Bonnie Goodliffe: Mormon Musician
Bonnie Lauper Goodliffe was one of the Salt Lake Temple Square organists. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She retired on October 21, 2019, 40 years to the day that she played her first recital as a guest organist in the historic Tabernacle. She was the first female organist to perform on the “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast. Goodliffe, along with Linda Margetts, became the first women to play in general conference sessions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“It was never my dream to have this job because there was no job. It just sort of evolved,” Goodliffe said. “I feel like I was very lucky. I was in the right spot at the right time, and fortunately, I had the right training.”
She was born in 1943 in San Francisco, California, in 1943. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Brigham Young University. She also studied piano and organ at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She became an organist on Temple Square in 1979 and performed with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the Temple Square Chorale, and the Bells on Temple Square. She also performed recitals in the Tabernacle and the Conference Center. Goodliffe will continue to be a guest organist with the Tabernacle’s daily recital series.
She is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. She has held key positions in that organization, such as member of the national certification committee and regional education coordinator. She has published several articles in the Guild’s official magazine, The American Organist.
Goodliffe has an extensive background in music theory and composition. She taught music theory for the 16-week Tabernacle Choir training school held each winter. She is a published composer and arranger. She composed the music for “We Meet Again As Sisters,” which is included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She also served in the Music Committee for the Church at the time this edition of the hymnal was prepared.