J. Spencer Cornwall,
who succeeded Lund in 1935, vastly expanded the choir's repertoire and
conducted its first, highly successful, European tour in 1955. Under
him the Mormon Tabernacle Choir achieved the warm, homogeneous sound
that characterized its ensemble for many years. Continuing in this tradition,
the choir, under Richard P. Condie (1957-74), recorded award-winning
albums with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with
the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. Condie conducted
the first television broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word" on 14
Jay Welch, who
replaced Condie in 1974, remained only briefly. He was one of the most
gifted and popular conductors the choir has ever had, and his sudden
and unexpected resignation brought a number of administrative problems
to the surface. Though regarded as a tragedy at the time, this resulted
in many important changes which have worked to the advantage of the
present organization, including placing the choir under the direct supervision
of the First Presidency of the church. Welch was succeeded by present
conductor Jerold Ottley later in the same year. Under Ottley's leadership
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has achieved new standards of excellence,
becoming stylistically more versatile and varied in its repertoire.
Touring has vastly expanded and the choir's role in the church has changed
substantially. On one hand, its musical mission has been simplified,
with an emphasis on hymn singing for the general meetings of the church.
On the other hand, its role as a cultural and spiritual ambassador has
led to a greatly expanded repertoire consisting not only of the great
classical masterworks but also of many forms of ethnic and folk music,
requiring much broader linguistic experience and training. Such added
responsibilities led in 1990 to the appointment of Donald Ripplinger as the first full-time associate conductor. The masterful "Spoken Word"
vignettes of long-time choir commentator Richard L. Evans inspired generations
of listeners from 1930 until his death in 1971, at which time J. Spencer
Kinard became the "voice of the Tabernacle Choir." Lloyd Newell replaced
Kinard in 1990.