What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Piping Up! Honors Famed Tabernacle Organist: Alexander Schreiner

The Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square—the newest Temple Square organ tradition—in its July 28th weekly concert stream will honor famed organist Alexander Schreiner (1901-1987) who served as a Tabernacle organist for over 50 years from 1924-1977.

Talented emeritus Tabernacle organists John Longhurst and Clay Christiansen—both former students of Schreiner--will each perform music repertoire highlighting Schreiner’s career in organ and hymn compositions and arrangements. 

Beginning 93 Years of Continuous Weekly Broadcasts!

Did you know that the Music & the Spoken Word broadcast is beginning its 93rd year of continuous weekly broadcasts with the Sunday, July 18 broadcast? 

Although broadcasting technology has changed dramatically in 93 years, the message and the purpose of the broadcast hasn’t changed. For the first broadcast on July 15, 1929, in the early days of radio broadcasting, a single man climbed a ladder and held a microphone in the air to capture the music of the Choir in the Tabernacle. Now in 2021, the weekly broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word is digitally produced by a team of sound engineers for radio, television, and social media broadcast teams. 

Welcome Back! The Choir’s Return to Temple Square

The Tabernacle Choir organization is thrilled to announce the schedule for their return to Temple Square of daily organ recitals, weekly Choir and Bell ensemble rehearsals and Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts. For over 150 years the Salt Lake Tabernacle and since 2000 the Conference Center have been the Temple Square locations for live events for music lovers and visitors from around the world. In March 2020, the pandemic temporarily halted all events on Temple Square and events everywhere in the world. 

Members of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square have been waiting with hopeful anticipation for the time when they would again be able to return to perform together. As musicians, they each strive to express their faith through their performances to help people feel closer to the divine and celebrate God’s love for all His children everywhere. 

Celebrate “America the Beautiful”

What is it that you find most beautiful about your country? For those living in the United States of America, the beauty of nature in one of the most diverse geographical areas of the world is awe-inspiring. From the warm, wet Florida Everglades in the deep south to the lush green rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. From the purple mountains of the Rockies to the amber waves of grain on the Great Plains. From the magnificent red-rock desert canyons of the southwest to the tall, lush forests of the northeast. Within the boundaries of this country, we can find the beauty of the earth in all its majesty. We know that our friends in other countries around the world will have similar feelings about the beauty of their own countries.

In this month when Americans celebrate the birth of their country, The Tabernacle Choir invites you to watch and sing along with Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “America the Beautiful.” As you do, reflect on the things that you find most beautiful about this country and the people who have given so much to protect and preserve it. If we focus on the things that unite us and the beauty we find in our world, we can all work together to focus on the song’s ultimate promise: 

Watch the Unique Piping Up! First Anniversary Stream on June 30

Plan now to watch the unique first-year anniversary concert of the new series Piping Up! Organ Concerts on Temple Square featuring each of the Tabernacle and Temple Square organists: Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Brian Mathias, Linda Margetts, and Joseph Peeples. Audiences will enjoy performances on three Temple Square Organs that each have different qualities and characteristics: The Tabernacle organ, the Assembly Hall organ, and—for the first time in the concert series—the Joseph Smith Memorial Building organ. 

This special anniversary concert stream includes a unique opportunity for behind-the-scenes tours of the Assembly Hall organ practice rooms as well as the Tabernacle organ pipe chambers—both located in areas not available to the general public. Plus an explanation of organ pedals and pedaling technique by Richard Elliott. The concert will also include the announcement and performance of the audience choice selection by talented organist Joseph Peeples which was determined through an earlier social media poll. The concert finale music selection will include all five organists—through the magic of modern technology—performing together Tabernacle organist Richard Elliott’s arrangement of Bach’s final movement of the Brandenburg Concerto No.3. The Brandenburg Concertos are considered some of the finest, most innovative orchestra works of the entire baroque era. 

2022 Heritage Tour: Rescheduled Dates and Details

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square are pleased to announce rescheduled dates and details for their 2022 Heritage Tour. Originally planned for 2020, the tour has been postponed twice due to continuing COVID-19 limitations throughout the world.

The new rescheduled tour will include performances in the same cities planned for 2020/2021 and will cover 22 days from Thursday, 16 June to Thursday, 7 July 2022.

What Should You Consider When Planning a Choir Tour? Everything!

When The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square go on tour, it is a logistical feat unlike any other, transporting hundreds of people, thousands of pieces of luggage, a clothing store-equivalent of concert attire, dozens of musical instruments—including a touring organ—and staging equipment to venues far from home. The operation is as well-orchestrated and rehearsed as the musicians themselves.

The logistical wizard is the Choir’s administrative manager of 18 years, Barry Anderson, who always is one step ahead of the action. He is usually thinking years in advance. When one tour ends, he is out finalizing details for the next time the Choir hits the road, which is usually every two years. There are, of course, smaller, less extensive concerts and travel sandwiched in between the major tours. During three months in 2018, Anderson spent 47 days on the road refining and perfecting not only their 2018 tour itinerary but also plans for a future tour.

Ask Yourself “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?”

The energetic hymn “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?” is an encouraging reminder to each of us about the importance of giving service to others. Notice that the acts of service mentioned in the lyrics of this hymn are not grand gestures requiring physical strength, a large time commitment, or even financial resources—but rather the small, everyday acts of service that would be possible for everyone each day.  Have you cheered up the sad?  Have you made someone feel glad? Have you been willing to share?  

This beautiful hymn intentionally reminds all that we must “wake up” and “do more than dream” thinking that we’ll be able to do something to help another at some later time. There are so many opportunities to serve others around us that we should “go and do something today.”  The lyrics also gently remind us: “Only he who does something helps others to live. To God each good work will be known.”

Do You Love to Sing? Choir Audition Cycle Started June 1

If you—or someone you know—have expressed interest in becoming a member of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the once-a-year online audition application period opened on June 1, 2021. All applications must be submitted on August 15, 2021, by midnight (mountain time). 

Even though the current pandemic situation has not permitted the Choir to rehearse or perform publicly for the past year, The Tabernacle Choir organization waits for that satisfying moment when it will be able to return to live performances and perform music that audiences love.

Piping Up! Announces First Anniversary Concert Stream

Plan now to watch the new series Piping Up! Organ Concerts on Temple Square celebrate its first-year anniversary featuring each of the Tabernacle and Temple Square organists: Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Brian Mathias, Linda Margetts, and Joseph Peeples. 

The First Anniversary concert stream on Wednesday, June 30, will feature all five organists performing on three of the famed organs on Temple Square: The Tabernacle organ, The Assembly Hall organ, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building organ. Bringing back an old tradition that has been renewed, talented organist Joseph Peeples will be playing an organ selection piece determined through an audience social media poll.