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170 years ago today: Mormon Tabernacle Choir created less than a month after pioneers' arrival

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was created less than one month after the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.

"Under the direction of church President Brigham Young, a small choir was formed which first sang at a conference of the church on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first pioneers arrived," according to an article on

The article includes a 3-minute recording of that inaugural performance.

John Parry, an early Welsh convert, was the first director of the choir. In 1849, he directed 85 Welsh Saints in several musical numbers at general conference, the Church News reported in 2014.

Many of those Welsh converts, the first group of non-English-speaking members in the LDS Church, came to Utah with missionary Dan Jones and his wife, the choir's website reports.

From those humble beginnings, the choir has established a longstanding broadcast in "Music and The Spoken Word" with global reach.

And while the choir has toured and performed across the world, one United States president gave the 360-voice group an honored nickname staking his nation's claim on the choir, Scott Barrick, general manager of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said in a YouTube video.

"The choir has become known as 'America's Choir,' a nickname given to them by President Ronald Reagan, and one for which they are known around the world," Barrick said in the video.