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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Known as the Church’s official choir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is named for its home in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square. The more than 350 carefully selected and well-trained vocalists come from all walks of life, serve without pay, and demonstrate great commitment in their service to the Church as they rehearse and perform more than 150 days each year.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The choir is seen and heard weekly “from the crossroads of the West” on its broadcast Music and the Spoken Word, carried internationally to some two thousand radio, television, and cable stations. The Tabernacle Choir is known and beloved worldwide for its more than 150 recordings.

The Tabernacle organ is a complex instrument. Organists control over 11,000 pipes and can communicate with technicians during performances, if necessary. Note how the organ sits on a circular platform that may be swiveled to allow audiences to see different views of the organist and the console.
Photo by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. ©

U.S. presidents have called the Tabernacle Choir “America’s Choir” and “one of America’s greatest treasures.”

The choir has performed at six presidential inaugurations and at other important national occasions, including the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games; the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution of the United States (1987); the American Bicentenary in Washington DC (July 4, 1976); nationwide radio memorial services for John F. Kennedy (November 24, 1963) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (April 12, 1945); and the first worldwide television satellite broadcast, transmitted from Mount Rushmore (1962).

Only a few of the gold-leaf organ pipes in the Tabernacle actually “speak.” Regardless, their grandeur adds to the solemn majesty of the Tabernacle.
Photo by Richard Crookston

The choir has performed extensively in major concert halls throughout the world. Multiple tours have taken the choir to every part of the United States and Canada, Europe, Central America, the Far East, Brazil, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Central Europe, Israel, and the former Soviet Union. The choir has also performed at thirteen world fairs and expositions.

Five gold and two platinum records have been awarded to the choir, and the recording of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia Orchestra won a Grammy Award in 1959. The choir’s first radio broadcast took place July 15, 1929, making Music and the Spoken Word the longest continuous network broadcast in the world.

The choir has also been awarded the Peabody Award for service to American broadcasting (1944, 1962), an Emmy award, and the George Washington Medal of Freedom award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.