The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is making significant changes to broaden the reach of its music and influence. The Choir is redefining its mission and instituting pilot programs to better reach all of God’s children.
In a meeting with the entire Choir membership this week, President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared his vision for the Choir.
“The Church will continue to grow. It will fill the world. It will continue to bless more and more nations, tongues and people,” said President Nelson. “The Lord is hastening his work in the promised global gathering of Israel. You can be sure that the Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra and Bells at Temple Square will be a pivotal part of that era.”
To meet the Choir’s expanded global mission, the Choir Presidency unveiled a new mission statement adding three important words, “throughout the world,” to the existing statement. The expanded mission statement now reads: “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs music that inspires people throughout the world to draw closer to the divine and feel God’s love for His children.”
The Choir Presidency further outlined three pilot projects aimed at fulfilling this more global approach. They include expanding access to “Music and the Spoken Word” throughout the world, increasing the mission impact of Choir travel throughout the world, and reflecting the worldwide membership of the Church in Choir performances.
The first efforts to expand “Music and the Spoken Word” will include foreign-language versions of the weekly broadcast in Spanish and Portuguese, with native speakers giving the Spoken Word and graphics and visuals customized to these geographies. These pilot broadcasts will begin sometime next year.
The Choir’s travel assignments will be shorter and more frequent. Historically, the Choir has traveled every two years. Travel will occur at least annually but for a shorter duration. The Choir will experiment with larger events, joint performances and greater coordination with other Church entities.
The Choir will test this new travel pilot with an assignment to Mexico City on June 13–19, 2023.
Lastly, to better reflect the global membership of the worldwide Church, plans are being made for qualified Latter-day Saint singers from Mexico, Central America, South America, West Africa, the Philippines, and Asia to audition for opportunities to sing with the Choir during general conference in April 2023.
Choir President Michael O. Leavitt explained that this is a pilot aimed at building a deeper sense of kinship and attachment with the Church and the Choir among members and nonmembers of the Church in these countries. “It is possible this will be a one-time event. Or perhaps it will be something we will do periodically. The most likely outcome, however, is that through this pilot project we will gradually see new options and possibilities that will help the Choir better represent the worldwide Church.”
President Leavitt said the Choir will move forward in faith, one step at a time, as it takes steps to “inspire people throughout the world to draw closer to the divine and feel God’s love for His children.”