Jerold Ottley (1934-2021) never imagined himself a public figure, his shock of white hair easily recognized in a crowd. With his doctoral degree in pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching), he pictured himself at a university school of music for his career. So how did he become so easily recognized by television viewers across the nation? How did he find himself dining with kings and dignitaries in far off lands? How did this humble, happy soul whose humor delighted those around him fill music halls, radio, and television with a love for the spirit and the divine?
For nearly a quarter of a century, from 1974-1999, Jerold Ottley directed The Tabernacle Choir from its home on Temple Square. His tenure at the Choir included 1,300 Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts, 30 commercial recordings, more than 20 major tours around the world, and thousands of rehearsals and performances. Ottley died on Friday, February 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City. He was 86.
Handel’s Messiah is an oratorio in three parts with 53 separate movements. Each movement is listed below with a link to where that movement begins in the performance by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square with renowned guest soloists as streamed on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. (The original performance was at Easter in 2018.)
Messiah choruses have long formed part of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s core repertory, going back well into the 19th century when the practice of large-scale oratorio performances took root in the United States as well. And the Choir has frequently led the way in making Handel’s celebrated music available to a wider public. Its first recording in 1910 included the “Hallelujah” chorus in what is almost certainly the first record of a Messiah excerpt made outside of England and the first recorded by a large, established choir. (The handful of earlier English recordings used small, ad hoc groups of singers.)
Did you know programs of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square such as Music & the Spoken Word are available with closed captioning? While watching and listening to the Choir and Orchestra is an amazing experience in and of itself, closed captioning can enhance that viewing in different ways. The narration, music lyrics, and the Spoken Word are all captioned.
When you need to be uplifted and to keep moving forward despite difficulties in life and conditions in the world, what music gives you courage and hope? For many of us, music helps us deal with the emotional highs and lows we experience each day. Music has been called “therapy for the soul.” What music do you seek during challenging times?
What happened when the COVID pandemic suspended daily organ performances on Temple Square--a tradition going back to 1908? The five talented Tabernacle and Temple Square organists started a new tradition for this unique time using the technology available today to stream organ concerts from Temple Square. The result: Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is now available each and every Wednesday at noon mountain time!