Donald Ripplinger: Mormon Conductor
Ripplinger was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. He served for two years in the Merchant Marines then served as a full-time missionary in Toronto, Canada. Although he studied piano, played instruments, and sang in school choirs, his dedication to music did not emerge until his mission when he accompanied the mission quintet. He pursued music education and earned an associates degree from Weber College, a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and a master’s degree in music and a PhD degree in public school administration from the University of Utah. He taught school in Beaver and Salt Lake City, Utah, for over fifteen years. He was an associate professor of music, choral director, chairman of the graduate music faculty and director of music education at the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point from 1970 to 1975. In 1975 he became a professor of music education/conducting at BYU and began directing the University Chorale. He also accepted a position with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and served in both concurrently. He was called as full-time associate conductor of the choir in 1990 and retired in 1995. He was also the choir’s administrative assistant.
Seven children were born to Ripplinger and his wife, Myra.