Jay E. Welch

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Jay E. Welch was a composer, conductor, and music professor. He was the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for only six months in 1974 due to an unexpected illness. He had served as assistant conductor to Richard P. Condie in 1957.

He founded the Jay Welch Chorale and the Salt Lake Repertory Orchestra. He was the first music director of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Orchestra.

He was born on November 6, 1925, in Salt Lake City. At UCLA, he majored in mathematics and minored in music. He studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music and earned a master’s degree in composition from Mills College in Oakland, California. He held a PhD in music from the University of Utah where he was a professor of music for thirty-nine years. He was awarded the prestigious Merit of Honor Award in 2004 by the University of Utah’s Emeritus Alumni Association.

Welch also served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean conflict.

Welch and his wife, Marcelle, served in the France Paris Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had served in the French Mission as a young man. They were the parents of six daughters. He died on December 15, 2008.