Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square celebrates 110 years of recording


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – 110 years ago this month, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square completed their first recording.  The choir’s leadership celebrated the milestone by looking back at the choir’s impressive history.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has come a long way in 110 years.

Mack Wilberg, the Music Director for the Choir, said, “We can really attribute much of the continued interest in the choir to technology.  It has always been a wonderful thing for all of us.”

What started with their first recording in 1910 inside the Salt Lake Tabernacle has lead to over 200 recordings. Each showing off the evolution of acoustic recording and its capability.

Wilberg continued, “The choir has always been at the forefront of technology, starting in 1910 with the event that we are celebrating today.  I think technology has opened a completely new world for everything and particularly the choir in its access.”

For that first recording, two large horns hung in the Tabernacle capturing the sound of the choir on September 1, 1910.

Choir Historian Rick Turley explained, “All choir members were asked to face the horns and sing toward them. The choir recorded twelve numbers that evening.”

As technology has evolved, so has the choir. In 2003 the choir launched its recording label.  Now the choir is all about social media and “Digital-first.”  Their YouTube channel has well over 247 million video views.

Choir President Ron Jarrett spoke about how the audience of the choir is expanding, “It is happening a little at a time, but it is spreading all over the world.”

Despite their normal concerts being canceled this year due to the pandemic, the choir is able to reach new audiences, anyone, anywhere to hear the music.

Jarrett added, “The choir and orchestra has been viewed more consistently, more frequently, and been brought to be part of people’s lives more consistently as they worship from home.”

And now the choir debuts something a bit different, this ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” music video. It is just the latest from this historic choir.

Learn more about The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

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