Tabernacle Choir members miss singing together

Oct 2, 2020, 9:52 AM
Church leaders condemn protest unity...
It was announced Friday that Disney singer Lea Salonga will be the guest artist at the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square's Christmas concert. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File Photo)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Stephanie Wood went from singing two to six days a week with the Tabernacle Choir, to practicing alone at home or in her car.

“I miss singing in a group,” she said over the phone.

Wood is the alto choir leader and has been in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for almost 20 years.

“We are not meeting in any way.”

This weekend’s 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will again have no live audience, and no live singing.

tabernacle choir pandemic

Photo: Stephanie Wood

Having two back-to-back digital conferences is a first for the church. But modern technology means the choir will still be a part of it.

“95% of everything we do has a microphone in front of it. Almost everything we do is preserved, and much of it also with cameras,” said music director Mack Wilberg recently.

April’s general conference had recordings from previous conferences. Recorded performances also air every Sunday on “Music and the Spoken Word.”

Wood uses the opportunity to sing along, and watch for glimpses of herself and her friends on TV.

“It’s fun to watch the different hair styles I’ve had, and remember the wonderful experiences we’ve had,” she said.

tabernacle choir pandemic

Screen grab from Tabernacle Choir broadcast by Stephanie Wood

The choir has missed conferences before. For example, from 1885 to 1887, Logan, Provo and Coalville hosted the conference, and local choirs and the congregation sang instead.

In October 1955, the choir was returning from a European tour and did not sing at general conference.

And in 1957, a flu epidemic canceled the October general conference.

For now, the choir sends out a weekly email and shares vocal exercises and other music for the singers to use.

“We know we are not meeting at all this year, but we are hopeful for 2021,” said Wood. “It’s my responsibility to make sure I’m ready for when we do come back.”

KSL will carry all four sessions of general conference live on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM or via the KSL NewsRadio app. In addition, we have hours of special content airing before, after and in between sessions. Click here for the programming schedule

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Watershed Enhancement Trust, which aims to get water back to the lake. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret ...
Amie Schaeffer

$40M Great Salt Lake trust beginning work with newly formed council

The council will assist the trust as it looks for solutions to improve lake water levels.
8 hours ago
Legendary quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement after 23 seasons in the NFL....
Ben Church, CNN

Tom Brady announces retirement: ‘I’m retiring for good’

Tom Brady announces retirement.
8 hours ago
A man died early Wednesday morning when he was hit by a driver going the the wrong way on I-15 near...
Amie Schaeffer

One person killed in wrong-way collision on I-15 near Beck Street

According to Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol, a vehicle entered the interstate going southbound in northbound lanes when it hit another car. 
8 hours ago
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish ...
Kate Sullivan and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Nikki Haley expected to announce presidential run in Charleston on Feb. 15

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her intention to run for President in a few weeks.
8 hours ago
Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger (left) and Kevin Systrom are pictured here during the 2019 SXSW ...
Jennifer Korn, CNN

Instagram’s founders are back with a new app

The Instagram founders are back with a new app.
8 hours ago
A bill that could make its way to the Utah legislature in the 2023 session would require school dis...
Mark Jones

Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes

Sen. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) is sponsoring a bill that would call for a slight redesign of the new Utah State Flag.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Tabernacle Choir members miss singing together