Music and the Spoken Word program marks 85th anniversary

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-11 19:49:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has shared its music from Temple Square each Sunday for decades, and Sunday’s broadcast marked the program's 85th anniversary.

The weekly Music & The Spoken Word program is broadcast over radio, television and the Internet.

Craig Jessop is a former choir director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and he said the program is inspirational to many people.

“It has a power that goes beyond music,” he said. “It builds faith and hope and beauty. And lifts the weary and inspires those who might be discouraged. It's much greater than music.”

The hundreds of voices that make up the choir are heard by people around the globe.

“The choir has been on the forefront of advancing broadcasting from day one,” Jessop said. “And now here we are in this age of 5.1 surround sound, high-definition digital technology, but the mission, the spirit, the faith, the message is timeless. That will never change.”

Rick Steadman was a member of the choir in the ‘80s as well as between 1996 and 2011. He said the members of the choir give everything they have in their performances.

“It's not just singing your lungs out,” he said. “You are giving your heart, when you are up there and that's what it's all about.”

The choir has been performing in Salt Lake City for many years.

“It is now the longest continuous network running program in the world, broadcasting each week from Salt Lake City, the crossroads of the west,” said Lloyd D. Newell, Spoken Word narrator.

And Newell said they hope to continue the broadcast for years to come.

“As long as there is a need for hope and beauty and goodness in the world, the choir will continue to sing,” he said.