Jay Evard Welch, founder of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, the Salt Lake Repertory Orchestra and the Jay Welch Chorale, died on Monday. He was 83.
In 1957, Mr. Welch was called to be the assistant to Richard Condie, the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Also in 1957, he created the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus. In 1974, Mr. Welch became the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a position he held for only six months.
"I got sick," Mr. Welch told the Deseret News in 2005. "It was all too much to handle. So I asked for a release and they gave me one."
Mr. Welch was born in Salt Lake City, on Nov. 6, 1925, to Jesse Evard and Pearl Snow Welch. He married Marcelle Beecher in the Salt Lake Temple on March 21, 1951.
After serving in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War, he graduated from UCLA, where he majored in mathematics and minored in music.
Mr. Welch continued his music studies at the Paris National Conservatory of Music, graduated with a master's degree from Mills College and earned a music doctorate from the University of Utah, where he taught for 39 years.
Preceded in death by his daughter, Melinda Bell, and siblings Mary Smith, Marge McGregor, Jerry Welch and Bill Welch, Mr. Welch is survived by his wife, daughters Megan (Eric) Hayes, Michele (Doug) Herrscher, Maile (Don) Verbica, Marlyse Timmins and Merla Welch, along with 20 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by siblings Bob (Della Mae) Welch, Ted (Marilyn) Welch, Bonnie (Wendell) Waite and Kay Welch.
Funeral services will be at noon on Thursday at the Bonneville Stake Center, 1535 E. Bonneview Drive. Viewings will be on Wednesday at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 South, from 5:30-8 p.m., and Thursday at the stake center from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Interment will be at Farmington City Cemetery.