Mormon Tabernacle Choir
|Mormon Tabernacle Choir|
|Origin||Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|Founding||1847 (170 years ago)|
|Genre||Worship, classical, gospel|
|Music Director||Mack Wilberg[needs update]|
|Affiliation||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Associated groups||Orchestra at Temple Square, Temple Square Chorale, Bells on Temple Square|
|Awards||National Medal of Arts
American Classical Music Hall of Fame
NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame
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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sometimes colloquially referred to as MoTab or Tab Choir, is a 360-member, all-volunteer choir. The choir is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Milestones
- 4 Leadership
- 5 Awards and inductions
- 6 Recordings
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
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The choir started out fairly small and rather undisciplined. In 1869, George Careless was appointed as the choir's conductor and the Tabernacle Choir began to musically improve. Under Careless, the first large choir was assembled by adding smaller choral groups to the main Salt Lake Choir. This larger choir, just over 300, sang at the church's October 1873 general conference. It was at this point that the choir began to match the size of the spacious Tabernacle. On September 1, 1910, the choir sang the song, "Let the Mountains shout for Joy", as their first ever recording. Three hundred of the 600 members showed up for the recording.
Later directors brought more solid vocal training and worked to raise the standards of the choir. The choir also began improving as an ensemble and increased its repertoire from around one hundred songs to nearly a thousand. In July 1929, the choir performed its first radio broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word. By 1950, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed numerous concerts each year and had released its first long-playing recording. During the 1950s, the choir made its first tour of Europe and earned a Grammy Award for its recording of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". Later directors of the choir continued to hone and refine the choir's sound.
At the end of the choir's 4,165th live broadcast on July 12, 2009, the show's host, Lloyd D. Newell, announced another milestone that the show had hit: the completion of its 80th year in existence. The show has been televised since the early 1960s and is now broadcast worldwide through approximately 1,500 radio and television stations.
Since its establishment, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed and recorded extensively, not only in the United States (where U.S. President Ronald Reagan called it "America's Choir") but around the world. The following are some of its milestones:
- Visited 28 countries outside the United States.
- Performed at 13 World’s Fairs and Expositions.
- Released more than 130 musical compilations and several films and videotapes.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed for ten presidents of the United States beginning with William Howard Taft. The choir has also performed at the inaugurations of United States presidents Lyndon B. Johnson (1965), Richard M. Nixon (1969), Ronald Reagan (1981), George Bush (1989) and George W. Bush (2001). The choir has been invited to perform at the inauguration of President-elect of the United States Donald Trump (2017). 
Other notable events the choir has performed at include the following:
- Performed over 20 times at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, including at the Opening Ceremony, where they sang the national anthem and the Olympic Hymn under the direction of John Williams.
- The American Bicentennial in Washington, D.C. (July 4, 1976)
- The Constitution's bicentennial celebration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1987)
It has also participated in several significant events, including:
- National broadcasts honoring the passing of U.S. Presidents:
- Los Angeles (1926) Hollywood Bowl.
- Chicago (1934) Century of Progress Exposition.
- San Diego (1935) California Pacific International Exposition.
- Western Europe (August 19–September 17, 1955) Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Prince Albert Hall in London, Amsterdam, Scheveningen, Copenhagen, West Berlin, Wiesbaden, Bern, Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Also sang at the dedication of the Bern Switzerland Temple on 11 September 1955 on this tour.
- Central America (1968, 1972)
- Western Europe (1973, 1998)
- Western Europe (June 5–21, 1982) Bergen International Festival in Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Aalborg, Rotterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London.
- Central Europe and the former Soviet Union (June 8–29, 1991) Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Zürich, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Leningrad.
- Israel (December 26, 1992 – January 6, 1993) Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv.
- Japan/Korea (September 8–September 13, 1979) Festival Hall in Osaka, Kaikan Hall in Kyoto, Fumon-kan Hall in Tokyo, Seoul National Theater in Seoul.
