Want to join the Tabernacle Choir? Here’s how

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is once again calling for applications and auditions to join the world-famous 360-member volunteer vocal ensemble. Members of the choir perform each week on Music and the Spoken Word — a worldwide broadcast for radio, television and internet livestream — in addition to multiple concerts, tours and recordings each year.

Despite restrictions that have limited the choir’s ability to rehearse for the last several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the choir is “looking to the future when gathering together to make music will once again be possible,” stated a press release from the choir on Tuesday, May 26.

The digital applications for the choir will open on June 1 this year — 30 days earlier than normal — to allow applicants more time to complete their applications prior to the Aug. 15 due date.

Mack Wilberg, music director of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, conducts the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during a concert in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, California, on June 27, 2018.
Mack Wilberg, music director of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, conducts the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during a concert in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, California, on June 27, 2018. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News, Deseret News

“Each year we continue to be pleased with the high level of musical expertise displayed by choir applicants and look forward to meeting them during the audition process,” said the choir’s music director, Mack Wilberg. “It is a rigorous process that yields marvelous results.”

With an average of 75 performances each year, being a member of the choir is demanding, as is the audition process.

Here’s a breakdown of the audition process:

Phase one: Complete an online application and submit a digital voice recording. A recommendation from an ecclesiastical leader will also be requested electronically, following the process used for other Church applications.

Phase two: Applicants will take a musical skills assessment to measure their musical abilities and aptitude. Those with acceptable test scores will then move on to phase three.

Phase three: An in-person audition with the music directors and an interview with the president of the choir.

Phase four: Beginning in January 2021, those applicants who have moved past the first three phases will begin 16 weeks of participation in Choir School — requiring 100% attendance — which consists of classroom training in music theory, sight singing, rehearsal techniques and more. Applicants will also participate in the Temple Square Chorale, a training ensemble that rehearses weekly with some of the current Tabernacle Choir members. At the conclusion of the 16 -week program, there will be a final exam and performance, which concludes the audition process.

Prior to applying, those wishing to join the choir must also meet the following criteria: Be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing, be between 25 and 55 years of age as of April 30, 2021, and currently live within 100 miles of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. More information about the audition process and the criteria for applicants can be found here: “How to Audition for The Tabernacle Choir.”