Skip to main content

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

 Organization

Administrative History

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1852-) is a religious choral group based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the dedication of the adobe tabernacle in 1852, the Mormon choral group which frequently sang at General Conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, adopted the name of their new home and became the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The nucleus of this choir came from a group of eighty-five Welsh converts under the direction of John Parry, who came to the Salt Lake Valley in 1849. The choir continued to perform at ecclesiastical and civic functions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including several national and international tours. In 1929, the choir began airing a weekly radio broadcast, which continues today as Music and the Spoken Word. The choir is currently led by music director Mack Wilberg (2008-). Previous directors included John Parry (1852-1854), Stephen Goddard (1854-1856), James Smithies (1856-1862), Chalres John Thomas (1862-1865), Robert Sands (1865-1869), George Careless (1869-1880), Ebenezer Beesley (1880-1889), Evan Stephens (1890-1916), Anthony C. Lund (1916-1935), J. Spencer Cornwall (1835-1957), Richard P. Condie (1957-1974), Jay E. Welch (1974), Jerold Ottley (1974-1999), and Craig Jessop (1999-2008).

Citation:
America's Choir, 2004: p.19 (named after the old tabernacle in 1852)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 1979: p.84 (first radio broadcast in 1929)

Utah History Encyclopedia, February 1, 2012: Mormon Tabernacle Choir (originated from John Parry's 1849 Welsh converts; notable performances at ecclesiastical and civic events)

Wikipedia, February 1, 2012: List of Mormon Tabernacle Choir music directors (names and dates of the choir's music directors)

Found in 14 Collections and/or Records:

Richard Condie papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 7767
Scope and Contents

This collection includes press clippings from national and local publications highlighting events in Condie's career, especially in relation to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; photographs, books, and scores annotated and marked by Condie during performance or study; and other personal materials such as a typescript of an oral history given by Condie, circa 1950-1970.

Dates: approximately 1950-1970

J. Spencer Cornwall papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3151
Scope and Contents

Collection contains letters, speeches, photographs, and other materials relating to J. Spencer Cornwall's activities and work with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Dates: approximately 1916-1979

J. Spencer Cornwall papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1897
Scope and Contents

Printed and handwritten music scores, correspondence, programs, speeches, a biography of Mary Ellen Spencer, a scrapbook, magazines, notes, and miscellaneous items. The materials relate to Cornwall's work as director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Dates: 1915-1980

Lowell M. Durham papers

 Series
Identifier: MSS 8150
Scope and Contents Contains sheet music, drafts, and clippings by Durham. Includes sheet music for his pieces, as well as compositions by composer Crawford Gates. Collection also contains several materials related to Durham's book on Maurice Abravanel, his research as well on Latter-day Saint musicians, and many newspaper and magazine clippings with news on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, and music programs at the University of Utah. Some personal papers are also included, such as notes, personal...
Dates: 1920-1994

Lowell M. Durham ephemera, 1934-1994

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8150 Series 7
Scope and Contents

Contains miscellaneous material related to Durham. Includes a copy of the book "Worship and Music In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint," a book with programs given by the Utah Symphony, three pamphlets of questions on the Utah Symphony Orchestra, programs from other performances, flyers, and magazines. Also includes audiocassettes from class lectures and tapes of "Abravanel Hour," as well as one floppy disk. Materials date from between 1934 and 1994.

Dates: 1934-1994

Lowell M. Durham papers on Latter-day Saint music, 1920-1993

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8150 Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains Durham's files on Mormon music and musicians. Many of these materials relate to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, including correspondence on replacing the conductor of the choir and clippings of reviews of their performances. Includes mentions on the careers of Jay Welch and Richard Condie. Also includes several pieces of research on Mormon musicians with Ph.D.s in music. Research on hymnody in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is included as well, such as published...
Dates: 1920-1993

Viola Pratt Gillette McFarlane papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 328
Scope and Contents

Newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, publications, and an autobiography. These materials relate to McFarlane's singing career in the United States.

Dates: 1897-1951

Richard Condie choral music, approximately 1892-2011

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7767 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Consists of sacred and folk sheet music scores, both printed and manuscript, primarily for voice with piano accompaniment.

Dates: approximately 1892-2011

Richard Condie correspondence, 1939-09-28 to 1970-07-04

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 7767 Series 5 Sub-Series Sub- 5
Scope and Contents

Sub-Series includes correspondance composed by and addressed to Richard P. Condie.

Dates: 1939-09-28 to 1970-07-04

Richard Condie magazines, approximately 1954 to 1975-04-06

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 7767 Series 4 Sub-Series Sub- 3
Scope and Contents

Sub-Series includes periodical magazines with articles on both Richard P. Condie and The Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir during his time as head director.

Dates: Publication: approximately 1954 to 1975-04-06