The Mormon Tabernacle Choir made their public debut on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after Brigham Young and his 147 followers first settled in the Salt Lake Valley. John Parry was named the choir's first official conductor in 1849, and two years later, construction was completed on the first Tabernacle church, followed in 1867 by the dome-roofed Tabernacle facility which still exists. The 150-member choir assembled for the facility's October 6th opening was at that time the largest in the U.S., their voices accompanied by a mammoth organ featuring some 2000 pipes. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir made its first official recordings for Columbia on September 1, 1910; their weekly radio broadcast, Music and the Word, premiered on CBS affiliate KSL on September 15, 1932, and continues to air, enjoying the longest uninterrupted network run in American history. In 1959, the choir's recording of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" earned a Grammy, followed over the years by a number of gold and platinum records; the latter-day Mormon Tabernacle Choir counts 300 members and continues to record and tour on a regular basis.
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