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The Mormon Tabernacle ChoirA Biography$
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Michael Hicks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039089

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039089.001.0001

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“My Tabernacle ‘Mormon’ Choir”

“My Tabernacle ‘Mormon’ Choir”

(p.35) Chapter 3 “My Tabernacle ‘Mormon’ Choir”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Michael Hicks

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the activities of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of its conductor, Evan Stephens. In 1890 Mormons outgrew two fads, one doctrinal, the other musical. First was the idea that the world would end between December 1890 and December 1891. This commonplace belief, which helped nurture Mormon ferocity in the face of anti-polygamy legislation, derived from a statement Joseph Smith had made in 1835. In musical terms, entering the mainstream meant full commitment to standard musical notation and a letting-go of the musical fad of the Tonic sol-fa method. In 1891, William D. Davies, Welsh cultural ambassador from the New York newspaper Y Drych, toured Utah, heard Stephens's Choir and pronounced it the best choir in the world. This chapter considers the controversies faced by the Choir during Stephens's term as well as its concerts, domestic tours, and the competitions it joined. It also examines how the Choir continued its mission of public visibility without even leaving Salt Lake City.

Keywords:   concerts, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Evan Stephens, Mormons, Tonic sol-fa method, William D. Davies, Utah, domestic tours, competitions, Salt Lake City

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