Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Tabernacle organist Brian Mathias plays with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during "Music and the Spoken Word" in Salt Lake City on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

On July 4, 1873, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir first performed in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the building it’s partially named for.

The Deseret News reported that the concert took place at 4 p.m. because there were no lights in the building after night had fallen.

At the time, English-born Professor George Careless was the conductor. He was also the conductor of the Salt Lake Theatre orchestra and authored several hymns in the LDS Hymnbook.

Frank Gilder, a well-known pianist at the time according to the New York Weekly Review, accompanied the choir on the organ.

The Deseret News ran a preview piece about the concert at the time, saying:

3 comments on this story

“Today is set apart throughout the United States as commemorative anniversary of our National Independence. Salt Lake City has an opportunity unsurpassed by any other great city in the United States to do justice to the great event. The Tabernacle will be thrown open to the public, and a rare and rich musical treat has been provided under the auspices of the world-renowned cantatrice, Madam Anna Bishop and troupe, assisted by the regular Tabernacle Choir. ...

"The piece selected for the program are compositions from the most eminent masters, and cannot fail of being satisfactory to all. The prices of admission are within the reach of everybody — twenty-five and fifty cents. The concert commences at four o’clock in the afternoon.”

Anna Bishop, the soloist featured in the concert, was from England and considered one of the finest operatic sopranos of her day, according to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir official website.