorus, set to the music of the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah.
Can we get a “Hallelujah?” Better yet, can we get a few thousand? We are looking for singers of all skill levels to join the world’s largest “Hallelujah” chorus, and that means you, your friends, your grandparents, or your choir. YouTube star Peter Hollens and his wife, Evynne, have teamed up with us to record videos for four individual singing parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). Submitted videos will then be used to make a grand virtual choir of epic proportions.
Just 29 days after the first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, a small choir was formed under the direction of Brigham Young. From this humble beginning arose what is known today as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. For over 150 years the Choir has been lifting spirits and touching hearts through the power of music. They have sung in over 4,500 broadcasts and toured the world, and they continue to reach international audiences through social media. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).
Siope Kinikini—Bass, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“Music is the universal language of mankind,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote. The truth of his statement was evident during and after the Sunday, March 20, 2016 broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has had a relationship with Messiah for many, many years. In fact, the Choir’s first recording in 1910 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle included the famous “Hallelujah” chorus. Over the years the Choir has recorded various selections from Messiah as well as the entire oratorio. In 1959, the Choir’s best-selling recording of Messiah received gold record recognition and it was later inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. On March 4, 2016, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released a new recording of Handel’s Messiah, edited and conducted by Dr. Mack Wilberg.
For more than 86 years, nearly the lifetime of radio, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has presented a weekly program, Music & the Spoken Word, which provides music and messages of peace, love, hope, and inspiration to audiences around the world. This past Sunday, March 27, the Choir marked their 4,515th broadcast, an achievement unsurpassed by any other program.
Nearly every week for the past 25 years, Lloyd Newell has stood at the microphone in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and presented a message of inspiration to people in all parts of the world. As the announcer for Music & the Spoken Word, the longest continuously running network broadcast, Newell welcomes listeners and viewers to the half-hour program as well as sharing a message he most often writes himself.
In 2013 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square hosted Lindsey Stirling for the annual Pioneer Day concert, where she performed “Scotland, the Brave/Simple Gifts,” “Poor Little Lambs,” and her YouTube hit “Elements,” which has almost 70 million views. Stirling also joined the Choir and Orchestra for the finale of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
When people attend Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts or listen to Choir recordings, many notice something unique about the Choir. Martin Jarvis, noted British actor who narrated the Choir’s 2015 Christmas concert, said this to Choir members about his experience:
Since 2012, when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir joined the YouTube world, viewers from around the globe have experienced the Choir like never before. Even though the weekly broadcast, Music & the Spoken Word, is available to international audiences, special concert performances, music videos, behind the scenes videos, guest artist interviews, tour videos, and more are available on our YouTube channel. There are thousands of videos with something for everyone to love. Take a look at our first five videos to reach the 1 million view mark.
When the Beach Boys wrote the song “Good Vibrations,” they probably never imagined it would someday be performed with handbells in the Salt Lake Tabernacle—yet the Bells on Temple Square have turned that unimagined possibility into a reality with their latest video.
“Danny Boy” is a popular ballad that was written in 1910. Many people associate the song with Ireland, even though lyricist Frederic Weatherly was a British lawyer. The connection came when his Irish-born sister-in-law sent him a copy of the tune “Londonderry Air” in 1913. Upon receiving it, Weatherly modified his lyrics to fit the meter of the tune.
Craig Jessop has a long history with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, beginning with his days as a Choir member from 1973 to 1977. He then returned as associate music director from 1995 to 1999, when he became the music director—a position he maintained until 2008.
Have you ever pictured yourself in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Have you said to yourself, “Someday I’ll have the courage to try out” or “In a few more years I’ll have less going on in my life?” Now is the perfect time to audition—the Choir is reaching younger audiences across the globe in new and exciting ways.
If you have never watched a Music & the Spoken Word broadcast live streamed over the Internet, here’s an opportunity for you! Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time, the home page of mormontabernaclechoir.org connects followers to the live broadcast as it is performed in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in the Salt Lake City, Utah. Or you can use this link and go directly to the “Watch Music & the Spoken Word Live” web page. Join the broadcast using your computer, phone, or other Internet-connected mobile devices.
