What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

The Historic Name Change to “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square”

On October 5, 2018, the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced its name change to “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square” to better align with the Choir’s sponsoring organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The new name for the Choir preserved the heritage of the Choir’s home in the Tabernacle and its location on Temple Square. Though the Choir announced a new name, the Choir’s mission remained unchanged: to provide music that has the power to uplift, inspire, and bring listeners closer to the divine.

From the earliest days, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have used singing as a means of drawing closer to the Lord. In 1847, just three weeks after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, a small pioneer choir was organized to sing for the first conference of the Church in their new settlement. In 1849, John Parry was called to formally organize a choir for Church conferences. This choir first made its home at Temple Square in an outdoor bowery and then in a small adobe tabernacle that replaced it in 1852. On October 6, 1867, the first conference meetings in the larger new Tabernacle—now still standing on Temple Square—were held, and the “Tabernacle Choir” name was in regular use. Since then, the Tabernacle has been home to the Choir, which is known worldwide for its one-of-a-kind signature sound shaped in part by the venue from which it emanates.

Your Invitation to Chorale and Orchestra’s Spring Concert!

When Ryan Murphy walked out on stage in 2009 to conduct his first concert of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square as its new associate director, it was the beginning of a brilliant new musical career. He remembers being apprehensive and wide-eyed. The orchestra was in place, the choir loft filled with singers, and the audience waiting in anticipation for a rich, musical evening.

That scene will be replayed on Friday and Saturday, March 17–18, 2023, in the Tabernacle as Murphy conducts the annual Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square Spring Concert. The Chorale at Temple Square will showcase 49 singers who have been working through The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square audition process. They join 100 current Tabernacle Choir members, including the new one-year members and other Choir members who love the opportunity to fine-tune their skills. Successful completion of the Chorale concert, with Tuesday rehearsals and Thursday Choir School classes since the first of the year, is the final step to being admitted as a soprano, alto, tenor, or bass member of The Tabernacle Choir.

Expect a Great Experience When Attending Music & the Spoken Word!

There is nothing like listening to The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in person—even if you’ve listened to the Choir’s recordings, music streams, and broadcasts for years. Being enveloped in the Choir’s uplifting and joyful music live is an exhilarating experience. Music has the power to comfort, encourage, and bring each of us closer to the divine.

The Choir and Orchestra’s weekly Sunday live performances of Music & the Spoken Word broadcast are open to the public for free; no tickets are required. Music & the Spoken Word, first broadcast in 1929, is currently the world’s longest continuous nationwide network program.

A Warm Thank You and Farewell to Scott Barrick

Scott Barrick was not in the Choir loft singing on Music & the Spoken Word every Sunday, nor was he in the great music halls on Choir tours around the world. Instead, he worked diligently for 21 years to shape the image, face, name, and reach of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square around the world.

As general manager of the Choir, Barrick’s imprint was and is everywhere. He established the Choir’s own record label and produced 112 products, many of which climbed to the top of the Billboard® charts. He launched a Choir YouTube channel; changed the official name of the Choir and the logo; helped the Choir become the number one Christmas program on PBS; established a presence on Spotify, Pandora, and other digital music channels; and coordinated the Choir’s Olympic 2002 appearance and the ticketing for hundreds of other Choir events for two decades.

The 2023 Choir School Has Begun!

The Choir School and Chorale at Temple Square experience began this January for 49 new talented participants. Individuals who were successful in passing the first three levels of the Choir’s 2022 audition process were invited to participate in these last steps of this audition process. At the conclusion of their successful Choir School and Chorale at Temple Square experience, participants will be invited to sing as members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

The audition process began during the summer months of 2022 with a written application and voice recording submission, a music skills assessment test, an in-person vocal audition, and an interview with a member of the Choir presidency. Those who passed each level were invited to join this year’s 16-week training school, which is like a graduate course in choral singing but is sometimes thought of as a choral “boot camp.” The choir training also includes singing with the Chorale at Temple Square.

40 Years of Making Beautiful Music

For 40 years, since 1983, two renowned musical icons—The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the Utah Symphony—have presented the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music in two evenings of celebrated concerts. This year the program will feature Felix Mendelssohn’s monumental oratorio Elijah on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Tabernacle doors will open at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the concerts. Tickets are required but are free to the public and are limited to those eight years of age and older. Tickets will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 20 at www.TabChoir.org/2023tannergift or by calling 801-570-0080 or toll-free 1-866-537-8457.

2023 Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performances Start February 3

To showcase the Tabernacle organ and world-renowned organists, the 2023 Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series presents its first concert of the year featuring Viktor Billa, Ukrainian organist and accomplished soloist, on Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Few organs have such a storied history and are as well-known or highly regarded as the Tabernacle organ on historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City. This world-renowned, iconic pipe organ with five manuals (keyboards) and 206 ranks of organ pipes is among the world’s largest instruments—and one of the most heralded. Its famous golden pipes, made of wood staves fashioned from Utah timber and visible on the front facade, still add to the sound of the famous instrument even today.

Looking Forward with Anticipation to 2023!

Join The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for a wonderful year ahead as new programs, events, and music releases are announced! The Choir eagerly anticipates many new and continuing opportunities coming during this 2023 year. Check out what happened in 2022 and what the Choir anticipates ahead in 2023.

2022: Although the year began with the challenge of a brief pause for live performances for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, it was also an amazing year with encouraging and hopeful “firsts” for the Choir.