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Mormon Tabernacle Choir changes its name after more than 150 years

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has changed its name after more than 150 years.

The choir, arguably one of the most well-known in the world, will now be known as “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square” as the church moves away from the nickname “Mormon.”

“A new name for the Tabernacle Choir will represent a change after so many years,” choir president Ron Jarrett said in a statement released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The name may change, but everything that people know and love about the choir will not only be the same but will get better and better.”

In August, church officials emphasized the use of the name of Jesus Christ in the church's name.

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” President Russell M. Nelson said in a statement in August.

The choir's roots date back to 1847 when a small group sang at a church conference shortly after pioneers arrived in Utah, according to the choir's website. An official conference choir was organized in 1849, and the choir has been a staple of the church's general conferences ever since.

The choir began singing in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in 1867. The building is known for its unique, signature sound.

The Tabernacle was built during a time without amplifiers or electronics, and was designed so that those in the building could hear the speaker's voice from any seat, the church said in its statement. The Tabernacle is still used as a recording studio for the choir — though conferences have not been held in the building since the Conference Center was completed.

In 1929, the church began broadcasting “Music and the Spoken Word," a program featuring music and messages from the choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. The program is now the world's longest-continuing network broadcast, and has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame, the church's statement said.

The choir itself and "Music and the Spoken Word" will not change, but only continue to improve, Jarrett said.

“We have always been a forward-looking people, and we are focused on what is not changing: the world-class musicianship, the inspiring arrangements and programming, and our weekly ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ broadcast, continuing a tradition begun 90 years ago," Jarrett said.

The choir's online pages will also update:

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