This could be a game-changer! Did you know Music & the Spoken Word is available with closed captioning? While watching and listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square is an amazing experience alone, closed captioning can enhance it in different ways.
This year’s Pioneer Day concert guests are one of the Choir’s most popular guest artists, having performed in the 2007 Christmas concerts, four Cultural Olympiad concerts held in the Tabernacle during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and numerous Music & the Spoken Word appearances. We are pleased to announce the King’s Singers as our special guests.
Twelve days into their tour of Europe, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square gave their fifth concert in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the Jahrhunderthalle (“One Hundredth Anniversary Hall”) with yet another standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience. At each European concert the Choir has engaged audiences with its vast and varied repertoire sung entirely from memory and in different languages.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square wrapped up their first European Tour in almost 20 years with sold out concerts and standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences. The Choir and Orchestra gave performances in Berlin, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Zurich, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For 20 days, beginning June 27, the Choir and Orchestra members–all volunteers–gave up their summer vacations, left loved ones to share their music with European audiences.
When retired pastor Volker Schmitt-Illert was 6 years old, he first heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—it was on the American Forces Network in Germany, which he stumbled upon and tuned into every Sunday. Schmitt-Illert said, “At 9:20 every Sunday morning you could hear a half hour of Music & the Spoken Word, from the crossroads of the west.”
In 1968 when Thomas S. Monson, then an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first visited members of the Church in a small, second-story room of an old warehouse in Görlitz, East Germany [formerly known as the German Democratic Republic] he was deeply moved by the beautiful singing of church hymns and the spirit of the people he met.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed the last concert of their 2016 European tour in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at De Doelen concert hall. The hall was originally built in 1934 but was destroyed in 1940 by the German bombardment of Rotterdam at the beginning of World War II. De Doelen was rebuilt in 1966, and additional halls were added in the 1990s.
Many who watch the Choir each week may have noticed something new prior to the Choir’s departure for its 2016 European tour: a new addition to the women’s performance wardrobe. Many people may not be aware of all of the work and effort that goes into clothing the Choir members for their performances.
On August 28, 2016, Jenny Oaks Baker, a Grammy Award-nominated, Billboard Magazine No. 1 violin recording artist and performer, will be a special guest on Music & the Spoken Word.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on August 30, 2016, the appointment of Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop, as Chairman of the O. C. Tanner Gift of Music Committee. He succeeds President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, who has served as committee chairman for 23 years since his appointment in 1993.
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," from the opening session of general conference, April 2, 2016
This year’s Pioneer Day guests, the King’s Singers, are longtime friends of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have been coming to perform with them in Salt Lake City for over 20 years. The musical camaraderie between the two groups is second to none, which makes Saturday night’s touching tribute all the more bittersweet.
Audiences were wowed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2016 Pioneer Day concert, featuring England’s the King’s Singers. The concert included incredible highlights, such as the King’s Singers performing a moving Primary song medley, an emotional farewell tribute to retiring group member David Hurley, and amazing numbers from the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square toured Europe in the summer of 2016, fans were ecstatic. It had been 18 long years since the Choir has been to Europe—The tour visited eight European cities over 20 days and included performances in Berlin, Nuremberg and Frankfurt, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Zurich, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Choir fans came from far and wide to see them.
Do you regularly attend concerts? Do you participate in dance classes? Do you sing in a group or choir? If you said “yes” to any of these, chances are you are more satisfied with your life. As if you needed another reason to want to audition for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. :-)
Most people who have experienced the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have experienced it through a television, tablet, phone, or computer screen. While all of those are great options to watch the Choir’s weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts or YouTube channel, there is an even better option to experience the fullness of the Choir’s wall of sound—and that is to see a live concert.
Jenny Oaks Baker returned as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s guest artist on Music & the Spoken Word for the August 28, 2016, broadcast. During the show Baker performed "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and "Star of Bethlehem" from Ben-Hur.
This Christmas the whole world can experience the uplifting 2015 Christmas concert from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the release of Hallelujah! The DVD and CD are now available online and in stores. Digital downloads, both in audio and HD video, are also available.
We are excited to announce acclaimed tenor and entertainer Rolando Villazón as the 2016 Christmas concert guest artist. The concerts, featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square, will be held December 8–10 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Villazón will also join the Choir, Orchestra, and Bells for the Sunday broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word on December 11, which will not be ticketed.
