First Presidency announces a new voice for the Tabernacle Choir’s ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

Derrick Porter, 42, of Bountiful, Utah, has been named the new executive producer, principal writer and presenter of ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a new voice for “Music & the Spoken Word” with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square — replacing Lloyd Newell, who has served in that position for the past 34 years.

Derrick Porter, 42, of Bountiful, Utah, has been named the new executive producer, principal writer and presenter of “Music & the Spoken Word,” according to a release posted on

“This kind of announcement is very rare, considering that during the past three decades we’ve all become accustomed to hearing Lloyd Newell on Sunday mornings,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of the Church and an adviser to The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. “We are thrilled about the future of this program and know it will continue to bring peace and hope in a troubled world through its music and messages each week.”

Porter is currently serving as a bishop. He and his wife, Rebecca Porter, are the parents of six children. “I am sincerely humbled at the opportunity to serve as a steward to carry on this great legacy,” he said.

Newell has served as writer and presenter of “The Spoken Word” since 1990. Only two others have been the announcer of the choir on the weekly broadcast, Elder Richard L. Evans and J. Spencer Kinard. Newell and his wife, Karmel Newell, have been called to serve as mission leaders for the California Los Angeles Mission and will begin their service this summer.

Members of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square put on a concert at Quadricentennial Pavilion of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

“What an honor and blessing to begin every Sunday morning with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for more than half my life,” Newell said. “I can’t begin to capture the many meaningful moments I have shared with the choir. It has been a sacred trust to prepare and deliver inspirational Spoken Words over so many years, and now, my wife and I look forward to serving the Lord in new ways,” he said.

Choir President Michael O. Leavitt expressed appreciation for Newell’s service and optimism for the future of “Music & the Spoken Word.” “We express our gratitude to Lloyd, who served as someone trusted and admired by millions who have become accustomed to his soothing voice and trademark wisdom on Sunday mornings. We are delighted for the Newells and their new assignment.” President Leavitt said that looking forward, Porter represents the beginning of a new era for “Music & the Spoken Word” and the choir has plans to carry the messages from this program to people throughout the world in new ways.

Newell’s last Sunday broadcast with the choir will be June 16. Porter will deliver his first message the following week, June 23.

“Music & the Spoken Word” is now in its 95th year and is the world’s longest running broadcast. For more information about “Music & the Spoken Word” visit

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