Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Choir and Orchestra Recording Messiah for 2016 Release

The Choir and Orchestra presented a stunning Easter concert of Handel’s Messiah to a packed Tabernacle audience and overflow in three additional venues. The program was also viewed on the Choir’s web site and its YouTube channel as an Easter special—the first for such a Choir venture. The Salt Lake Tribune described the concert as a “rousing performance that brought Saturday’s unusually well-behaved audience to its feet cheering.”

Now, May 13 thru 22 in the Tabernacle, Mack Wilberg directs the Choir in 8 days over a two-week period of recording sessions of Handel’s signature work, Messiah. The Choir’s new recording of the venerable, unabridged oratorio will be available in early 2016.

The Tabernacle is not your typical recording studio. The domed ceiling, the rows of pine benches, the gold-plated pipes and the nearly 150 year history of splendid events set the stage for concerts and performances, but recording?

It’s a state of the art facility when it comes to technology and sound. Specialists join the Choir’s seasoned “sound” professionals to lay down tracks in typical recording style. The pioneer builders of the nineteenth century created an acoustical phenomenon in the Tabernacle that lifts the music and wraps it around the listener – even on an MP3 – in luxurious tones. Choir members bring quilts and blankets from home to cover the benches to maximize the sound. And then they go to work.

Each recording session, Tuesday through Saturday and then Tuesday through Thursday the next week focuses on one of the Messiah pieces beginning with “Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates” and concluding with “For Unto Us a Child Is Born.” Associate director Ryan Murphy works from the sound studio while Wilberg brings out the best in the Choir and Orchestra at the podium.

Recording sessions, as expected, are closed to the public though the Thursday rehearsal, May 22, will be open from 8:00–9:30 p.m. For additional updates on the new Messiah CD, click here to sign up.