"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Choir COVID Plan Aids in Return to Singing

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square organization has been on hold for rehearsals, performances, and recordings for nineteen months due to COVID. With the goal of returning to performances as safely and quickly as possible, the Choir announced a seven-step plan at an organization-wide “Restart Orientation” via Zoom on Thursday, September 9.

Who better to direct the creation of this plan than the former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael O. Leavitt, the new president of the Choir organization? President Leavitt took over the responsibility just weeks ago on August 26. He immediately set to work with a team of healthcare experts led by Choir medical director, Dr. David Palmer, and executional assistance from Choir professional staff to develop the COVID plan, in consultation with Bishop Gerald Caussé and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

How to Watch/Listen to Choir’s “9/11 | COMING TOGETHER”

Join The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for a 30-minute special broadcast “9/11 | COMING TOGETHER” commemorating the compassion, caring, and unity shown by people who willingly choose to help others in need after the devastating tragedy of 9/11. Interwoven with music and narration by journalist Jane Clayson Johnson are interviews of people remembering the impact of 9/11.

Here’s where you can watch or listen this weekend: 

Counselors in The Tabernacle Choir Presidency Announced

Two counselors have been called to serve with Michael O. Leavitt, former White House Cabinet member and three-term Utah governor, who was called as president of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on August 6. In an organizational change announced at that time, it was indicated that Leavitt would serve with his wife Jacalyn and lead a presidency, similar to an organizational structure used in Church missions worldwide. Leavitt replaces Ron Jarrett who has served as president of the Choir since 2012. 

At a Choir devotional on Thursday evening, August 26, presided over by the Choir’s adviser Bishop Gérald Caussé, L. Whitney Clayton was sustained as first counselor and Gary B. Porter as second counselor in the new Choir presidency. Elder Clayton is an Emeritus General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Brother Porter is a Senior Vice President at Deseret Management Corporation. Together with Leavitt, the new leaders will manage the administrative components of The Tabernacle Choir organization, including the supervision of over 700 volunteers.

Choir Leadership Briefly Delays Rehearsals, Return to Live Broadcasts

The health and safety of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square organization members and its audiences is the highest priority for the leadership of the Choir. Given the community-wide surge in COVID cases and in consultation with the Choir’s adviser, Bishop Caussé and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Choir leaders have decided to briefly delay the resumption of Choir rehearsals that was scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 26.

Instead, a private Choir organization devotional will be held on that evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Tabernacle. With the Choir’s adviser Bishop Gérald Caussé presiding, the devotional will be a celebration of the devoted service of President and Sister Jarrett and an introduction to President and Sister Leavitt and the counselors who will serve with them.

Can You Name the 7 Prior Choir Presidents?

With the August 6, 2021 announcement of former Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt’s call as the eighth president of The Tabernacle Choir, you may be wondering about others who have served as president of the Choir. 

Here are some interesting facts about each of the former 7 presidents from an article published in the Deseret News. For more information on each, read the full article found here.

Choir Leadership Change Announced by First Presidency

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the call of Michael O. Leavitt as the eighth president of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Also announced was a new structure for Choir leadership. Leavitt will be joined by his wife, Jacalyn in fulfilling this new role. Two counselors, to be named later, will complete the presidency. 

Leavitt replaces Ron Jarrett who has served as president of the Choir since August 2012. Bishop Gérald Caussé, the advisor to the Choir, made the announcement to the Choir organization via Zoom on August 6, 2021.

President Ron Jarrett: A Friend to His Choir Family

When Ronald B. Jarrett joined The Tabernacle Choir as a tenor in 1999, he had no idea his love for choral music would lead him from singing to serving as president of the world-renowned chorus. Serving from 2012 to 2021, he was the seventh Choir president and the first to move from a seat in the loft to the president’s chair.  

His nine years of leadership have been marked by bold innovations and favorite traditions. He will be best be remembered for his love for the Choir organization members themselves—singers, instrumentalists, bell ringers, and other volunteers and professional staff as well—for watching over, caring for, encouraging them, and treating them like family. He has been their advocate and their friend.