What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Access Music & the Spoken Word On-Demand

Did you know that The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s most recent weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast is available for on-demand online viewing after its initial airing? With people around the globe looking for uplift and comfort during these troubled times, the broadcast connects people of all languages and all faiths with musical expressions of faith that can soothe and touch each heart. 

Every Sunday after the 9:30 a.m. (mountain time) airing of the broadcast, that week’s episode is immediately archived for on-demand viewing. This means that audiences anywhere in the world can get the uplift they are seeking at a time convenient for them any day of the week, any time of the day or night. 

Richard Elliott: 30 Years on the Bench

In late 1988 Richard L. Elliott—who had been teaching organ at Brigham Young University for three years—got a call from Tabernacle organist John Longhurst. He needed an organist to join him in the nation’s capital for a performance with The Tabernacle Choir at the upcoming presidential inauguration of George H. W. Bush. The pieces required four hands, and Tabernacle organist Robert Cundick was staying behind to host the American Classic Organ Symposium. Was Richard available?

He packed his bags and was off.

Mothering Is About Love

The simple fact is we each have a mother. Each mother is unique. Yet mothers are all the same when reaching out with love to their children. “The bond between mothers and their children is one defined by love,” remarked President George W. Bush in a Mother’s Day address. “As a mother’s prayers for her children are unending, so are the wisdom, grace, and strength they provide to their children.”

The Tabernacle Choir’s Spoken Word for Mother’s Day 2021 comments about a mother’s love:

An Unusual Year for Choir’s International Broadcast Growth

It has been an unusual year for The Tabernacle Choir organization and its members who for the past year have been watching Music & the Spoken Word from home with the rest of the world. As pandemic restrictions have continued, the weekly Music & the Spoken Word program—now in its historic 92nd year of continuous broadcasting—has still found increased international viewership.

There is no question why. Around the globe, audiences have been searching for additional inspiration and uplift during these trying times. Many people have been accessing Music & the Spoken Word as part of their Sunday worship service while meetings of congregations of all faiths have been temporarily on hold. It hasn’t mattered where they resided or what language they spoke, the music of the Choir was able to touch their hearts. As former Church president, David O. McKay (1873-1970) once remarked: “Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls.”

The Tabernacle Choir Continues Its Musical “Fermata”—But Only for a Few Beats

The 2021 Music for a Summer Evening (Pioneer Day) concerts will be canceled but with the future looking brighter, 2021 auditions for The Tabernacle Choir will take place!

When 2021 began, the Choir looked ahead to this new year with hope. We reported that members of the Choir organization have used a musical term to describe the time apart due to COVID-19 restrictions. They describe their temporary pause from singing like a musical “fermata—an intentional pause.”

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