The Temple Square Chorale
n response to the
call of President Gordon B.
Hinckley 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.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Associate Music Director
Ryan Murphy directs the Chorale. However, singing
is only part of the experience.
Cherilyn Worthen is director of the training school
which provides instruction in areas such as vocal
technique, sight reading skills, and music theory.
Worthen is assisted by Choir Vocal Coach Rebecca
Wilberg and Temple Square Organists Bonnie
Goodliffe and Linda Margetts.
Under the leadership of Murphy and Worthen the Chorale
conducts two 12-week sessions each
year. Each session allows the Chorale the
opportunity to focus on major choral works—a
luxury not often afforded within the rigorous
schedule of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In the
past, the Chorale has performed such works as
St. Matthew Passion by Bach, King David by
Honegger, Requiem by Mozart and Saul by
The membership of the Temple Square Chorale
with each new three-month session. Each session
includes a number of new applicants who have
the rigorous audition requirements for the
Tabernacle Choir, which include taped and in
vocal auditions as well as a detailed music
aptitude exam. To round out the membership for
given session, Murphy works with Mack Wilberg,
Music Director of the Choir, to identify current
Mormon Tabernacle Choir members who complete
in-service training with the Chorale to hone and
improve their musical skills. Total membership
the Chorale varies with each session, but it
usually numbers between 70 and 80 members.
The culmination of each three-month session is
performance of a major choral piece. The
is accompanied in these performances by members
the Orchestra at Temple Square.
The preparation of new Choir members and the
further training of present members is
to be an effective step in fulfilling President
Hinckley’s charge to improve the Choir’s
performance and reputation.