Historic Timeline

Additional Resource

August 22, 1847

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has its first performance at a General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (29 days after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley).



The first, or “old,” Tabernacle is completed in Salt Lake City.


October, 1867

The present dome-roofed Tabernacle is completed, including a new, larger organ.


July 4, 1873

The first Mormon Tabernacle Concert is presented in the Tabernacle.


September, 1893

The Choir completes its first major tour to the Chicago World’s Fair and Expositions contest. It won second place in the contest with a cash award of $1,000.


September 1, 1910

The first recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are made for the Columbia Phonograph Company.



The Choir performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City and at the White House for President William Howard Taft.


July 15, 1929

First nationwide radio broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word with Ted Kimball, announcer, originating from KDYL, predecessor of today’s KSL radio in Salt Lake City.


June, 1930

Richard L. Evans becomes the voice of the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. He remains the voice until October of 1971.



The first commercial recording by the Choir. “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Salt Lake City, Volume I,” is released for sale.


August, 1955

The first Choir concert tour to Europe, with stops in Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and France, is completed.


November, 1959

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” earns the Choir a Grammy award in the “Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus” category.


July 23, 1962

First around-the-earth broadcast of a Choir performance via the new Telstar satellite originating from Mount Rushmore.


October 14, 1962

First televised broadcast of the Choir.


January, 1965

The Choir performs at the inauguration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.


July, 1976

The Choir participates in U.S. Bicentennial tours in Utah, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Washington D.C.



Music and the Spoken Word receives a Freedom Foundation Award for its Fourth of July Broadcast.


January 20, 1981

The Choir performs at the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, who names it “America’s Choir.”


August, 1984

The Choir performs at the Olympic Gala for the Los Angeles Summer Olympics Games.



The Choir wins an Emmy award for “Christmas Sampler,” with Shirley Verrett.



The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is honored with a Freedom Foundation award for its contributions to promoting patriotic pride in America.


January, 1989

The Choir performs at the inauguration of President George H. W. Bush, who calls it “a national treasure.”


June-July, 1991

The Choir performs on a tour through Eastern Europe, including performances in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Russia.


December, 1992 - January, 1993

The Choir tours Israel and performs with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.


August, 1995

The Choir travels to Washington D.C.  and New York, and premieres “An American Requiem” by James DeMars.


June, 1998

The Choir tours and performs in England, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.


December, 1999

Craig Jessop becomes 14th Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


January 20, 2001

The Choir performs at the inauguration of President George W. Bush.


September 11, 2001

A regular scheduled Choir concert becomes a September 11 memorial service.


September 15, 2001





The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs in a nationally broadcast church service on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for September 11 victims.


February, 2002

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs 20 times during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City including during the Opening Ceremony.


March, 2003

The Choir launches its solely-owned record label, Mormon Tabernacle Choir® and releases its first album on that label, “Consider the Lilies.”


June, 2003

Choir receives Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America.


June 24-

July 11, 2003

The Choir tours the Northeast United States on its most prestigious American tour ever. Almost 600,000 people are on the Charles River Esplanade on July 4th with the Boston Pops and millions more watch the concert on local and national television.


July 2, 2003

Choir receives Special Recognition Award by the International Radio and Television Society Foundation.


November, 2003

Choir receives National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush.


April 20, 2004

Choir and its Music and the Spoken Word broadcast is inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.


July 18, 2004

3,909th broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, marking the conclusion of the 75th year of continuous network broadcasting features noted radio and TV personality, Charles Osgood.


November, 2004

The first Christmas CD on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir® label, Sing, Choirs of Angels!, becomes the first Choir recording to make Billboard Magazines’ Top 25 Christian chart.


June 18 - July 2, 2005




The Choir and Orchestra conduct a 15-day tour to the Pacific Northwest visiting 8 cities including Boise, ID, Spokane and Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV.


December, 2005

PBS broadcast of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square featuring Audra MacDonald and Peter Graves receives 97.25 % coverage.


December, 2005

Christmas Concerts with Renée Fleming and Claire Bloom.


August, 2006

Salute to the Armed Forces/Christmas in August Concert with Sandi Patty, Crook & Chase, The Band of the Air Force Reserve, (Feed the Children) for Hill Air Force Base and Utah Servicemen and Servicewomen.

September 26, 2006

  Release of Wonder of Christmas.

November 19, 2006

Mother Teresa Award presented to Choir by Father Mayo of the Catholic Diocese of Utah.


December, 2006

Christmas Concerts with Sissel.



February, 2007

Release of Showtime.

April-May, 2007

Gala Reopening of Historic Tabernacle.

June-July 2007

Canada/Midwest Tour to Toronto, Canada; Chautauqua, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinios; Cincinnati, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; and Memphis, Tennessee.


September 2007

Release of Spirit of the Season featuring guest artist Sissel.

December 2007

Christmas Concerts with The King’s Singers.


March 2008

Release of Called to Serve.

August 2008

The Choir and Orchestra perform in Sun Valley with guest artist Denyse Graves.


September 2008

Denyce Graves and Brian Stokes Mitchell to join Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony for Tanner Gift of Music Concert. Erich Kunzel of the Cincinnati Pops conducts.


September 2008

Release of Rejoice and Be Merry featuring guest artists The King’s Singers


December 2008

Christmas concerts featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Herrmann.


December 2008

Release of Praise to the Man.

March 2009

Release of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

June 2009

Central States Tour to Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Norman, Oklahoma; and Denver, Colorado.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.