SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is celebrating its first recording made 100 years ago with a new release available today. It's called 100: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence.
The Sept. 1, 1910 recording makes the Choir the longest standing recording group in the United States. The first recording took place in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. It was an experiment said Mormon Tabernacle Choir General Manager Scott Barrick. No one had ever recorded a group that large. Choir members didn't know if it would work.
"They set out their big recording equipment...there were some very big horns, like five feet in diameter that they placed inside the tabernacle," said Barrick.
According to historical notes, the women removed their hats to sit closely together so that their voices would reach the recording horns. "It worked and they had a great success," said Barrick.
The first recording launched a legacy, which continues to grow today.
In 1962 Europeans watched the Choir sing live from Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. The Choir would eventually sing in 28 countries including Israel, Russia and Mexico.
The Choir would reach its largest audience in 2002 when an estimated 3.5 billion people listened to the Choir in the Salt Lake Winter Games.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has proven to be one of the best. In 1959 it earned a Grammy award for singing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Then in 2004 President George W. Bush awarded the National Metal of Arts, the highest government award for an artistic organization. The Choir has also sold millions of albums including two platinum and five gold.