Twenty years ago in 2002, the world came to Salt Lake City for the XIX Winter Olympic games. The music of The Tabernacle Choir was an integral part of the events of the weeks-long Olympic Games and for the Paralympics Games that followed. During those event-filled weeks, The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square participated in long-standing Olympic traditions performed for thousands of world-wide visitors that came to Utah.
Times have changed. It used to be that you found your favorite album at the local music store—yes, vinyl—and took it home to play on your record player. You were careful not to scratch the LP. Then along came the tape deck with its 8 tracks and it worked in your car, then cassettes, handy, small and easily portable. The next innovations were CDs and CD players, and they became your favorite listening medium. Usually there were a handful of favorites on an album, and you listened through the others. And then came iPods, iPads, and iPhones and the world really changed.
Even though the Choir organization has been cautiously moving forward with pandemic precautions one step at a time, it has become necessary to take a step back “on the ice” as the current surge in COVID cases continues to set new records each day. (See “The Tabernacle Choir ‘Walking on Ice’” for details.) After careful consideration of advice from state health care officials, the Choir’s medical team, and creative and administrative leaders, The Tabernacle Choir presidency has temporarily paused all of The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells at Temple Square rehearsals and live performances through the end of January.
It has been an unusual year for The Tabernacle Choir organization and its members who for the past year have been watching Music & the Spoken Word from home with the rest of the world. As pandemic restrictions have continued, the weekly Music & the Spoken Word program—now in its historic 92nd year of continuous broadcasting—has still found increased international viewership.