What’s New with The Tabernacle Choir

Choir Honored Town of Quincy for Love and Compassion

The enduring legacy of compassionate actions of the residents of Quincy, Illinois was referenced in the Choir’s recent special event which focused on the biblical counsel to “Love Thy Neighbor.”

The encouragement to show love to our neighbors has deep roots in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Reaching back to the dark days of 1838-39, the members of the Church fled religious persecution in Missouri leaving behind their homes, businesses, and farms.1 Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri had issued an “extermination order” to rid his state of these religious settlers. Beleaguered Joseph Holbrook wrote, “We found that there was no more peace or safety for the saints in the state of Missouri…Every exertion was made in the dead of winter to remove as fast as possible.”2

Stream Choir’s New Digital Release “Meditation”

The repertoire of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square includes a broad variety of music from hymns to folk songs, classics to anthems, show tunes to patriotic favorites and many in between. The music of the Choir is both “toe-tapping” and touching as it brings peace, reflection, joy, and encouragement to its listeners.

In keeping with this legacy, the Choir is introducing a series of single digital recordings beginning appropriately with “Meditation.” The very name calls to mind the quiet, pensive, calming and spiritual practice of setting aside the cares of the world.

What Is Special about Choir’s “Love Thy Neighbor” Event?

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present a special event “Love Thy Neighbor” on Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on Temple Square.

Tickets for the “Love Thy Neighbor” event are free but required. Each patron may request four tickets and admission is open to those eight years of age and older. Tickets are available for Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16.

Richard Elliott Receives Prestigious Governor’s Mansion Artist Award

On June 15, 2022, Richard Elliott, principal Tabernacle organist, was one of several artists who received the 2022 Utah Governor’s Mansion Artist awards. “The arts can inspire us, uplift us, and help us reflect on the complexities of the human condition as well as our common humanity,” Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox said in a news release. “Utah is so lucky to have such a rich tradition of artistic talent among us and we are grateful to these artists for the joy and hope they contribute to our quality of life.”

“I’m deeply honored,” Elliott responded. “In The Tabernacle Choir organization, we feel that we stand on the shoulders of the many devoted musicians who came before us. We are fortunate to have the blessing of being able to use our musical gifts to bless the lives of others.”

Barry Anderson Retires After Two Decades

Barry Anderson is retiring in June from his position in The Tabernacle Choir front office after 21 years in the role of administrative manager. He is truly a man of many talents. In addition to being an excellent multitasker, he is a logistical genius, a great problem solver, an incredible organizer, a master sequencer, and a fine musician in his own right. Above all, Barry is a man of faith who works hard, works smart, and puts his trust in God.

In high school, Barry was selected for the all-state band on clarinet alongside Mack Wilberg, also on clarinet! He played guitar in a band with friends—the  band’s name was “The Sons of Thunder”—and he was frequently asked to sing solos for funerals. Barry’s musicianship gave him special insight in supporting the Choir in its mission and give him an extra level of respect for the Choir’s conductors. He often stated that he’d like to hang a sign on Mack’s and Ryan’s office doors: “Do not disturb. Mozart and Beethoven at work!”

A Father’s Work is Never Done

It has been said that fathers are “most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, storytellers and singers of song.” Each father is unique. Yet fathers are all the same when reaching out to their children with love to teach and guide them. It is clear that wise counsel, a worthy example, and empowering love are the building blocks of good fatherhood. Truly a father’s work is never done because it lives on in the lives of his children.

The Tabernacle Choir’s Spoken Word message for Father’s Day, June 19, 2022, includes this thoughtful text about fathers: “Our kind and loving Heavenly Father is the perfect model for fathers. Just think of all the attributes and qualities of our Heavenly Father that are also ideal in earthly fathers: He never stops caring, never stops loving His children, even amid our shortcomings and weaknesses. He guides, protects, and watches over us. He provides for our needs. He sees our potential and helps us grow to achieve it. And He’s always available, through prayer, whenever we need to feel His love and support.

Choir July Event Highlights “Love Thy Neighbor”

The scriptural passage “Love thy neighbor”1 has long been a key message of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Highlighting that admonition, the Choir and with its companion ensemble Orchestra at Temple Square will present “Love Thy Neighbor: A Special Tabernacle Choir Event” on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center. Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy will conduct; Shea Owens is the featured baritone soloist.

The program is designed to bring comfort and hope to all during today’s troubled times and to inspire kindness and a Christ-like outreach to others. Two thousand years ago, the biblical command was given in response to a questioner seeking to identify which is the greatest commandment. The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus's answer: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

The Tabernacle Choir: The Music Volunteer Experience

On May 15, 2022, a special meeting was held after the Sunday performance of Music & the Spoken Word in the Salt Lake Tabernacle to honor thirty-two retiring members of The Tabernacle Choir organization—27 Choir members and 5 Orchestra members.

Family members and friends of the honored members were invited guests at the meeting conducted by Choir President Michael O. Leavitt. Together, the retiring Choir and Orchestra members—all volunteers—contributed an astonishing 440 years of volunteer service. When singers are accepted into the Choir it’s with the understanding that they can sing for a total of 20 years or until they turn 60 years of age—whichever comes first. Orchestra members do not have the same age or length of service guidelines. For these thirty-two music volunteers, their retirement day had arrived.

Love to Sing? 2022 Choir Audition Cycle Starts June 1!

If you—or someone you know—has expressed interest in becoming a member of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the once-a-year online audition application period opens on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. All applications must be submitted by midnight on Monday, August 15, 2022.

Members of The Tabernacle Choir have the unique experience of expressing their faith and talents through music that has the power to help people feel closer to the divine. Their usual duties include weekly performances on the Music & the Spoken Word broadcast plus concerts, tours, and recordings. Choir members average six hours per week rehearsing for 75 scheduled performances per year.