Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square cancels Pioneer Day concert
But the news isn’t all bad: Ron Jarrett, the president of the Tabernacle Choir, has announced that the choir will begin its 2021 audition process
For the second year in a row, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square won’t have a Pioneer Day performance.
The annual Pioneer Day celebration, called “Music for a Summer Evening,” is a longstanding tradition that over the years has included artists such as Alex Boyé, the King’s Singers, Laura Osnes, Lindsey Stirling and Nathan Pacheco. Most recently, in 2019, the concert featured Norwegian artist Sissel.
This year’s cancellation comes amid continued concerns over large gatherings during the pandemic. But the news isn’t all bad: Ron Jarrett, the president of the Tabernacle Choir, has announced that the choir will begin its 2021 audition process.
“This means we are looking forward to not only singing together in the future, but welcoming new members into our ranks,” Jarrett said in a news release sent to the Deseret News on Friday.
The choir — which typically rehearses six hours each week and has 75 scheduled performances a year — has not been meeting and rehearsing during the pandemic. Instead, the organization has relied on previously recorded broadcasts and performances to share during general conference sessions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and during the weekly “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcasts that have served as a form of home worship for many over the past year.
“It’s enormously satisfying for us to think that the choir and the orchestra could be providing the prelude to Sunday worship services for so many people,” Scott Barrick, the choir’s general manager, told the Deseret News last year.
“We have to be sure that before we can gather the choir together and the orchestra, too. … We just have to make sure that it’s safe for everybody,” he continued. “Even though we have this period where we are without the choir, we still have all of their wonderful performances we’ll be continuing to share. So regardless of what happens, a lot of the choir is still around.”
The choir’s 2021 audition application will be available online at TabChoir.org/auditions starting June 1, according to the news release. All applications should be submitted by Aug. 15.
The application process lasts for nine months and features four phases — submitting an application, taking a music skills assessment test, having an in-person audition and attending four months of choir school.
“The audition process is an exciting part of the continuing progress of the choir,” music director Mack Wilberg said in a statement. “We always look forward to meeting those who want to represent the church by using their musical talent and serve with us in this unique way.”
Those interested in auditioning should be between 25 and 55 years old as of April 30, 2022, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the release. Members of the choir must also reside within 100 miles of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
For more information, visit thetabernaclechoir.org.