It’s early to talk about Christmas since fall has just arrived, but ticket distribution for the 2016 Christmas concerts by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square is changing. This article provides readers advance notice of this change.
So you didn’t score tickets to the event of the year—have no fear—because in upcoming weeks we’ll be giving away 20 pairs of tickets for the 2016 Christmas concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, with acclaimed tenor and entertainer Rolando Villazón.
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas album, this one has it all—Broadway star Laura Osnes beautifully singing Christmas favorites, the poignant narration of British screen actor Martin Jarvis, and guest soloists from the Metropolitan Opera.
In 2001 Janice Kapp Perry received a request from the Music Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to write a song for the first-ever Primary satellite broadcast, which would be held the following year. She was given a theme and suggested ideas of what she could include in her song. In her songwriting career, Perry has written over 1,000 songs, so we can only guess there wasn’t much doubt that she was up for the challenge.
The Bells on Temple Square will open the holiday season with its concert, “Ring Praises,” its annual concert on Friday and Saturday, November 18-19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
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.
Thank you to music fans around the globe for supporting the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! We have just reached 50 million YouTube views! When the Choir started a YouTube channel in 2012, the first 1 million views was something to celebrate—now four years later the viewership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Only a few short months ago we celebrated 40 million views.
President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life.” To keep up with change, most of us rely on a good calendar. Over the past year, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been working to simplify and improve communication on its website calendar. The goal was to help patrons and visitors be better informed about Choir organization concerts, rehearsals, live performances of Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts, daily Temple Square organ recitals, radio and TV specials, and other events.
On Thursday and Friday, March 22 and 23, 2018 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will once again present George Frideric Handel’s brilliant oratorio Messiah live in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. These performances, with world-class soloists, will be a special gift to people around the world as a prelude to Easter celebrations. The entire Messiah concert will be live streamed over the Internet on Friday, March 23, 2018, and will be available for on-demand viewing for the week following the concert on the Choir website and YouTube channel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City is a historical icon. The Tabernacle was completed in 1867 and is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was named a historic civil engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers, alongside the Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam, and the Boston subway.
Get a behind the scenes look at what went into creating the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2015 Christmas concert as you watch or listen to the latest episode of Mormon Tabernacle Choir Premieres. The audio version of this long-running series can be found on the Mormon Channel, while a video version is posted on the Choir’s YouTube Channel.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s new music video is full of references to the parables of Jesus found in Luke chapter 15. Watch the video and see how many references to Luke chapter 15 you can spot before looking at the answers below the video.
Now through Christmas Day, the Choir’s 24/7 music stream—powered by the Mormon Channel—will feature nonstop Christmas music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Christmas albums, Music & the Spoken Word Christmas specials, and past Christmas concerts.
The 2016 Christmas concert guest artist, Rolando Villazón, is considered one of the world's top tenors. He has been heralded as “the most charming of today’s divos” (The Times) and “a great singer and brilliant entertainer, at once extremely funny and deeply profound” (Crescendo). The Choir's director, Mack Wilberg, said, “Rolando Villazón is one of the great singers of our time.” The fact that Villazón is an amazing singer and performer seems to be widely agreed upon, but here are 13 facts you probably didn’t know:
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s new music video depicts the parable of the prodigal son and also references the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin as told in Luke 15 of the New Testament. This modern-day retelling of the biblical story of the prodigal son depicts the love of God for all of His children and will serve as a reminder to be compassionate toward and accepting of those who seek forgiveness.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.“
Music is everywhere at Christmastime, especially when family, friends, church, and community groups gather. Christmas music is the soundtrack of the season as we celebrate our beliefs, hopes, and joys.
Christmas Day Music & the Spoken Word Special
In 2015, Jordan Smith became the best-selling artist in the history of The Voice and won season 9. He sold 1.5 million singles in a six-month period and landed eight songs in the iTunes Top 10 chart, including three no. 1’s.
