Mormon Tabernacle Choir Highlights
Millions of people worldwide are familiar with the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, whether through the choir’s performances in general conference or through programs like the 83-year-old Music and the Spoken Word weekly performance. Less familiar, however, are the day-to-day details regarding this group of singers.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made up of 360 volunteer singers who are 25 to 60 years old. Through the years, the choir has traveled to 28 countries and performed in 37 states and Washington, D.C. They usually fly as a group to the area where they will perform. From there they load onto 11 tour buses, which are followed by 4 buses of luggage and 4 semitrailers carrying equipment. They then travel to various cities, sometimes 6 to 10 hours away.
While traveling, each member of the choir wears a blue name tag printed with the choir logo and his or her name. All choir and orchestra members have been set apart as “music missionaries”; they represent the Church wherever they go.
When choir members are not traveling, their normal week consists of at least one weekday rehearsal, along with productions of Music and the Spoken Word, which is a program broadcast internationally on television and radio each Sunday morning.
Church members accepted into the choir treat it like a calling. When they join the choir, they are told to consider the time commitment equivalent to serving as elders quorum president or Relief Society president in a ward. Once they are accepted into the choir, members may stay for up to 20 years or until they turn 60 years old.
Fun Facts about the Choir
The dresses worn by the women in the choir are designed and sewn by a wardrobe committee.
There are approximately 20 married couples in the choir and in the Orchestra at Temple Square.
The choir has earned two platinum and five gold albums.
The choir has performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents.
Choosing Music for Church Meetings
Well in advance of the meeting, make sure that the presiding authority approves the music that has been selected.
Several days in advance, contact the accompanist so he or she knows which hymns to practice for the meeting.
For sacrament meetings, consider the spirit that each hymn will bring. Opening hymns in sacrament meeting express praise and gratitude to God and for the Restoration of the gospel. Sacrament hymns reflect on the sacrament or on the Savior’s sacrifice. Closing hymns can inspire the congregation to recommit to the covenants they have renewed and can testify of the gospel principles members have learned.
For Relief Society or priesthood meetings, consult with the instructor. He or she may want to suggest a hymn related to the lesson. If the instructor does not have a preference, leaders could suggest a hymn that will supplement the topic of the lesson.
Do You Know the Women in the Scriptures?
See if you can match the descriptions of the women from the scriptures with their names. Use the scripture references if you need help.
My husband comforted me when I mourned because of my sons, who were on a dangerous journey (see 1 Nephi 5:1, 6).
I was a servant in the house of King Lamoni and had been converted to the Lord many years before the king was converted (see Alma 19:16).
When my husband died, I “clave unto” my mother-in-law and told her I would make her people my people and her God my God (see Ruth 1:14, 16).
My people fasted for me when I risked my own life by pleading with the king to spare them (see Esther 4:16).
My name means “mother of all living” (see Genesis 3:20).
I had been a widow for about 84 years when I greeted the infant Jesus at the temple (see Luke 2:36–38).
When the Lord changed my husband’s name, He changed mine to a name meaning “princess” (see Genesis 17:15).
Mary, mother of the Lord
Mary, sister of Martha