Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Performs "Sing!" based on Toccata, from Organ Symphony No.5

If you could imagine the music for a royal wedding ceremony, you just might imagine “Toccata,” which is the fifth movement of Symphony for Organ No. 5 by Charles-Marie Widor, composed in 1879. “Toccata" is Widor’s most famous piece and has been used at royal weddings in Denmark, Norway and England, including the ceremony of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton.

David Willcocks wrote the lyrics to “Sing” years later to the same accompaniment of the “Toccata” movement. Willcocks, who was born in 1919, is British composer, conductor, and organist. On December 30, 2009, a celebration was held for his 90th birthday, at which Willcocks himself conducted the King’s College Choir.

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“Whistle While You Work” and “Heigh Ho!”—Two Songs That Helped Create a Cornerstone for Disney

Music has a power for uniting people unlike anything else. People from all over the world and different cultures can be united with the power of music, even in the workplace. Music has been known to improve team spirit and provide feelings of happiness for workers in times of stress or hardship. The song “Whistle While You Work” is a perfect illustration of how we can emphasize the fun rather than the monotony of work. It written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey for the famous Disney animation film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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Alex Boyé Joins Choir for Atlantic Coast Tour

Think of it: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing at Yankee Stadium and at Carnegie Hall. And now, the Choir is pleased to announce a guest performer will join them for their Atlantic Coast tour -- Alex Boyé. The tour will include stops in Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts from June 25 through July 6, 2015 and will feature the 360-voice world-renowned choir and 68 members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Boyé served as a volunteer member of the Choir until 2014. He was often a featured soloist for songs such as “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” “Goin’ Home,” and “Rock-a My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.” His departure from the Choir was to focus on his rapidly expanding YouTube and professional speaking career. But he left with a promise: he would join the Choir whenever it asked.

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"Down By the Riverside": The History and Lyrics

“Down By the Riverside” is a spiritual that was sung by slaves in the South as a work song. It dates back to before the American Civil War but remained unpublished until 1918, when it was included in Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland.

The song refers to biblical imagery such as baptism (white robe), the River Jordan, Jesus (Prince of Peace) and heaven (road to heaven). “Down By the Riverside” also has been known by the alternative titles of “Ain’ Go’n to Study War No Mo,” “Going to Pull My War-Clothes,” and “Ain't Gwine to Study War No More.”

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A Hopeful New Study on How a Boy’s Voice Changes Over Time

You may recall the Brady Bunch episode called “Dough Re Mi” in which Peter Brady’s voice begins to crack while rehearsing a new song with his siblings. In the episode, Peter’s brother Greg decides to alleviate the situation by writing a new song called “Time to Change,” which was designed to mask the voice cracking—hence the word change

Many years ago, boys were told to stop singing once their voices changed and return to it when they were adults, as the male voice was considered to be “broken” once adolescence arrived. While it isn’t quite like that anymore, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Boychoir hope to make a voice breakthrough (pun intended). Christopher Eanes, artistic director of the Boychoir, said he hopes the study will discover how best to teach a boy to steer his voice through puberty.

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Spring Concert Showcases Chorale and Orchestra

The April 17 and 18 spring concert is what some might call a double-header! The program will feature both the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Temple Square Chorale in an evening of rich classical music. The evening's performances will be led by the baton of Ryan Murphy, associate music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and conductor of the Temple Square Chorale.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle, the first half of the concert will feature the Orchestra performing Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn by Johannes Brahms and the Overture to The Bartered Bride. The Temple Square Chorale, the training ensemble for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, will perform Mozart's Requiem, one of the most storied and enigmatic works in the classical canon, in the concert's last half.

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The Unique Story Behind the Children’s Hymn “Love Is Spoken Here”

What do you do when you can’t find the perfect title for a song contest, and the deadline is only two days away? Simple, you ask your husband—that’s just what Janice Kapp Perry did while attending a church party. As she and her husband, Doug, were leaving the party, he looked above the kitchen sink and saw a cross-stitch sampler that read, “Love Is Spoken Here.” He said, “There’s your title, get busy.”

When Perry submitted the song in the annual LDS Church songwriting contest, it not only took first place but quickly became part of our Church culture and was included in the Children’s Songbook.

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"Goin' Home" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Alex Boyé

The song “Goin’ Home” is based on Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony no. 9—specifically the Largo movement. The song was written by William Arms Fisher, who was one of Dvorak’s student’s. Fisher arranged and adapted Dvorak’s Largo theme and wrote his own lyrics.

Many of Dvorak’s themes were inspired by African-American spirituals, which he heard in America. “I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them,” said Dvorak.

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21,000 Voices Close Out Choral Conference

The American Choral Directors Association –singers, conductors, composers by the thousands --came to Salt Lake City for a three day conference the last week of February and witnessed the induction of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. They also attended concerts by the Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square in the Tabernacle and Conference Center, were given a simulated opportunity to sing with the Choir, and celebrated with guest artists and ACDA honor choirs in the finale of the highly successful conference.

American Classical Music Hall of Fame honored the Choir for its more than 140 years of choral arts and contributions to the world of classical music. Since its beginning in 1998, the Hall of Fame has inducted 128 musicians from George Gershwin to John Williams to Renée Fleming, and now the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Choir’s medallion is the latest in a long line of significant honors, including a Grammy, three Emmys, the National Medal of the Arts, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Radio Hall of Fame.

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