Deseret News archives

Founded in August of 1847, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a world-renowned organization. The famous choir tours around the globe, holds a yearly, well-known Christmas concert and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning one of them.

Throughout its travels over the years, the choir has performed for, and with, many prominent individuals.

The following is a look at just a few of the well-known faces the choir has sung alongside, from famous actors and talented musicians to authors and presidents.

Every president of the United States
Deseret News archives

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung for every president of the United States, beginning with President William Howard Taft. Here, choir members are in the Battleship Utah in November 1911 for the presentation of the State Silver Service at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York.

It was during this visit to the East Coast that the choir made its first appearance at the White House for President William Howard Taft.

National broadcasts
Deseret News archives

The choir was involved in national broadcasts honoring the passing of U.S. Presidents Franklin D Roosevelt (April 12, 1945) and John F. Kennedy (Nov. 24, 1963).

In the photo, President John F. Kennedy addresses a large gathering in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Sept. 27, 1963, where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir provided the music.

American Bicentennia
Deseret News archives

On July 4, 1976, the choir sang at the American Bicentennial.

Here, the choir is shown singing at the University of Utah for the concert.

Constitution's bicentennial celebration
Deseret News archives

The choir also participated in the Constitution's bicentennial celebration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

This photo shows hundreds of workers gathered to watch the choir perform at the celebration in 1987.

Jimmy Stewart in 'Mr. Krueger's Christmas'

In 1980, beloved actor Jimmy Stewart starred in the TV special “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas” alongside the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

In the 26-minute film, Stewart portrays Mr. Krueger, a lonely widower who wants to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with other people.

His daydreams allow him to interact with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and enjoy the music of the season.

The scene where the choir begins clapping after Mr. Krueger finishes directing it was the choir’s actual reaction to Stewart’s direction. The applause was a surprise and was unscripted, according to IMDb.com.

Inaugurations of United States Presidents
Deseret News archives

The choir has performed at the inaugurations of United States Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson (1965), Richard M. Nixon (1969), Ronald Reagan (1981), George Bush (1989) and George W. Bush (2001). The picture shows George W. Bush sitting in front of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the State Capitol on Feb. 8, 2002.

Ron Jarrett, former singer and current president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, recalls his experience during the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

"That was my very first tour. It was right after I was accepted into the choir. It was a long, long day, sitting on that float and waiting for our turn to pass by the radio stand. We passed by in the rain and once we were done, we couldn't wait to get back to our dry hotels! But it was so exciting to wave and sing briefly for the new president of the United States," Jarrett said.

2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed more than 20 times. Here, the choir sings the national anthem as well as the “Olympic Hymn” during the opening ceremonies.

"The amazing thing was not so much the millions of people who were watching it on television. That never really crossed my mind," said Ron Jarrett, former singer and current president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. "But I do remember the thousands of people in Rice-Eccles Stadium and all the magic through the lights and flash photography, as well as the music and the pageantry that went on. It was an amazing opportunity."

Yearly Christmas concerts at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City
Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs for a yearly Christmas concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City during the month of December.

The concert includes four shows: a dress rehearsal on Thursday, shows on Friday and Saturday, and a Sunday abbreviated concert after their morning “Music and the Spoken Word” program.

Approximately 84,000 people come to the concert during the four days.

Traditionally, guest artists participate and sing with the choir along with a guest narrator. Listed in the following slides are some past guest artists and narrators.

Gladys Knight and Roma Downey
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Latter-day Saint R&B singer Gladys Knight and actress Roma Downey, best known as Tess's angel/employee in the successful American TV series "Touched by an Angel," performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the 2000 Christmas concert.

Angela Lansbury
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

In the 2001, the choir performed with Actress Angela Lansbury, best known for her 12-year run starring as writer and sleuth Jessica Fletcher on the American television series "Murder, She Wrote."

Walter Cronkite
Deseret News archives

Former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite performed with the choir during the Christmas concert in 2002.

Frederica von Stade and Bryn Terfel
Deseret News archives

In 2003, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade performed with Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel, who has appeared in all major opera houses in the world and has recorded several award-winning CDs.

Audra McDonald and Peter Graves
Deseret News archives

Actress/singer Audra McDonald and actor Peter Graves, who has appeared in many Western films, performed with the choir in the 2004 Christmas concert.

Claire Bloom and Renee Fleming
Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

During the 2005 Christmas concert, Soprano Renee Fleming and actress Claire Bloom performed with the choir.

Sissel Kyrkjebø
KUED

Norwegian vocalist Sissel Kyrkjebø, who sang the Olympic Hymn at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway, sang with the choir in the 2006 Christmas concert.

"I think my favorite artist we have performed with is Sissel," said Ron Jarrett, former singer and current president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. "Her voice was so clear and beautiful; it just took you to a different place. It was just mesmerizing to watch."

Josh Groban

On his Christmas album, "Noel" (2007), Josh Groban joined with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Michael Quinn of BBC wrote of the guest performance, “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir graces ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ to predictably awe-inspiring effect.’”

The King's Singers
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

London-based a cappella group The King's Singers, a two-time Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble who celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2008, performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during their Christmas concert in 2007.

Edward Herrmann and Brian Stokes Mitchell
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

During the 2008 Christmas concert, Broadway singer Brian Stokes Mitchell and actor Edward Herrmann performed with the choir.

Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller founder and leader Chip Davis directed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Omaha, Neb. during its 2009 summer tour.

“This is a real honor for me, to be able to be here to guest-conduct the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Davis said in an interview. “I grew up in choirs as a kid. In fact, I was in a boys choir, and I listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir every Sunday. Both of my parents were choir directors, so I have know of them and heard them in Salt Lake City before and always have been astounded at what a wonderful organization they are. So as a musician, this is a real treat and a real honor for me to do this, especially here in my hometown of Omaha.”

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter

The final stop in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2009 summer tour took it to the picturesque Red Rocks Amphitheatre in a Denver suburb. The choir invited then Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to guest-conduct the song “This Land is Your Land.”

Natalie Cole and David McCullough
Gerry Avant, Deseret News

Jazz singer Natalie Cole, who has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, performed with author and historian David McCullough in the 2009 Christmas concert with the choir.

David Archuleta and Michael York
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

In 2010, Latter-day Saint pop-singer David Archuleta and British actor Michael York performed during the Christmas concert.

Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Operatic baritone Nathan Gunn and actress Jane Seymour, who is best known as playing the role of Dr. Quinn in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during their Christmas concert.

Jane Seymour talked about her experience performing with the choir.

"The choir was so wonderful. They were all lovely people and enthusiastic to be there. There's just a joy and a sense of collaboration of all the people involved. I felt like I was part of a big family," Seymour said.

Tom Brokaw and Alfie Boe
Jason Olson, Deseret News

This Christmas concert was held Dec. 13-16 and included tenor Alfie Boe and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.


James Taylor, Lindsey Stirling and Nathan Pacheco

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced it with perform alongside musicians James Taylor, Lindsey Stirling and Nathan Pacheco.

The choir will feature Stirling and Pacheco in its sold-out Pioneer Day Concert July 19 and 20.

James Taylor will perform with the choir on Sept. 6 and 7 for the 30th anniversary of the Tanner Gift of Music concert series in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.