Organists at Temple Square

Complementing the voices of the 360 choristers who comprise The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is the sound of the majestic Tabernacle organ—one of the world’s largest and most distinctive instruments.

Much more than an icon, the organ and its 11,623 pipes breathe a warm, refined sound that blends perfectly with the voices of the Choir.

Located in the historic Tabernacle on Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, the organ is a massive, yet intricate instrument. Together with the Tabernacle itself, the organ is in no small way responsible for the signature sound of this world-renowned choral ensemble.

The original organ was built by Joseph Ridges, an English convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came to Salt Lake City by way of Australia. Ridges’ modest instrument, built with old-world craftsmanship and a liberal dose of pioneer ingenuity, was constructed of materials native to the region as far as possible. Though the organ has been rebuilt and enlarged several times during its 135-year history, the original casework and some of Ridges’ pipes still remain in the organ today.

The organs on Temple Square include the Tabernacle Organ, the Conference Center Organ, the Assembly Hall Organ, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Organ, and a number of other practice organs.

From the Tabernacle organ with its iconic, gilded façade to the imposing, cherry wood case of the Conference Center organ; from the flamed copper pipework of the Assembly Hall organ to the other smaller organs used for worship or in practice rooms, the pipe organs on Temple Square exhibit a breadth of approach to organ construction and tonal design. While each of these instruments receives regular use, the Tabernacle and Conference Center organs are heard most often by the public—in recitals, on The Tabernacle Choir’s weekly broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word , on numerous recordings, and at countless other occasions.

The Tabernacle Choir organ staff consists of three full-time and two part-time musicians. These organists carry on the more than 100-year-old tradition of daily recitals on Temple Square and support the Choir in its rehearsals and performances.