- Japan/Korea (1982)
- Brazil (May 24–May 30, 1981) "Week of Music of the Americas" and Ibirapuera Auditorium in São Paulo.
- South Pacific (June 14–July 5, 1988) Laie, Honolulu, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney.
- Eastern United States (2003) Interlochen, Wolftrap, Saratoga, Lincoln Center, Tanglewood.
- Canada and Eastern United States (June 20–June 27, 2011) Chautauqua, New York City, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington, D.C.
- Western United States (2012)
- Midwest United States (June 12–June 20, 2013) Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis.
- Eastern United States (June 24–July 7, 2015) Bethel Woods, Bethesda, Boston, New York City, Saratoga Springs.
- Western Europe (June 27–July 16, 2016) Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Rotterdam, Vienna, Zürich.
Performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1997.
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The choir holds a yearly Christmas concert in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City during the month of December. Typically, the concert consists of four shows: a Thursday dress rehearsal, Friday and Saturday shows and a Sunday abbreviated concert after the morning Music &the Spoken Word program. Starting in 2015, the Sunday morning performance following Music & the Spoken Word will no longer be presented. The combined audience for the four days of concerts is approximately 84,000. Tickets to the concert are free, and were formerly distributed through a random internet drawing, but beginning in 2016 tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A live album (CD/DVD) is typically released, along with the concert being aired on PBS, during the December of the following year.
Guest artists participate and sing with the choir most years. A guest narrator is also invited most years to read the Christmas story from the Book of Luke. Past guest artists include:
- 2000: R&B singer Gladys Knight and actress Roma Downey
- 2001: Actress Angela Lansbury
- 2002: Former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite
- 2003: Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and baritone Bryn Terfel
- 2004: Actress Audra McDonald and actor Peter Graves
- 2005: Soprano Renee Fleming and actress Claire Bloom
- 2006: Soprano Sissel
- 2007: London-based a cappella group the King's Singers
- 2008: Broadway singer Brian Stokes Mitchell and actor Edward Herrmann
- 2009: Jazz singer Natalie Cole and author and historian David McCullough
- 2010: Pop singer David Archuleta and actor Michael York
- 2011: Operatic baritone Nathan Gunn and actress Jane Seymour
- 2012: Tenor Alfie Boe and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw The event also featured Col. Gail "Hal" Halvorsen.
- 2013: Soprano Deborah Voigt and actor John Rhys-Davies
- 2014: Actor Santino Fontana and The Sesame Street Muppets
- 2015: Broadway singer Laura Osnes, actor Martin Jarvis, and four Metropolitan Opera soloists.
- 2016: Tenor Rolando Villazón
Pioneer Day concerts
The choir holds a yearly summer concert in mid-late July as part of Utah's Pioneer Day celebrations. Unlike the Christmas concerts, there are only two shows: one on Friday and the other on the following Saturday. The tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis. A guest artist is typically invited every year.
- 2011: Brian Stokes Mitchell and Linda Eder
- 2012: Katherine Jenkins
- 2013: Nathan Pacheco and Lindsey Stirling
- 2014: Santino Fontana and Sylvia McNair
- 2015: Laura Osnes
- 2016: King's Singers
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has about 15 staff members including a president, directors, organists, a Music and the Spoken Word announcer, and two business-related staff members.
Music and the Spoken Word announcers
Since its inception in 1929, the "spoken word" segment of the program has been voiced by four separate individuals. The original writer, producer, and announcer of the spoken portion of the broadcast was Edward (Ted) Kimball, who would stand at the top of a tall ladder and announce the name of each performance piece into the microphone suspended from the Tabernacle ceiling. Kimball remained at the post for only 11 months, when he was replaced by Richard L. Evans, who continued in that capacity until his death in 1971. J. Spencer Kinard took over as announcer in 1972 until he stepped down in 1990. Lloyd D. Newell has been the announcer since then.
Awards and inductions
The choir has a number of awards, including the National Medal of Arts (2003), a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus (1960), and three Emmy Awards (1987, 2013, 2014). The choir is also an inductee to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame (2015) and the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2004). The largest act to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 is the 320-person Mormon Tabernacle Choir, whose version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" reached No. 13 according to the The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits in 1959.
