Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Jenny Oaks Baker: Special Guest on Music and the Spoken Word

On August 28, 2016, Jenny Oaks Baker, a Grammy Award-nominated, Billboard Magazine No. 1 violin recording artist and performer, will be a special guest on Music and the Spoken Word.

Jenny began playing the violin at age four and made her solo orchestral debut in 1983 when she was only eight years old. She received a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and a master of music degree from the renowned Julliard School in New York City. She has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Strathmore Hall, the Library of Congress, and as guest soloist with the National Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburg Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Utah Symphony. She has also been featured on television and radio broadcasts nationwide, and film soundtracks.

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The Complete King’s Singers Video Collection from the 2016 Pioneer Day Concert

Audiences were wowed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2016 Pioneer Day concert, featuring England’s the King’s Singers. The concert included incredible highlights, such as the King’s Singers performing a moving Primary song medley, an emotional farewell tribute to retiring group member David Hurley, and amazing numbers from the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Here is the complete 2016 Pioneer Day concert, as well as all of the King’s Singers videos from the concert.

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Choir Wardrobe: Ensuring the Choir Is Unified Visually

Many who watch the Choir each week may have noticed something new prior to the Choir’s departure for its 2016 European tour: a new addition to the women’s performance wardrobe.  Many people may not be aware of all of the work and effort that goes into clothing the Choir members for their performances.

One of the Choir’s musical goals is to sing with one voice.  The Choir’s conductors often say that people “listen with their eyes,” so the visual unity of the ensemble is very important. The Choir leadership and staff pay particular attention to the details of concert attire for both women and men.

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Check out our updated Temple Square Organ webpages!

The pipe organs of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are two of the most recognized instruments in the world today. These organs are seen and heard on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly television, radio, and Internet live-streamed broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, annual public television Christmas specials, daily Temple Square recitals, along with numerous recordings, concerts, and conferences.

Many may not be aware that there are several other pipe organs of quality on Temple Square in addition to these two famous instruments. All of these organs see a great deal of use by the five Tabernacle and Temple Square organists, the volunteer roster of guest organists, and by visiting professional organists. All these organs represent a broad range of organ building styles and tonal philosophies, and that variety benefits those who play and hear the instruments. The organs range from the demonstration organ with only 54 pipes to the Tabernacle organ with 11,623 pipes. If you total up the number of pipes from all of the organs on Temple Square, you get 27,048 pipes. That is a lot of tuning for the two full-time organ technicians employed on Temple Square!

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King’s Singers Perform an Emotional Primary Song Medley

When it was announced that the King’s Singers were returning to Salt Lake City to perform in the 2016 Pioneer Day concert, fans knew they were in for a musical treat—what they didn’t know is that the King’s Singers would perform the most epic Primary song medley ever!

If hearing this touching medley isn’t enough, the story that led to the King’s Singers performance of this is equally as touching. Jeffrey Martin, arts manager at Brigham Young University, relates the story of his young son’s sudden passing and how the King’s Singers became involved:

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2016 Summer Tour Coverage Summary

The 2016 European Tour by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will live long in the hearts and memories of all those involved.  Thanks to a team of writers and photographers the 2016 tour will be one of the most chronicled tours in Choir history.  Coverage was provided by Choir and Orchestra members, volunteer Choir staff, Choir digital team members, LDS Church Public Affairs staff from Salt Lake City and Frankfurt, and reporters from the Church News/Deseret News and KSL-TV.  

The articles, stories, and blogs were written and published during the tour with the bulk of the stories being published since the return of the Choir and Orchestra.  To make it easy to review the coverage, we’ve provided a list with links below so you can share many of the thrilling moments of this wonderful European tour.

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"God Be with You Till We Meet Again" Sung in Dutch—Live from The Netherlands

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed the last concert of their 2016 European tour in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at De Doelen concert hall. The hall was originally built in 1934 but was destroyed in 1940 by the German bombardment of Rotterdam at the beginning of World War II. De Doelen was rebuilt in 1966, and additional halls were added in the 1990s.

With each new venue on the tour, space and seating arrangements differed, and De Doelen was no exception. This venue had a huge orchestra pit encircled by Choir members, which stood in front of a beautiful organ. During the concert, the organ was partially highlighted with a hint of blue light, adding an extra touch of beauty to its already stunning design.

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Choir Makes History Again – 60 Years Later!

On Friday, July 15, 2016 at 6 a.m. the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square—in full concert attire—loaded buses outside their Paris hotel to travel to the Eiffel Tower. What made this morning so memorable was the chance to recreate the official 1955 Choir photograph on the same spot outside the Palais de Chaillot with the Eiffel Tower in the background from which the original picture was taken.  (Click here to see the original 1955 photo.)

That 1955 tour was the Choir’s very first international trip. For six weeks, they traveled through the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. Before leaving France, the Choir posed for that official photo with the Eiffel Tower in the background and, according to Choir minutes, sang for services providing newsreel, television, and other media.

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