Craig Jessop

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Craig Jessop is an American academic, musician and singer best known for his tenure as the music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1999 to 2008.


A native of Millville, Utah, Jessop has been a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a student of Robert Shaw and received his B. A. from Utah State University, M. A. from Brigham Young University and Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stanford University.

He has been the director of the National High School Choir Festival for the four years of its existence. The event, held at New York's Carnegie Hall, auditions schools from around the country to inspire and enable young singers in learning great works of music and performing with renowned musicians from around the world.

Jessop retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force where, among other assignments, he conducted the USAF Singing Sergeants for seven years. He has also spent seven years as a baritone with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and performed in the choirs of Helmuth Rilling and John Rutter.

Jessop was named Associate Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1995 and became Music Director in 1999. Under Jessop's direction the Utah choir won many awards, including the Special Recognition Award from the International Radio and Television Society Foundation and a National Medal of Arts presented by George W. Bush. He served in that position until March 4, 2008.

Jessop was named head of the Music Department at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, in May 2008 and director of The American Festival Chorus and Orchestra headquartered in Logan. He has been dean of the University’s Caine College of the Arts since it was formed in 2010. The CCA was created out of a split of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences into two separate colleges.

Jessop was the recipient of the 2013 Madeleine Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts and Humanities, which included his nine years as music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and his leadership of Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts. The award is presented annually as part of the Madeleine Festival of the Arts and Humanities to individuals who have made “comprehensive and long-term contributions to the arts and humanities in Utah.”[1]

Jessop and his wife have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.