New Conductors Appointed for Tabernacle Choir

“New Conductors Appointed for Tabernacle Choir,” Ensign, Sept. 1974, 94–95

New Conductors Appointed for Tabernacle Choir

The First Presidency has appointed Jay E. Welch as the tenth conductor of the world-famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Brother Welch, assistant conductor of the choir since 1957, succeeded Richard P. Condie, who has been associated for 40 years with the choir.

Brother Condie was named conductor emeritus of the Tabernacle Choir by the First Presidency during June Conference.

Named also were two new associate conductors: Jerold Don Ottley of Salt Lake City, assistant professor of music at the University of Utah; and Robert C. Bowden of Rock Springs, Wyoming, recording director and assistant to the conductor of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus.

Isaac M. Stewart continues as Tabernacle Choir president and Alexander Schreiner remains chief Tabernacle organist, assisted by Robert M. Cundick and Roy M. Darley.

An associate professor of music and former Department of Music chairman at the University of Utah, Brother Welch has served as conductor of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus. He graduated from the Conservatoire National de Paris in France and later received a master’s degree in music composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, and a Ph.D. in musical composition at the University of Utah.

Dr. Welch and his wife Marcelle have six daughters.

Brother Condie graduated from Brigham Young University in 1923 and later graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. He was appointed assistant conductor and soloist of the Tabernacle Choir in 1937 and became conductor of the choir in 1957, succeeding J. Spencer Cornwall.

The First Presidency stated:

“For forty years Richard P. Condie has distinguished himself, first as assistant conductor, and then as conductor, of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. During his nearly 17 years as conductor he has brought the choir to new high levels of achievement through his talent as a musician and his dedication to the Church.

“For the entire Church we express our heartfelt gratitude to a humble, able man who with his baton has lifted millions of souls with the message of good music.

“The new choir conductor, Jay E. Welch, has already proved himself as a superior leader of music, both as assistant conductor of the choir and as conductor of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, which under his leadership has presented several nationally televised programs. Brother Welch assumes his new responsibility with our full confidence that under his guidance the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will rise to new heights in its mission of bringing the hearts of people everywhere closer to their Heavenly Father.”

Jay E. Welch