Orchestra at Temple Square
In 1999, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the creation of a symphonic orchestra that would accompany the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and draw upon the talents of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Up until that time, the choir had performed and recorded with numerous world-renowned orchestras, but never on the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts. The Orchestra at Temple Square accompanies the choir during most of the worldwide broadcasts and has added dimension in sound and repertoire to the choir’s concerts and performances.
According to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir website, the orchestra is comprised of 200 volunteers and each week up to 85 musicians provide instrumental support to the Choir in the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. Musicians are called and set apart as musical missionaries. Some are professional musicians, some music teachers, and some don’t work in a music field but have acquired and kept up professional-caliber skills.
The orchestra performs with the choir in the annual Christmas concert, Pioneer Day celebration, and other special events. The orchestra also accompanies the choir on biennial concert tours across North America. The orchestra presents fall and spring symphonic concerts in the Tabernacle and also accompanies the Temple Square Chorale.