- Peabody Award — Music and the Spoken Word for Outstanding Entertainment in Music
- Freedoms Foundation's George Washington Award — Music and the Spoken Word — Fourth of July Broadcast
- International Radio and Television Society Foundation's Special Recognition Award
- Chorus America's Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence
Since its first recording in 1910, the choir has earned five gold albums (two in 1963-The Lord's Prayer and Handel's Messiah, one in 1979- The Joy of Christmas, and two in 1985- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Christmas Carols and Joy to the World) and two platinum albums (in 1991- Hallmark Christmas: Carols of Christmas and 1992- Hallmark Christmas: Celebrate Christmas!). The choir has made over 300 recordings and continues to produce albums. For some live performances and albums, the choir has collaborated with large orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the newly formed Orchestra at Temple Square. The choir's own record label was formed in 2003.
Several award winning popular artists have reflected on the beauty of the choir's music publicly including: Gladys Knight (of Gladys Knight and the Pips), Sting (of The Police), James Taylor, Ric Ocasek (of The Cars), and The Osmonds.
Number one albums (2003-present)
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
||US Classical Crossover
|America's Choir: Favorite Songs, Hymns, & Anthems||1||—||42|
|Choose Something Like a Star||
|Spirit of the Season||
|Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns & Spirituals||
|Heavensong: Music of Contemplation and Light||
|100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence||
|Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir||
|This Is the Christ||
|GLORY! Music of Rejoicing||
|He Is Risen (EP)||
- This Is Cinerama (1952)
- Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980), starring James Stewart
- Nora's Christmas Gift (1989)
- Singing with Angels (2016)
- Larson, Jennifer (2008-03-28). "Mack Wilberg is officially named Mormon Tabernacle Choir music director". deseretnews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- Carma Wadley (2010-06-13). "Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates 100 years of memorable recordings". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "Official Website". Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "Buy Mormon Tabernacle Choir CDs and DVDs - Official Shop". Mormontabernaclechoir.org. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Turley, Richard E., Jr. (September 2010), "The First Mormon Tabernacle Choir Recordings, 1910", Ensign
- Mikita, Carole (2006-04-30). "Mormon Tabernacle Choir Marks 4,000 Broadcast". KSL. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
- Avant, Gerry (January 27, 2001). "Mormon Tabernacle Choir on parade". Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "Official Website". Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
- Dumont, Jane (April 1989), "News of the Church: Tabernacle Choir and Other Church Members Participate in U.S. Presidential Inauguration", Ensign: 76
- Schneiter, Paul (28 July 1962). "Saga of the Tabernacle Choir". Deseret News.
- "Singing Mormons Heading For European Concert Tour". Owosso Argus-Press. 11 June 1955.
- Stowe, Dorothy (25 March 1982). "Choir to perform in 8 European cities". Deseret News.
- "Chor leaves trail of joy". Deseret News. 6 July 1991.
- Avant, Gerry (25 December 1992). "Tabernacle Choir to Embark on first tour of Israel". Deseret News.
- Stowe, Dorothy (11 September 1979). "Response to choir warm and joyous". Deseret News.
- "News of the Church: Tabernacle Choir Performs in Brazil", Ensign: 106–107, May 1981
- "Choir heads for South Pacific". The Bulletin. 20 May 1988.
- Rice, Bill (26 June 2003). "Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour making stop at SPAC". The Daily Gazette.
- "Newsroom: Mormon Tabernacle Choir Announces 2011 Tour to the Eastern United States and Canada", LDS.org, LDS Church, 14 January 2011
- "Mormon Tabernacle Choir Releases 2013 Midwest Tour Schedule". Lds.org. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Atlantic Coast Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour Announced". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 11 April 2014.
- "Seven Cities Announced for 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir European Tour". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 5 February 2016.
