Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Fog, Cancelled Flights, and No Sleep: How the Choir Almost Missed Lyndon B. Johnson’s Inauguration

Wake Up Call

It was 3 a.m. on a foggy morning Tuesday, January 19, 1965 in Utah, the day before the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s first-ever performance at a presidential swearing-in ceremony. Choir members were awakened by Choir secretaries alerting them that they might leave for Washington D.C. via Hill Air Force Base instead of the Salt Lake Airport. All Choir members were originally supposed to meet at 5:45 a.m., which was then delayed until later in the morning, due to changing weather conditions.

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Starting 2017 with the Choir School!

Thomas S. Monson, LDS Church president and advisor to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said, “There is no better time in all the world to make important choices than…at the beginning of a new year.”  For 34 talented singers, 2017 brought the wonderful choice and opportunity to participate in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Choir School. This once-a-year training is the last step in the audition process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir whose singers serve as good will ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The process for these singers to become Choir members began nearly six months ago when applications to audition became available. A rigorous three-phase audition process followed that included submitting a voice recording, a written musical skills assessment, and an in-person audition. These 34 applicants made it through all three steps and were invited to participate in the Choir School to fine tune their vocal and ensemble skills as the final step to becoming a member of the Choir.

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Check Out Our Updated Calendar Pages!

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life.” To keep up with change, most of us rely on a good calendar. Over the past year, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been working to simplify and improve communication on its website calendar. The goal was to help patrons and visitors be better informed about Choir organization concerts, rehearsals, live performances of Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts, daily Temple Square organ recitals, radio and TV specials, and other events.

Just in the time for the new year, the new calendar pages are here!  You can find the new calendar as the first item on the “Events and Tickets” drop-down menu on www.mormontabernaclechoir.org. Included on the calendar page are scheduled events for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, and the daily organ recitals given on Temple Square.

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70 Million YouTube Views

Happy New Year—and a HUGE thank you for watching our videos! We have just surpassed 70 million views and have no plans to slow down.

Each week, new Music and the Spoken Word episodes are added to our YouTube channel. Some of the big additions to our channel this year include, The Wexford Carol (Music Video), Christmas videos from Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes, Pioneer Day videos from the King’s Singer’s, “God Be with YouTill We Meet Again” (from the European tour sung in German and Dutch) and behind the scenes videos, including Rolando Villazón rehearsing, a Hallelujah! album premiere, and a tour of the Tabernacle attic.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings at Utah Governor’s Inauguration

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed at the first of two inaugurations this month. On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, the Choir performed three songs for the inauguration of Utah’s 17th governor, Gary Herbert. The songs performed were “Climb Every Mountain,” “They, the Builders of the Nation” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

During Herbert’s inaugural address he praised the Utah pioneer spirit, which goes along with the lyrics of “They, the Builders of the Nation,” saying that the early Mormon pioneers faced "grueling weather and the sickness and hunger that made up the hardship of the trail. They persevered." He continued, "They unselfishly built the roads and bridges for those who would subsequently follow, improving the way for their success.”

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The Speeding Train That Never Stops!

Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, has often said that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is like “a speeding train never stopping to let its passengers off.”  Indeed, the work of the Choir and the Orchestra rarely takes a breather.  On January 1, 2017, when many people will be sleeping in from New Year’s festivities, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square will be in the Tabernacle bright and early to prepare their first Music and the Spoken Word broadcast of the new year.

Music and the Spoken Word has been continuously broadcast since 1929, and the January 1 program will be the Choir’s 4,555th broadcast – a record of continuous network broadcasting unsurpassed by any other program. The program can be viewed on radio, television, or streamed over the Internet and from the Choir website anywhere in the world.

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“Music and the Spoken Word” Christmas Day Broadcast Finishes an Amazing Year!

Christmas Day Music and the Spoken Word Special

Sunday, December 25, 2016, the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast will feature a collection of Christmas performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Tabernacle organist, Richard Elliott.  This program will include Richard Elliott’s famous organ solo “Go, Tell It on The Mountain” which recently surpassed 1-million views on YouTube.

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Jordan Smith’s “O Holy Night” Featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Is Amazing!

In 2015, Jordan Smith became the best-selling artist in the history of The Voice and won season 9. He sold 1.5 million singles in a six-month period and landed eight songs in the iTunes Top 10 chart, including three no. 1’s.

In October 2016, Smith released his first Christmas album titled ’Tis the Season. The album is currently charting in the top 10 on iTunes and top 20 on Billboard. The album includes classics such as “Silent Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and many more. However, the track that’s gaining the most popularity is “O Holy Night,” which features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Sing at the U.S. Presidential Inauguration

At the request of the U. S. Presidential Inauguration Committee, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has accepted an invitation to sing at the swearing-in ceremony during the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol next month in Washington, D.C.

On January 20, 2017, the Choir will perform during the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Michael R. Pence.

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