What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Lloyd Newell’s 30 Years of Service to The Tabernacle Choir

On March 31, 1991, on weekly broadcast #3215, 34-year-old Lloyd Newell gave his first message as the official announcer for Music & the Spoken Word. That was 30 years ago and his engaging manner has made him a welcome guest and friend on Sunday mornings in homes across states and nations. He continues to help build the reputation and influence of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

To put this into perspective, when he stepped up to the microphone 30 years ago, the Berlin Wall had recently come down and the two Germanys had just reunited months earlier, Iraq was invading Kuwait, and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid won an Oscar. The first web pages were in their infancy, YouTube wouldn’t be invented for another 14 years, and a gallon of gas cost $1.34. Times have changed but the Choir’s program has remained a constant. On the air since 1929, the broadcast has known only three announcers: Richard L. Evans, Spence Kinard, and Newell. Lloyd has been the voice for nearly one-third of all the 4,777 broadcasts. 

Watch Messiah with The Tabernacle Choir: Beginning March 26

Join us! Beginning Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. (mountain daylight time), The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will stream George Frideric Handel’s beloved Messiah oratorio. This Easter presentation will enable families and individuals around the world to draw closer to Jesus Christ through the music and scriptural text of Messiah. It will also be available after the stream for on-demand viewing. 

This special Easter encore performance of Messiah was recorded at Easter in 2018 with Mack Wilberg, conducting renowned guest soloists Amanda Woodbury, Tamara Mumford, Tyler Nelson, and Tyler Simpson, with Tabernacle organists Andrew Unsworth and Brian Mathias at the organ. The full Messiah stream is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

New for the 2021 Messiah Stream

A Continuing Tradition: Messiah and The Tabernacle Choir

Performing George Frideric Handel’s Messiah for The Tabernacle Choir is not a new tradition. For nearly 150 years, since the early 1870s, the Choir has frequently performed George Frideric Handel’s beloved Messiah either as individual movements or as the full oratorio. 

On Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. (mountain), The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will once again stream Handel’s Messiah oratorio for Easter. Even though live Choir concerts have been postponed since last year, the Choir’s Messiah tradition continues through the benefit of modern technology using a performance originally recorded in 2018. At that time, the Choir and Orchestra were honored to be joined by four world-class soloists—Amanda Woodbury, Tamara Mumford, Tyler Nelson, and Tyler Simpson. Audiences will find this year as in 2018 the majesty of Handel’s Messiah through the artistry of the Choir, the Orchestra, and these featured soloists.

Choir Heritage Tour Postponed to 2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Heritage Tour by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, originally scheduled for June 17-July 8, 2021, has been postponed until 2022. The 2022 performances will be in all the same cities planned for the original tour.

Further information about revised dates and ticket information will be published in the next few weeks. Until that time, patrons are asked not to contact the concert venues until further details are available.

“God Be with You” Jerold Ottley – Beloved Choir Director 1974-1999

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?  

He became the 13th conductor of The Tabernacle Choir. So much for his quiet nature.

Messiah in 53 Movements: Video and Commentary

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.)

The commentary on each movement was written by Dr. Luke Howard, associate professor of Music History at Brigham Young University. The movement numbers correspond to those in the program found here and at TabChoir.org/Messiah.