What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

The Tabernacle Choir and Large-Scale Messiah Performances

Messiah choruses have long formed part of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s core repertory, going back well into the 19th century when the practice of large-scale oratorio performances took root in the United States as well. And the Choir has frequently led the way in making Handel’s celebrated music available to a wider public. Its first recording in 1910 included the “Hallelujah” chorus in what is almost certainly the first record of a Messiah excerpt made outside of England and the first recorded by a large, established choir. (The handful of earlier English recordings used small, ad hoc groups of singers.) 

In June 1927, the Choir recorded “Worthy Is the Lamb” on its first “electrical” recording (that is, with microphones) a week before Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the first complete electrically- recorded Messiah in London. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 1959 Messiah with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra earned a gold record and in 2005 was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Later recordings of Messiah choruses conducted by Richard Condie in 1974 and the complete oratorio under the direction of Sir David Willcocks in 1995 continued this legacy, and the “Hallelujah” chorus has appeared on more than a dozen of the Choir’s albums over the last century.

Enable Closed Captioning with Choir Programs

Did you know programs of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square such as Music & the Spoken Word are available with closed captioning? While watching and listening to the Choir and Orchestra is an amazing experience in and of itself, closed captioning can enhance that viewing in different ways. The narration, music lyrics, and the Spoken Word are all captioned. 

The term “closed” indicates that the captions are visible when activated by the viewer, usually via the menu option or on a remote control. Captions on a program also describe spoken dialogue and non-speech information such as the identity of speakers along with any significant music or sound effects using words or symbols.

Finding Courage and Hope in Music

When you need to be uplifted and to keep moving forward despite difficulties in life and conditions in the world, what music gives you courage and hope? For many of us, music helps us deal with the emotional highs and lows we experience each day. Music has been called “therapy for the soul.”  What music do you seek during challenging times?

The music of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square can provide that inspiration so needed in today’s world. It has the power to help people feel closer to the divine and to help them feel the love God has for all His children.  When you need courage and hope, you can find it in the words and music of songs like “Come, Come Ye Saints,” “How Firm a Foundation,” “Let Us All Press On,” “Press Forward Saints,” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Request Organ Concert Music: Bringing Back a Tradition

What happened when the COVID pandemic suspended daily organ performances on Temple Square--a tradition going back to 1908? The five talented Tabernacle and Temple Square organists started a new tradition for this unique time using the technology available today to stream organ concerts from Temple Square. The result: Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is now available each and every Wednesday at noon mountain time! 

Adding a New/Old Tradition! 

2021: Enjoy Handel’s Messiah at Home This Easter

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square invite music lovers and those celebrating Easter around the world, to enjoy Handel’s Messiah with renowned guest soloists Amanda Woodbury, Tamara Mumford, Tyler Nelson, and Tyler Simpson streamed over the internet. 

This special Messiah performance, recorded in 2018, will stream on Friday, March 26, 2021 on a variety of websites, social channels, and other broadcast locations to enable individuals and families worldwide to enjoy the Easter season at home with their loved ones as the world celebrates the birth, life, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2021: Looking Ahead with Hope

As 2021 begins, The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells at Temple Square look forward with hope to a wonderful year and echo the words of British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come.” The year 2021 does bring with it hope, even though pandemic restrictions are still being observed for new live performances and recordings. 

This past year of 2020 was very different, although the Choir organization was able to accomplish many things (as Choir Notes subscribers read last week) because of its vast archive of digital recordings. 

2020: A Year of Accomplishment Despite the Pandemic

The year 2020 began for The Tabernacle Choir like most of the past decade with a planned rigorous performing, touring, and recording schedule. It envisioned a tour to the Nordic countries and the UK, 75 live performances—including 52 weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts—plus Handel’s Messiah at Easter, Pioneer Day and Christmas concerts, and the release of two new recordings.

In mid-March, the world changed. 

Piping Up! Organ Concerts Continue Every Wednesday

Last year, when the pandemic temporarily halted the century-long tradition of daily organ concerts—a beloved tradition for music lovers and visitors to Salt Lake City’s Temple Square—the Tabernacle and Temple Square organists proposed the start of a new organ tradition: streaming organ concerts on the Choir’s website and social media. 

Beginning Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the Piping Up! Concerts will become a permanent tradition for Temple Square.

Christmas Music: The Choir’s Gift for You!

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square invite you to enjoy our Christmas music—our gift for you! 

Music is a special language used by individuals, friends and family, and communities to express their joy, peace, and hope during Christmas celebrations held annually around the world. Christmas music reminds us at this time of year of heavenly choirs appearing to shepherds watching their flocks, and of angels singing about peace on earth, good will toward men, and announcing the birth of Jesus Christ to the world. For both participants and audiences, Christmas music brings back memories of joyful childhood experiences, families gathered around the Christmas tree, and gift exchanges with dear friends.