Mormon Tabernacle Choir
About Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Renamed The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in 2018, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was and remains one of the world's most famous and accomplished choral ensembles. It is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the LDS or Mormon Church, and choristers must be members of the church and recommended by its temple in Salt Lake City, within 100 miles of which they are required to live.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was founded immediately after LDS church founder Brigham Young and his followers arrived in the Salt Lake City area and gave its first performance on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after that event. At first, the choir was quite small, but it grew in size and skill under its first official conductor, John Parry. The choir that performed at the opening of the current Tabernacle in 1867 had 150 members, at the time the largest membership in the U.S. It grew further under director George Careless, who was appointed in 1873. A group of 300 made the first of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's hundreds of recordings in 1910, and the choir remains one of the world's largest regularly constituted groups. In 1929, the choir inaugurated a weekly radio program, Music and the Word, on Salt Lake City's KSL radio; it continues to air and is among the world's longest-running radio programs.
The choir continued to refine its sound and to gain a reputation beyond the Mormon sphere, and by the 1950s, it was performing a regular season of concerts. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 1959 album The Battle Hymn of the Republic earned a Grammy Award, and the choir's recordings often topped sales charts and received gold and platinum sales certifications. The choir has made national and international tours, having appeared in 28 countries and at 13 world's fairs as of this writing; it also performed on national radio broadcasts after the deaths of presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. The choir has also appeared at several presidential inaugurations, including that of Donald Trump in 2017. In 2003, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir formed its own label, and it has moved easily into new media; in 2020, its video performance of the hymn Come Thou Font of Every Blessing surpassed 10,000,000 views.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir collaborates with both classical orchestras and pop artists; its annual Christmas concerts have featured the likes of Gladys Knight, Kristin Chenoweth, and Renée Fleming. The choir's recordings include patriotic music and classical compositions in addition to sacred music. It has rarely performed contemporary music, but it did record the Requiem of Mack Wilberg, its current music director, in 2009. In 2018, in line with LDS church policy regarding the use of the term "Mormon," the choir was renamed The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. In 2019, it released the album Angels Among Us under its new name. ~ James Manheim
ORIGINSalt Lake City, UT
FORMEDAugust 22, 1847