‘Music & the Spoken Word’ to be broadcast in Spanish beginning July 30

Spanish language ‘Spoken Word’ will in summer 2023; a Portuguese broadcast is coming soon

Editor’s note: “Music & the Spoken Word” was scheduled to premiere in Spanish on June 25, but was delayed due to technical issues. It is now scheduled to premiere on July 30. This article was originally published June 2. It was updated June 21 with the delay and also on July 14 with the new premiere date.

“Music & the Spoken Word” will premiere in Spanish this summer — becoming available weekly for Spanish-speaking audiences for the very first time.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square made the announcement on their website on Friday, June 2.

Originating in Salt Lake City, the weekly half-hour program of inspirational music and uplifting words first aired on July 15, 1929, making it one of the longest-running continuous network broadcasts in history. 

The new Spanish broadcast will be available on a Spanish YouTube channel, as well as broadcast throughout Mexico on selected radio and TV stations to more than 30 million viewers. More information will be posted on the choir’s Spanish landing page on its website,

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Meanwhile, Bonneville Distribution is continuing its efforts to enlist more stations to broadcast the program throughout South America and the United States, explained a news release on

A Portuguese broadcast of “Music & the Spoken Word” is coming soon, said the news release.

Choir President Michael O. Leavitt said, “This is a pilot. We are confident it is going to be well received. When we are able to prove it successful in Spanish and Portuguese, we will go to other languages because our goal is to have ‘Music & the Spoken Word’ heard throughout the world.” 

The vision of inclusivity

Expanding broadcast to new languages was one of the choir’s new pilot programs announced last year to extend its reach and mission.

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“The decision to release ‘Music & the Spoken Word’ in Spanish across all of Latin America is a testament to the Tabernacle Choir’s vision of inclusivity and its dedication to reaching more people with the message of Christ’s love,” said the choir’s blog post.

The weekly “Spoken Word” text is available in 16 languages, the choir’s website noted last year. The broadcasts are streamed on the country Facebook pages of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and include language subtitles for the spoken introduction and concluding sign-off, the song titles and the “Spoken Word” message.

Now, in the new Spanish broadcast, while the choir will continue to sing primarily in English, all other components of the broadcast will be in Spanish — including the graphics, text, and even images featuring landscapes and the lifestyles and cultures of Spanish-speaking people throughout the world.

Leavitt said, “We want the visuals which accompany our music to be more relatable to our audience. These changes will also motivate more television and radio stations to carry our program.” 

‘Spoken Word’ Spanish narrators

Alex Melecio, Garna Mejia and Pepe Valle are three of the four narrators who will take part in the initial pilot of “Music & the Spoken Word” in Spanish, beginning in summer 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The initial pilot of “Music & the Spoken Word” in Spanish will feature a rotation of four narrators: Alex Melecio, Ana Yslas, Pepe Valle and Garna Mejia.

Mejia will narrate the “Spoken Word” in the debut broadcast — also making her the first woman narrator in the program’s history.

“I am thrilled that viewers, like my mother, will soon hear ‘Music & the Spoken Word’s’ inspiring messages in their own language,” Mejia said. “Since its beginning, women have lent their voices to the choir and been a driving force in the program’s success. I feel humbled to know that I am building on their legacy as a female narrator.” 

Melecio is one of the three guest performers who will join the Tabernacle Choir’s concerts in Mexico City in June. Narrated “Spoken Word” segments will be filmed on location in Mexico during the choir’s tour

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Choir historian Heidi Swinton said the broadcasts are designed for an international audience.

“Mack Wilberg is a music director that thinks outside the box,” she said. “When he puts together each program, he does not just think about what music will be meaningful in Salt Lake City, he thinks about music that will speak to people in a universal way, whether they are in Mexico, New Zealand, Europe or the Philippines. He chooses music that helps people feel closer to the divine and will enhance the ‘Spoken Word’ portion of the program.” 

Other efforts and objectives

Last year, the choir presidency announced four “high-level” objectives: 

  1. Expand the choir’s digital audience.
  2. Magnify the choir’s missionary role.
  3. Ensure that the choir reflects the Church’s worldwide mission.
  4. Increase worldwide visibility.

In one of the choir’s initiatives, 10 international singers joined the choir in April 2023 general conference.

Global participants with the Tabernacle Choir after April 2023 general conference.
The global participants are pictured with the Tabernacle Choir at the conclusion of the general conference on Sunday, April 2, 2023, in the Conference Center. From left to right, back row: Mack Wilberg, Ryan Murphy, Ronald Baa, Rodrigo Domaredzky, Alvaro Jorge Martins, Jonathan How, Michael O. Leavitt, Tubo-Oreriba Joseph Elisha, Gérald Caussé. Front row: Karmel Newell, Sundae Mae Indino, PeiShang Chung, Denisse Elorza Avalos, Thalita De Carvalho, Georgina Montemayor Wong. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

And the choir and orchestra’s tour June 13-19 to Mexico City is the first of a multiyear, multicountry world tour, with future locations to be announced later.

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