Utah Premiere of Wilberg Work Headlines Orchestra at Temple Square and Temple Square Chorale Spring Concert
SALT LAKE CITY — The Orchestra at Temple Square and Temple Square Chorale will join their musical talents for this year’s Spring Concert on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, 2016. The evening’s performances will be under the baton of Ryan Murphy, associate music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and conductor of the Temple Square Chorale.
The pipe organs of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are two of the most recognized instruments in the world today. These organs are seen and heard on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly television, radio, and Internet live-streamed broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, annual public television Christmas specials, daily Temple Square recitals, along with numerous recordings, concerts, and conferences.
The Mahler Symphony no. 8 will be performed at two O.C. Tanner Gift of Music concerts on Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Maestro Thierry Fischer will conduct Utah’s two premiere musical institutions—the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—joined by 50 voices from The Madeleine Choir School and eight renowned soloists: Orla Boylan, soprano; Celena Shafer, soprano; Amy Owens, soprano; Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano; Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano; Barry Banks; tenor, Markus Werba; baritone; and Jordan Bisch; bass.
Handel’s Messiah is a favorite at Christmas concerts and sing-ins. It’s not surprising then that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—with a new recording of the full work coming out in spring 2016—is presenting a montage of Messiah music coupled with a reading about the work’s creation. Acclaimed British actor Martin Jarvis, knighted by Queen Elizabeth in the year 2000, presents the compelling story.
Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, has often said that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is like “a speeding train never stopping to let its passengers off.” Indeed, the work of the Choir and the Orchestra rarely takes a breather. On January 1, 2017, when many people will be sleeping in from New Year’s festivities, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square will be in the Tabernacle bright and early to prepare their first Music & the Spoken Word broadcast of the new year.
Happy New Year—and a HUGE thank you for watching our videos! We have just surpassed 70 million views and have no plans to slow down.
In its first week, the world’s largest virtual “Hallelujah” chorus was viewed over 300,000 times on YouTube and over twice that on Facebook. The world is embracing the amazing collaboration between the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and singers around the globe.
At the request of the U. S. Presidential Inauguration Committee, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has accepted an invitation to sing at the swearing-in ceremony during the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol next month in Washington, D.C.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed at the first of two inaugurations this month. On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, the Choir performed three songs for the inauguration of Utah’s 17th governor, Gary Herbert. The songs performed were “Climb Every Mountain,” “They, the Builders of the Nation” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Thomas S. Monson, LDS Church president and advisor to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said, “There is no better time in all the world to make important choices than…at the beginning of a new year.” For 34 talented singers, 2017 brought the wonderful choice and opportunity to participate in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Choir School. This once-a-year training is the last step in the audition process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir whose singers serve as good will ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Thanks for making 2016 a great year! As we roll full steam ahead into 2017, let’s take a quick look back at some of the highlights of 2016.
Now this is priceless! In a documentary titled Temple Square, produced by Salt Lake City PBS station KUED, Anna Joy Watts details how her last minute plans to attend a session of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led to a once in a lifetime experience.
The short answer is no, but there’s much more to it than that. While many of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir members and staff are trained musicians and hold advanced music degrees, it’s not a prerequisite.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present an Easter concert conducted by music director Mack Wilberg on Good Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The repertoire for the concert will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives and a new work with music by Mack Wilberg called A Cloud of Witnesses.
Here’s a peek inside the Orchestra at Temple Square through the eyes of one of its talented percussionists, Justin Moon, who has been a member of the Orchestra since it was established in 1999.
Luacine Clark Fox (1914–2002) is the composer of “Love One Another.” She was the daughter of J. Reuben Clark, who served in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Just four short months since reaching 70 million YouTube views, our channel has hit another milestone—80 million views! Thank you for your hours and hours of watching Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos.
On May 12, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will release their newest recording, Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends, featuring twelve special performers who have all become dear friends. Even though the official release date is in May, the CD is available now for pre-order on Deseret Book and Amazon.
Music is an integral part of Easter celebrations that focus on the life and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Past LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the power of music in this way: “Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul.”
