The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, one of the oldest and largest choirs in the world, has performed before U.S. presidents, sold millions of records, won scores of awards and enthralled audiences in dozens of countries.
The choir is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The choir is composed of 360 volunteer singers ages 25-60 who are members of the Church. They practice and perform weekly and are accompanied frequently by the Orchestra at Temple Square.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century. A small choir first sang for a conference of the Church on 22 August 1847, just 29 days after the first pioneers arrived to settle the Salt Lake Valley.
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West of the Salt Lake Temple stands the historic Mormon Tabernacle, home to the choir. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir got its name from the structure.
Accompanying the choir in the great auditorium is the 11,623-pipe Tabernacle organ, featuring prominent golden pipes made of round wood staves, hand-carved from Utah timber. Ten pipes from the original organ, built in 1867, are still functioning today.
The choir is best known for its weekly Sunday broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, which originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. This program is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America.
Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989, dubbed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir “America’s Choir” in 1981 when the choir sang at his inauguration.
Concert tours over the years have taken the choir to the great concert halls of North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.
During the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City — 8-24 February 2002 — the choir performed at the official closing ceremonies.
The choir’s recordings have earned two platinum and five gold albums, including a Grammy Award-winning rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The choir has recorded with some of the world’s great orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.