Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a large choir of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). Since July 15, 1929, the choir has performed a weekly radio broadcast called Music and the Spoken Word. It is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America. The show has also been televised since the early 1960s and is now broadcast worldwide through some 1,500 radio, television, and cable stations.
Called "America's Choir" by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made up of some 325 men and women, all of whom are volunteers. There are many husband-wife combinations and many families have participated in the choir for generations.
The choir was founded in August 1847, one month after the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. The choir is completely self-funded, traveling and producing albums to support their organization. Choir members are not paid for their participation or performances.
From its first national tour in 1893 to the Chicago World's Fair the choir has performed in locations around the world, including Western Europe (1955, 1973, 1998), Central America (1968, 1972), the Far East (1979), Brazil (1981), Scandinavia (1982), Japan (1985), Australia/New Zealand (1988), Central Europe and the former Soviet Union (1991), and Israel (1993).
It has also participated in several significant national events, including the bicentennial at Constitution Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1987), the American Bicentennial in Washington, D.C. (July 4 1976), and funeral services for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (April 12 1945) and John F. Kennedy (November 24 1963).
The choir has a list of prestigious awards. The choir has earned the National Medal of Arts (2003) and its radio broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word has been inducted into the National Broadcasters Association 's hall of fame. It has also received two Peabody Awards for service to American Broadcasting (1944, 1962) and it was awarded the Freedom Foundation 's "George Washington Award" (1981, 1988). The choir was awarded a Grammy for its rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Since its first recording in 1910, the choir has earned five gold records and one platinum record. The choir has made over three-hundred recordings and continues to produce albums today. For some live performances and albums, the choir had collaberated with large orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Boston Pops Orchestra and the newly formed Orchestra at Temple Square.
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