- Michael De Groote (2010-12-20). "Looking at Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmases". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Edward Reichel (2008-12-07). "Singer praises Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Wilberg". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "Photo: Natalie Cole performs with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir". Deseret News. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "David Archuleta to sing with Mormon Tabernacle Choir". KSL.com. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- Means, Sean P. (2011-10-06). "Nathan Gunn, Jane Seymour joining Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Christmas". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City, UT: MediaNews Group. ISSN 0746-3502. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Burger, David (2012-12-07). "Alfie Boe and Tom Brokaw bring star power to Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City, UT: MediaNews Group. ISSN 0746-3502. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- "Christmas from Heaven: The Candy Bomber Story (Narrated by Tom Brokaw)". YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Eagar, Emilee (October 8, 2013), "Soprano, British actor to join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Christmas concerts", Deseret News
- "2014 Christmas Guests Are Brought to You by the Letters F-U-N!!!". Mormontabernaclechoir.org. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- R. Scott Lloyd (16 October 2014). "Sesame Street Muppets, Santino Fontana to join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Christmas concert". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- "Announcing the 2015 Christmas Concert Guest Artists". mormontabernaclechoir.org. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "The King's Singers Join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 2016 Pioneer Day Concert". 7 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "National Medal of Arts Recipients for 2003". The White House. 2002-11-12. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About the Mormon Tabernacle Choir". Mormontabernaclechoir.org. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "BYU Broadcasting, Tabernacle Choir Awarded Emmys - Church News and Events". Lds.org. 2013-11-23. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- Toone, Trent (27 February 2015). "Mormon Tabernacle Choir inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame". deseretnews.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Battle Hymn of the Republic and John Brown Song". americanmusicpreservation.com. PineTree Multimedia Productions. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Wakley, Ralph (1987-02-12). "Morman Tabernacle Choir Plans 3000th Broadcast". The Schenectady Gazette. 93 (116). Schenectady, NY: Daily Gazette Co. UPI. p. 6. ISSN 1050-0340. OCLC 20836106. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Williams, Danna (2013-07-12). "George Foster Peabody Award Winners" (PDF). peabodyawards.com. Athens, GA: George Foster Peabody Awards. p. 23. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- "Choir honored for love of God, country", Church News, 1988-11-26.
- "Newsroom: Mormon Tabernacle Choir Honored with Mother Teresa Award", LDS.org, LDS Church, 20 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "A conversation with Mormon convert and 7-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight". DeseretNews.com. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1 December 2014). "Sting Praises the Mormon Tabernacle Choir". Retrieved 13 September 2016 – via YouTube.
- Scott D. Pierce (25 September 2004). "Scott Pierce: PBS special salutes choir". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "James Taylor: Singing with Mormon Tabernacle Choir 'worth the wait'". DeseretNews.com. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Rivers Cuomo Is Trying to Be All Right". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Osmonds, Mormon Tabernacle Choir excited for 'milestone' marking Pioneer Day concerts". DeseretNews.com. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "America's Choir - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "America's Choir by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Choose Something Like a Star - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Choose Something Like a Star by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Spirit of the Season - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Spirit of the Season by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns & Spirituals - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD tops Billboard category". DeseretNews.com. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Heavensong: Music of Contemplation and Light by Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra At Temple Square & Mack Wilberg on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD is No. 1 on Billboard's classical chart". DeseretNews.com. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "100: Celebrating A Century of Recording Excellence by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra At Temple Square & Mack Wilberg on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "This Is the Christ - Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "This Is the Christ by Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra At Temple Square & Mack Wilberg on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Glory! Music of Rejoicing by Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Orchestra At Temple Square on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "He Is Risen - Mormon Tabernacle Choir,Orchestra at Temple Square - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "He Is Risen - EP by Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Apple Music". apple.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Taking the Long View of Cinerama". The New York Times. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- Tug-3 (3 November 2000). "Mr. Krueger's Christmas (TV Short 1980)". IMDb. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Berteaux, Kelsey (October 4, 2014), "Mormon Tabernacle Choir Fashion: 1888-Now", LDS Living, Deseret Books
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