Music & the Spoken Word
For more than nine decades, nearly the lifetime of radio, The Tabernacle Choir has presented a weekly program — Music & the Spoken Word — without interruption, giving voice to peace, hope, inspiration and the goodness of God. No other broadcast can claim such a heritage.
Public audiences are invited to join the live performances of Music & the Spoken Word each Sunday morning on Temple Square. Audiences can also stream Music & the Spoken Word each week from anywhere in the world from YouTube.
Watch the latest episode of Music & the Spoken Word each week here.
Music & the Spoken Word has been a broadcast tradition since 1929. Even during the temporary pandemic pause of all live performances beginning in March 2020, the program was continuously broadcast using The Tabernacle Choir’s large archive of digital performance recordings. With the benefit of modern technology, new Spoken Words written for this unique time were added giving timely and needed inspiration for audiences around the world.
No Tickets Required; Doors Open at 8:30 a.m.
Admission to public performances is free but limited to those eight years of age and older. Doors open to the public at 8:30 a.m. and guests should be seated by 9:15 a.m. when the doors are closed. The broadcast is 30 minutes in length and ends at 10:00 a.m.
Even during the Christmas holidays, no tickets are required for any of the December Sunday Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts in the Conference Center.
2023 TICKET AND DATE EXCEPTIONS
Sunday, September 3: viewers will be able to watch on the KSL-TV app or BYU-TV but not on regular KSL-TV.
Sunday, October 1: Due to general conference meetings, tickets will be required for the live performances of Music & the Spoken Word on this date.
Sunday, December 24, and December 31: Due to the holidays, there will be no live performances. Specially prepared pre-recorded programs will be broadcast and streamed.
To accommodate larger audiences during the summer months and during the holiday season, the live Sunday performances will move from the Tabernacle to the Conference Center at Temple Square.
July 2 to September 3: Conference Center
September 10 to November 26: Tabernacle
December 3 to December 31: Conference Center
Visit the ChurchofJesusChrist.org parking website for Music & the Spoken Word Sunday morning parking information.
Weekly choir rehearsals open to the public and are held each week on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday rehearsals are typically held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, but during the end of the year, they will be held in the Conference Center.
September 10 to November 16: Tabernacle
November 30 to December 7: Conference Center
How It Began:
While many music programs come from a studio built for that purpose, Music & the Spoken Word goes out to the world from its home in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, which announcers have called “the crossroads of the West.” The building, completed in 1867, has become a recording studio with a stellar reputation for sound quality. In busy summer months, tourist attendance has required the program to be broadcast from the much larger Conference Center across the street. Both buildings are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Since the beginning, the Choir has opened the weekly program with what has become a hallmark, the 1835 hymn “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain.” Choir Music Director Mack Wilberg plans each week’s program.
What was once just a show coming across the kitchen radio made the jump to television in 1962, and cable and satellite broadcasts soon followed. Today, Music & the Spoken Word is viewed with increasing frequency on social media channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, and the choir website by people around the world, from the United States and Chile to the Philippines and England.
Music & the Spoken Word has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame and has entered the hearts of listeners everywhere.
The first airing on July 15, 1929, was makeshift at best. That summer day, a local radio crew ran a wire from their control room to an amplifier in the Tabernacle nearly a block away. The technicians put the station’s sole microphone on a ladder not only to capture the music of the Choir but also so an announcer could introduce each number. Nineteen-year-old Ted Kimball—son of the Tabernacle organist and the designated announcer—perched on the ladder for the duration of the program so that those listening could hear his words.
Eleven months later, 24-year-old Richard L. Evans became the first regular program narrator, and for the next 41 years (1930–1971) he was the voice of Music & the Spoken Word . He never missed a broadcast, even with his later assignment as an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His uplifting, three-minute sermonettes often addressed themes from the Choir’s music. Those listening knew his voice and appreciated his words of comfort, gratitude, happiness, duty, and love.
J. Spencer Kinard followed Evans as announcer from 1972–1990. Lloyd Newell took over the role in 1991 and continues in that post today.