Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ: Celebrating 150 Years!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ. The then-newly constructed pipe organ made its debut in October 1867 during the first general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. In the 150 years that have followed, the Tabernacle organ has served as the iconic backdrop for meetings and events broadcast throughout the world. The image of the Tabernacle organ itself has become widely known as a symbol of the Church and of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

At that first 1867 meeting in the Tabernacle, Church president Brigham Young announced from the pulpit, “We have commenced [an organ] that I think will do credit to the wilderness we inhabit.” Prior to the industrial revolution, organs were considered one of the most complicated man-made creations. Brigham Young asked 35-year-old Joseph Harris Ridges, who had built only one other organ while living in Australia, to build the organ for the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

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Lindsey Stirling Wins a Billboard Music Award

In the summer of 2013, a spritely Lindsey Stirling took the stage in front of 21,000 people with her trusty violin. She was a guest artist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Pioneer Day concert. At this point in her career, Stirling’s star was already on the rise. In 2010, she became a quarterfinalist on America’s Got Talent, where she gained a loyal following. Shortly after, her videos on YouTube began to gain viewership in the millions, and by 2012, Stirling’s song “Crystallize” made no. 8 on the top ten list of videos of 2012, with 42 million views.

One month before the Pioneer Day concerts with the Choir, Stirling’s self-titled debut album was certified gold in Germany, followed by Switzerland and Austria. To date, Stirling has released three full-length albums and a large number of singles, including a Star Wars medley with Peter Hollens, “The Show Must Go On” with Celine Dion, and “Radioactive” with Pentatonix, to name a few.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s First Facebook Live

On May 16, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir held its first-ever Facebook Live event from the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The live event was to discuss the new album Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends. The live format was an alternative to Mormon Tabernacle Choir Premieres, which is normally recorded in a studio setting.

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Choir Notes Makeover: Trying Harder to Be Better!

Choir Notes, the weekly newsletter of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, has a whole new look! With the rollout of this new format, the Choir is continuing to meet the challenge given by Gordon B. Hinckley, past President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and adviser to the Choir organization for 36 years, to “try a little harder to be a little better.” The changes are designed to make the newsletter easier to read on all digital devices, more visually appealing and to provide a variety of information to subscribers.

The world depends more every day on digital devices to access needed information anywhere at any time. The Choir is working to keep pace. In 2003, its website went online. In 2005, the first Choir Notes digital newsletter was sent out. Choir organization social media accounts followed with a Facebook page in 2008, a Twitter account in 2009, and a YouTube channel in 2012. was redesigned and relaunched in 2013 along with a Choir app for both iOS and Android devices.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends CD: Five Ways to Learn More!

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released their latest album, Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends, on May 12, 2017! This compilation of exceptional performances provides listeners a very different slice of the music of the Choir and Orchestra. Here are five ways to learn more about this new recording:

1. Watch the introductory Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends video.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir: By the Numbers!

Although the Mormon Tabernacle Choir name is well known, many may not know “by the numbers” what the Choir organization has accomplished. For those who love details, here are the facts:

3,500,000,000—Over 3.5 billion television viewers saw the Choir perform in the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. 

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Choir Members Volunteer “For the Joy of Music”

When composer-conductor John Williams conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during the Cultural Olympiad for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City he observed: “These are people who are there for the joy of music. It’s not a job with them; it’s a mission.”

John Williams was correct. Sharing their joy—and love—of music is what the Mormon Tabernacle Choir members, all volunteers, have in common. Being a Choir member is not a “job.” They have employment and family responsibilities outside of their Choir experience, but they volunteer their time and talents to share with others the joy that comes through uplifting music.

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Bells on Temple Square Concert: “An Expedition of Sound”

The Bells on Temple Square will present “An Expedition of Sound” on Friday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

This spring concert, led by LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells on Temple Square, will feature the talented versatility of the handbell choir playing on two sets of English handbells (one with 7 octaves and one with 6½ octaves) and two 6-octave sets of hand chimes. The music for the evening will explore a variety of musical genres from hymns, folk music, and classical to jazz, gospel, and patriotic. In keeping with the pattern of Bells on Temple Square concerts, the handbell numbers will be interspersed with organ solos by Temple Square organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts, as well as pieces by members of the Orchestra at Temple Square

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80 Million YouTube Views!!!

Just four short months since reaching 70 million YouTube views, our channel has hit another milestone—80 million views! Thank you for your hours and hours of watching Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos.

One of our most recent videos, “Beauty and the Beast,” by Angela Lansbury, is a glimpse of what’s to come on the Choir’s upcoming album Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Friends. The album is due in May and can be preordered on Amazon or Deseret Book.

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New Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends CD announced!

On May 12, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will release their newest recording, Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends, featuring twelve special performers who have all become dear friends. Even though the official release date is in May, the CD is available now for pre-order on Deseret Book and Amazon.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been performing for over 170 years. During those years, the Choir has become a leading choral ensemble, earned global recognition for its unique heritage and sound, and enjoyed the privilege of collaborating with some of the finest musical talents—not only in the sacred choral repertory for which the Choir is renowned, but in a diverse range of styles and genres, from rock and roll, pop, and Broadway, to classical vocal and instrumental.

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