The Bells on Temple Square will present “An Expedition of Sound” on Friday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
The King’s Men, an a cappella ensemble comprised of 15 choral scholars from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, England, plus two organ scholars, also from King’s College, will present a special program on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 12:00 noon in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. The King’s Men are members of the Chapel Choir at King’s College, which is currently touring in North America. The King’s Men function separately from the main choir, and the smaller ensemble is run entirely by the members of the group itself. They perform regularly around Britain and have performed in Australia, Hong Kong, and North America. The two organ scholars, Richard Gowers and Henry Websdale, who play for the services at King’s College, will each perform a solo number on the noon program.
Former Choir member Erma Rosenhan recently celebrated her 102nd birthday by singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during its Thursday night rehearsal in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It had been 82 years since she joined the Choir in 1935 as a soprano. Erma’s mother Ida Rosenhan, who sang alto in the Choir for 10 years, was serving when Erma joined. During her time in the Choir, Erma traveled with the Choir on its first European tour in 1955. After singing for more than 20 years, Erma retired from the Choir in 1958.
Hear What Santino Fontana and the Puppeteers from Sesame Workshop® Thought about Performing in the Choir’s Christmas Concert
It’s not every day that a performer entertains over 21,000 people in a single concert. It can certainly be intimidating for an actor or singer to undertake such a challenging task. Santino Fontana described it by saying: “This experience is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. Not only because of the size of the Choir and the size of the Orchestra but also the space. It’s huge—21,000 seat auditorium—there’s nothing to prepare you for that.”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released their latest album, Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends, on May 12, 2017! This compilation of exceptional performances provides listeners a very different slice of the music of the Choir and Orchestra. Here are five ways to learn more about this new recording:
Choir Notes, the weekly newsletter of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, has a whole new look! With the rollout of this new format, the Choir is continuing to meet the challenge given by Gordon B. Hinckley, past President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and adviser to the Choir organization for 36 years, to “try a little harder to be a little better.” The changes are designed to make the newsletter easier to read on all digital devices, more visually appealing and to provide a variety of information to subscribers.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ. The then-newly constructed pipe organ made its debut in October 1867 during the first general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. In the 150 years that have followed, the Tabernacle organ has served as the iconic backdrop for meetings and events broadcast throughout the world. The image of the Tabernacle organ itself has become widely known as a symbol of the Church and of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
For over 40 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been performing the beloved songs of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II. Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein changed the world of music and theater. Their popular Broadway musicals began what is now considered the “golden age” of musical theater. Their music today continues to give audiences around the world encouragement, hope, and comfort.
On Tuesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present a special concert for the American Guild of Organists (AGO) as a signature event for its West Region convention in Salt Lake City. The concert’s first half features a symphony for organ and orchestra by Alexandre Guilmant to be performed by Richard Elliott and the Orchestra at Temple Square. Organists Clay Christiansen and Andrew Unsworth will be featured in the concert’s second half with music by the Choir and Orchestra. (Read the full concert program.)The public is invited to the free concert; no tickets are required.
The singing and acting sensation who brought George Washington to life in the Broadway hit Hamilton, will be the featured guest artist for this summer’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Pioneer Day Concerts. Christopher Jackson joins the Choir in two gala performances in “Music for a Summer Evening” on Friday and Saturday, July 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. in the Conference Center. The concerts will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director.
How do you choose to listen to music? When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir made its first recording in 1910, there was only one way to listen to recorded music: with a gramophone, or later a phonograph.
When composer-conductor John Williams conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during the Cultural Olympiad for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City he observed: “These are people who are there for the joy of music. It’s not a job with them; it’s a mission.”
Lindsey Stirling has recorded hit albums, won prestigious awards, written a best-selling book, earned a spot on the Forbes Top-Earning YouTube Stars list and continues to inspire through her groundbreaking music videos. In 2013, Stirling spent some time as a guest artist for the Pioneer Day concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, performing her popular song “Elements,” among others.
Although the Mormon Tabernacle Choir name is well known, many may not know “by the numbers” what the Choir organization has accomplished. For those who love details, here are the facts:
“The only thing better than singing is more singing,” said the late acclaimed jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. For members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, this is particularly true because there is always more singing!
Late Breaking Announcement: Due to unavoidable and unanticipated scheduling conflicts with his current TV series, Christopher Jackson will not be able to appear on the 2017 Pioneer Day concerts. Alex Boyé, singer, entertainer, and mega-million view YouTube artist, will now headline the concert. Click here for more information.
