What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

The Tabernacle Choir Named One of “Best 10 Choirs in the World”

England’s CLASSICAL-MUSIC.com released in late October its list of the ten best choirs in the world. That’s right, the world. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is one of them. The choirs range dramatically in size, nationality, and longevity. What they have in common is they are uncommonly good. According to CLASSICAL-MUSIC.com, they are the best.

CLASSICAL-MUSIC.com is the official website of internationally known BBC Music Magazine. It is not unusual for the BBC Music Magazine and its companion website to make such pronouncements. However, this is the first time for the publication of a list of the ten best choirs. Those selected were presented alphabetically. All of them perform regularly, tour, and record their music.

Enjoy Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir on PBS and BYUtv this December!

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is excited to announce the December dates for the annual Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir holiday specials featuring Tony Award®-winning star Kelli O'Hara and renowned actor Richard Thomas. Both PBS and BYUtv, the family entertainment HD cable TV network, will air these special Christmas broadcasts filmed prior to pandemic restrictions during The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Christmas concerts in 2019.

Set against a backdrop of a country farmhouse and chapel, the visual and musical spectacle of this Christmas special is distinctly different from those of years past and serves as a soulful tribute to the holiday traditions, songs, stories, and individuals that have contributed to the rich cultural fabric that is uniquely American. In a year marked by many challenges, this program serves to evoke nostalgia and celebrate the comfort and joy that home and family can bring, particularly during the holiday season. 

How to Use The Tabernacle Choir’s Sacred Music Library

Did you know the Choir has a music archive that lets you find your favorite songs from specific general conferences from 2006 to 2020? Perhaps you heard a song during last October’s general conference that you keep humming but can't quite remember the title. Now you know where to go to find it. Here are some easy steps on how to use the archive.

View the Archive

FAQ: Streaming The Tabernacle Choir Music and Programs

As audiences throughout the world increase their use of digital streaming as a primary way to access music and programming, The Tabernacle Choir is focusing on digital programing to put its music at your fingertips. In addition to our traditional radio and television broadcasts, the Choir’s music and programs are streamed each week on the Choir’s social media channels and website. 

To help our streaming audiences, here is a list of frequently asked questions submitted during the Choir streams that might be of interest: 

Saying Goodbye to the Best Job in the World

Check the credits at the end of Music & the Spoken Word and for nearly forty years you would see the name Edward Payne.  He isn’t a familiar sight on camera but behind the scenes as executive producer of the broadcast he pulls everything together. And he makes it look easy. 

He has been producing the weekly broadcast for nearly forty years. His work has taken him on tour with The Tabernacle Choir from Israel to Australia and across the United States. He has shot footage for overrolls; conceived changes for the opening and closing scenes; worked closely with music directors Jerold Ottley, Craig Jessop, and Mack Wilberg and Choir presidents Wendell Smoot, Mac Christensen, and Ron Jarrett; directed guest artists; and helped shape the technological growth of Church broadcasting from a small three-seater booth in the Tabernacle to a state of the art facility in the Conference Center.

Super Sleuths Identify Music from General Conferences

For a collective 66 years, former Tabernacle Organists John Longhurst and Clay Christiansen were at the center of the music scene on Temple Square. Now retired, the two have spent the past nine months as “super sleuths” charged with ferreting out detailed information about General Conference music from 1936 to 1970 for the Church History Library. 

The intent was for all General Conferences to be available online without restrictions of music copyrights. The music needed to be verified, if possible, with the title, composer, arranger, publisher, copyright, and public domain status. The years 1970 to the present had already been reviewed but records for the years before were spotty at best.

Has The Tabernacle Choir Sung in Every General Conference?

Music presented at the semi-annual general conference meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has usually included The Tabernacle Choir—but there have been some exceptions through the years! 

Did you realize that General Conference was canceled, just once, in 1957 due to a flu epidemic? Or that in the late 1880s General Conference was held in other Utah cities with local choirs singing? Or that during World War II the Choir only sang in some Sunday morning meetings?