Schreiner (1924-77), who devoted the greater part of his outstanding
career to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was especially influential in
the choir's rise to musical maturity. Schreiner was also the moving
force behind the installation of G. Donald Harrison's magnificent Aeolian-Skinner
pipe organ, recently renovated (1988) and enlarged (11,623 pipes in
206 ranks) under the careful supervision of organists Robert Cundick (1965), John Longhurst (1977), and Clay Christiansen (1982). Richard
Elliott was appointed in April 1991 to fill the vacancy created by Cundick's
retirement later that year. The virtually round-the-clock schedule of
the choir's current programs resulted in the appointment of two associate
organists--Linda Margetts and Bonnie Goodliffe--in 1984. Originally
unpaid volunteers, both have since been given part-time salaried positions,
placing them on similar footing with the three full-time organists.
Other organists for the choir have included John J. McClellan (1900-25),
Edward P. Kimball (1905-37), Tracy Y. Cannon (1909-30), Frank Asper
(1924-63), Wade Naisbitt Stephens (1933-44), and Roy Darley (1947-84).
Henry E. Giles, Katherine Romney Stewart, Walter J. Poulton, and Moroni
Gillespie have also served as assistants at various times. Karl G. Maeser,
Fannie Young Thatcher, Sarah Coke, Orson Pratt, Jr., and John M. Chamberlain
served as organists in the "Old" Tabernacle.
organ has long been an independent attraction on Temple Square. Regular
free recitals were initiated in 1901 by John J. McClellan and have continued
to the present. At first, they were given only on Wednesdays and Saturdays,
then on Tuesdays and Fridays. By 1908 the recitals had become so popular
that it was decided to give them daily, except Sundays, during the summer
season. Various schedules were subsequently adopted to accommodate the
increasing number of visitors to Temple Square. At present, Tabernacle
recitals are presented daily at noon, except Sundays, when they are
presented at 2:00 P.M. Two other recital organs complement the resources
of Temple Square: a 1983 tracker instrument by Robert L. Sipe of Dallas,
Texas, in the Assembly Hall, and a 1993 Casavant organ in the chapel
of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
See: J. Spencer
Cornwall, A Century of Singing (1958); Charles Jeffrey Calman and William
I. Kaufman, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1979); Gerald A. Petersen,
More Than Music: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1979); Barbara Owen, The
Mormon Tabernacle Organ: An American Classic (1990).
Roger L. Miller