The Bells on Temple Square, part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, is touring again! The bell ensemble has played at various locations in Utah, and its first out-of-state performance was to Rexburg, Idaho, in 2015. This year the ensemble is traveling to Garden Grove, California, for the 2017 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. The group was selected to be the featured performer for the July 15 concluding concert, capping off the four-day seminar. LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells on Temple Square, will direct the performance. The repertoire will explore a variety of musical genres from hymns, folk, and classical to jazz, gospel, and patriotic. The public is welcome to the performance in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Orange County on Saturday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. For those able to attend the Southern California performance, tickets are available at the door for $15 or may be purchased online.
On July 16, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began the 89th year of the weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast—the longest continuously running network broadcast in the history of radio.
The King’s Singers are world famous for their crisp, harmonious vocals and their ability to entertain audiences. They have been repeat guests with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have performed songs such as “I’m Runnin’ On,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “The Dying Soldier,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and many more throughout the years.
“It Is Well with My Soul” was composed by Philip Paul Bliss, with the lyrics by Horatio G. Spafford. The composer, Bliss, also wrote “More Holiness Give Me,” “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy,” and “Should You Feel Inclined to Censure,” which are included in the current hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Last year, there were 52 episodes of Music & the Spoken Word—there will be 52 this year—and there will be 52 next year. This is the way it’s been since July 1929, when the beautiful sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir coming from the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square began to be a familiar Sunday morning soundtrack to people around the world.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir lost a dear friend as Elder Robert D. Hales passed away in an area hospital on Sunday afternoon October 1 following the morning session of the 187th General Conference. Elder Hales had served as a General Authority since 1975. He was 85.
The Bells on Temple Square celebrate the beginning of the holidays with “Prelude to the Season,” their annual concert on Friday and Saturday, November 17–18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square.
On November 17, 2017, a two-disc recording featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony, directed by Thierry Fischer, will be released. The album also features choristers of The Madeleine Choir School and soloists Orla Boylan, Celena Shafer, and Amy Owens (sopranos); Charlotte Hellekant and Tamara Mumford (mezzo-sopranos); Barry Banks (tenor); Markus Werba (baritone); and Jordan Bisch (bass). Pre-orders are available on Amazon.com. Through November 16, purchases at the Utah Symphony Guild Store are $5 off.
With the Sunday, December 31 New Year’s Eve broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will finish a busy, productive year.
President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died January 2, 2018, at age 90. He had served as President since 2008, as a counselor in the First Presidency since 1985, and as an Apostle since 1963. He was no stranger to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the entire Choir organization mourns his passing.
The Greatest Showman is an American musical film, released on December 20, 2017. Surprisingly, in the first week of its release, the film was actually considered a box-office bomb. An early review boldly stated, “Considering the film that triumphantly declared itself ‘the greatest show’ had an $84 million budget, this is a flop for 20th Century Fox. Condolences to Hugh Jackman and his passion project.”
A new concert location has been announced—The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California—for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s 2018 Classic Coast Tour this summer. The concert in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 20 completes the list of seven locations where the Choir and Orchestra will perform. The 2018 Classic Coast Tour begins on Monday, June 18, and will conclude 16 days later on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, with visits to California, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada.
For more than 35 years, Clay Christiansen has been a familiar face to fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In 1982, he was appointed as a Tabernacle organist, where he has become a familiar face to countless viewers of Music & the Spoken Word. Throughout the years he has recorded many Choir albums; performed in general conferences, Christmas concerts, and other special concerts; toured the world; and published compositions for chorus, string quartet, woodwind trio, and chamber and symphony orchestra.
The poetic hymn “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth” was written by Parley P. Pratt, a member of the original Twelve Apostles of the Restoration. Pratt, who was nicknamed “the poet Apostle,” wrote the text for seven hymns that are included in the current hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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The snowball continues—the Mormon Tabernacle Choir YouTube channel just reached 130 million overall views!
Have you ever been in the middle of watching The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square during general conference or a weekly broadcast and wondered what the colored dots on the organists’ sheet music were? You’re not alone. It turns out, this is a question that organists are asked after general conference or other Choir broadcasts, and the answer may not be as mysterious as you would think.