RELIGION

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Changes Name After 150 Years

Oct 5, 2018, 3:35 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2018, 3:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A big announcement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. in advance of this weekend’s General Conference. The name “Mormon” is being eliminated from the 150-year-old Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The new name still has a familiar ring.

Moving forward the choir will be known as The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. It’s a big change in the choir’s storied history, but comes as church leaders emphasize eliminating the Mormon nickname, in favor of the official name of the church.

The choir will make its debut as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square Saturday morning during the first session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference.

MORE: Twitter reacts to Tabernacle Choir name change

Alto singer Kristen Olsen said her time in the choir has been one of the greatest highlights of her life– and she is looking forward to this transition of the choir’s name.

“I’ve been in the choir 18 years,” said Kristen Olsen. “(It’s) been in place for 150 years. It is neat to be in this moment of time and supporting this change.”

Plans for a name change have been in the works since this summer. Choir president Ron Jarrett said the change reflects the choir’s mission.

“The name, ‘(The) Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square,’ was selected because of our long association with the Tabernacle,” said Jarrett, “This is the place where we perform and record. It is a name that people know us by.”

Choir officials acknowledged, the “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” name won’t go away overnight.

“There will be a transitional period when we will see some adjustments to our logo, stationary, (and) the way things are presented on our recordings,” said Jarrett.

Longtime choir members said they believe it’s the uplifting music they perform that has much more of an impact than choir’s name.

“Wherever we go throughout the world, that we offer a message of peace and hope, and we sing songs of praise to those who listen – and that is an important part of the choir, and what our mission is all about,” said choir member Ryan Bateman.

The choir’s upcoming Christmas album was expected to retain the former name due to production issues already underway.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Changes Name After 150 Years