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

What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Christmas Best CD Now Available for Pre-Order!

A pre-order discount of 15% is available for The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s new collection of Christmas music, Christmas Best. The physical CD will be released to the public on November 5 and will be available for digital download and streaming.

Designed to serve as a soundtrack for the holidays, this album provides nearly a full hour of music to enrich every music library, invite the spirit of the season, and help everyone feel closer to the divine, especially at Christmas. The repertoire is a mix of sacred and secular Christmas music with many recognizable Christmas favorites. Check here to listen to track samples.

The Tabernacle Choir “Walking on Ice”

What has the Choir got to do with “walking on ice?”  At the September 9 “restart” online orientation meeting for members of The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra, and Bells at Temple Square, newly called Choir president Mike Leavitt described returning to singing, broadcasting, and even a potential Christmas concert with a comparison to a man about to cross a newly frozen lake.

Leavitt said the man “pauses to assess if the thickness of the ice will hold his weight, knowing a sudden breakthrough would produce a terrible result. He takes a few careful steps, pauses to listen for cracking sounds, knowing he can step back to safety if necessary. He repeats the process until his full confidence has been gained, mindful that the ice is not uniformly thick, and he must choose his route carefully.” The first few steps out on the ice have been the return to rehearsals and participating in general conference.

Choir Singing Again with Careful Protocols

When Dr. David Palmer was asked to serve as the physician for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square following his retirement as a second tenor in the Choir, little did he know that his experience as an ear, nose and throat specialist would be key to the Choir’s response to COVID.

For months during the pandemic, he has been communicating with Choir organization members about latest news and trends with the COVID virus. Now under the direction of new Choir president Mike Leavitt, he heads up a team of medical and science professionals from the Choir that have been planning how to bring the ensembles back to performing with as few risks to the musicians and audience members as possible. Once the protocols are confirmed, they will be expanded to the Orchestra and Bells as well.

Former Choir Conductor Craig Jessop Receives Elite Utah Arts Award

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.

During Jessop’s time with the Choir, 15 albums were recorded, the Orchestra at Temple Square was formed, and the Choir performed during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, received a Grammy nomination for the Choir’s work on a Christmas album—Spirit of the Season, featuring Sissel—and even toured the Holy Land. Jessop was also instrumental in encouraging musician Alex Boyé to audition and join the 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.