Temple Square Chorale

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Temple Square Chorale
Also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Origin Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Genres Worship, classical
Occupation(s) Musician
Years active 1847–present
Labels Mormon Tabernacle Choir Label (current)
Associated acts Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Temple Square Chorale, Bells on Temple Square, and Salt Lake Tabernacle organ
Website mormontabernaclechoir.org/chorale
Notable instruments
Pipe organ of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Temple Square Chorale is one of the musical organizations on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The main purpose is to train its members musically to go on to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which is a more rigorous musical institution.

About[edit]

In response to a charge from Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to "get better and better," the Temple Square Chorale was organized in 1999 as an in-service program for present Choir members, as well as a training venue for applicants to the Choir.

The first session of the Temple Square Chorale began in July 1999 with Mack Wilberg as Music Director and Jerold Ottley, along with his wife, soloist and renowned teacher, JoAnn Ottley, co-directing the training school.

Under the leadership of Wilberg and the Ottleys, the Chorale conducted two 12-week sessions each year. Each session allowed the Chorale the opportunity to focus on major choral works—a luxury not often afforded within the rigorous schedule of the Tabernacle Choir. In the past, the Chorale has performed such works as the St. Matthew Passion by Bach, King David by Arthur Honegger, Requiem by Mozart and Saul by Handel.

Since 2009, Ryan Murphy, who is also associate music director of the Tabernacle Choir, is the Chorale's director. The training school is currently directed by Cherilyn Worthen.

The membership of the Temple Square Chorale changes with each new three-month session. Each session includes a number of new applicants who have passed the rigorous audition requirements for the Tabernacle Choir, which include taped and in person vocal auditions as well as a detailed music aptitude exam. To round out the membership for a given session, Murphy works with Wilberg, now the music director of the Choir, to identify current Tabernacle Choir members who complete in-service training with the Chorale to hone and improve their musical skills. Total membership of the Chorale varies with each session, but it usually numbers between 70 and 80 members.

The culmination of each three-month session is the performance of a major choral piece. The Chorale is accompanied in these performances by members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

The preparation of new Choir members and the further training of present members is continuing to be an effective step in fulfilling Hinckley’s charge to improve the Choir’s performance and reputation.

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