Mormon Tabernacle Choir chief dies of Covid-19

Mormon Tabernacle Choir chief dies of Covid-19


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2021

The long-serving director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Jerold Ottley has died at 86 of the effects of the pandemic.

His wife JoAnn was the Tabernacle Choir’s vocal coach for 24 years.

Ottley’s duties with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir included preparing and performing nearly 1,300 weekly radio and television broadcasts of “Music & the Spoken Word.” He also led the choir in more than 30 commercial recordings and more than 20 major tours, in addition to regular concerts at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.



  • Erich Graf says:

    So sorry to hear this! The Ottleys will forever be an intrinsic part of Utah’s musical culture!

  • Jean says:

    Nowadays the choir is known as the ”Tabernacle choir at the Temple Square”.

    (Based on a vision the Mormons no longer use the word ”Mormon”…)

  • Herr Doktor says:

    One can’t minimize the impact of Jerrold Ottley on the musical life of Utah and the LDS community. He had significant achievements in his years, even if like some musicians near the end of his career he suffered a significant diminishment of skills and/or effectiveness and the results were audibly evident to those paying attention. But Ottley achieved results to be proud of over his tenure and that his successors have further built upon, and at its best the Tabernacle Choir during his tenure was a very fine non-professional choir. My condolences to his family and friends.