The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Organists Coming Full Circle

When he was 17, Joseph Peeples—then living in Southern California⁠—traveled with his family to Salt Lake City where an acquaintance arranged a visit with Tabernacle organist Clay Christiansen. Joseph had been serving as his Latter-day Saint ward (local congregation) organist since he was 15. At the age of 17, he also began serving as one of the organists for his stake (a church unit made up of local congregations). His Salt Lake visit was his chance to actually see and learn more about the iconic organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. 

Joseph remembers Clay Christiansen playing the organ and explaining the features which made the Tabernacle organ unique. Because Clay knew of Joseph’s background with organ performance, he allowed Joseph to sit at the organ to play a hymn as Clay showed him the use of the different stops and sounds or “voices” that could be utilized. 

During Temple Square Renovations—Tabernacle Open

Renovation of the Salt Lake Temple has begun and the Conference Center is now the main visitor center for Temple Square. However, during this renovation activity on Temple Square, the Salt Lake Tabernacle—home of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, and venue for the daily organ recitals—will be open!

In April 2019, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints president, Russell M. Nelson, announced plans to close the pioneer-era Salt Lake Temple for major structural and seismic renovations at the end of 2019 for four years along with renovations on part of the surrounding buildings and grounds on Temple Square and the plaza near the Church Office Building. The renovations are expected to take four years. Plans to reopen the temple in 2024 include an open house for the public.

2020: A “Vorfreude” Year for the Choir

The word “vorfreude” in the German language means “the joyful anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.” The 2020 year for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is such a year!

The 2020 year will offer some unique and special performances in addition to regularly scheduled events which happen each year including the weekly Music & the Spoken Word programs, annual Christmas concert, and conferences and devotionals of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Choir plans a major international tour to the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom, the release of two new recordings, and a special concert for the American Choral Directors Association.

2019 Year in Review

When it comes to performances by The Tabernacle Choir organization, the year’s major performances at Christmas and at General Conference probably come to mind first. Those highly viewed appearances are just the tip of the iceberg! Let’s take a moment to look below the surface to review the Choir organization activities during 2019.

52 Broadcasts: The Music & the Spoken Word live broadcast performed each Sunday morning is the longest continuously broadcast network program in history. During 2019 each broadcast has celebrated this beloved 30-minute program’s 90 years of continuous weekly broadcasts.

Celebrate this Christmas Season with Handel’s Messiah!

It has been 278 years since George Frideric Handel’s beloved Messiah oratorio first premiered in Dublin, Ireland in 1742. Although Messiah premiered during the Easter celebrations of 1742, through the years it has become both a Christmas and an Easter tradition for Christians everywhere in the world.

Here Are Ways to Make Messiah Part of Your 2019 Christmas Celebrations:

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kelli O’Hara

The 2019 Christmas concerts are approaching quicker than you can say “Mele Kalikimaka!” 

This year’s guests will include singer and actress Kelli O’Hara and actor Richard Thomas. The concerts will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 12–14, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT.

Watch Choir’s Newest Music Video Angels among Us with Kristin Chenoweth

Who are the angels in your life? 

Just released for the 2019 Christmas season, The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s newest music video, “Angels among Us,” features superstar entertainer Kristin Chenoweth. The video celebrates the angels in each of our lives who embody year-round the true spirit of Christmas with gifts of kindness, service, forgiveness and love.

200 Million YouTube Views…and Counting

Thanks to your unending support, the Choir’s YouTube channel is rapidly snowballing!  We are now at 200,000,000 views on the channel!

To prove the snowball effect is real, the first 100 million Youtube views took five years to reach. Two years later, here we are at 200 million. The numbers are one thing, but the effect that the music has on the hearts and minds of people is truly inspiring. The Choir’s mission is to transcend cultural and generational boundaries, and unite people worldwide through music and these numbers are evidence of fulfilling that mission.