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The First Presidency Announces New Voice for ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

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The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has named Derrick Porter as the new executive producer, principal writer, and presenter of “Music & the Spoken Word,” replacing Lloyd Newell, who has served for the past 34 years.

“This kind of announcement is very rare, considering that during the past three decades we’ve all become accustomed to hearing Lloyd Newell on Sunday mornings,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of the Church and an advisor to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. “We are thrilled about the future of this program and know it will continue to bring peace and hope in a troubled world through its music and messages each week.”

Porter, 42, resides in Bountiful, Utah. He and his wife, Rebecca, are the parents of six children. He currently serves as a bishop in his local congregation.

“Rebecca and I marveled as we’ve reflected upon this call extended by President Nelson,” Porter said. “I am sincerely humbled at the opportunity to serve as a steward to carry on this great legacy.”

Lloyd Newell has served as writer and presenter of the Spoken Word since 1990. Only two others have been the announcer of the Choir on the weekly broadcast — Elder Richard L. Evans and J. Spencer Kinard. Newell and his wife, Karmel, have been called to serve as mission leaders for the California Los Angeles Mission and will begin their service in mid-June.

“What an honor and blessing to begin every Sunday morning with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for more than half my life,” Newell said. “I can’t begin to capture the many meaningful moments I have shared with the Choir. It has been a sacred trust to prepare and deliver inspirational Spoken Words over so many years, and now my wife and I look forward to serving the Lord in new ways.”

Choir President Michael O. Leavitt expressed appreciation for Newell’s service and optimism for the future of Music & the Spoken Word.

“We express our gratitude to Lloyd, who served as someone trusted and admired by millions who have become accustomed to his soothing voice and trademark wisdom on Sunday morning” Leavitt said. “We are delighted for the Newells and their new assignment. Derrick represents the beginning of a new era for Music & the Spoken Word, and we have plans that will help carry the messages from this beloved program to people throughout the world in new and exciting ways.”

Newell’s last Sunday broadcast with the choir will be June 16. Porter will deliver his first Music & the Spoken Word message the following week, June 23.

Music & the Spoken Word is the world’s longest-running broadcast and has served as a beacon of peace and healing for 95 years. You can find more information about Music & the Spoken Word by visiting the Choir’s website, www.thetabernaclechoir.org.

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