SALT LAKE CITY — Strike a chord: The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has a new Temple Square organist.
Joseph Peeples will join a team of elite organists already working at Temple Square this June. Currently, there are three full-time organists, Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth and Brian Mathias, and two part-time organists, Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts. Like his fellow organists, Peeples will perform organ recitals and play broadcasts and performances with The Tabernacle Choir.
“We warmly welcome Joseph to the organ staff and look forward to his musical contributions on Temple Square,” Elliott, the principal Tabernacle organist, said in a press release.
Tabernacle Choir organists have impressed Temple Square visitors from around the world for generations. The 11,623-piped Tabernacle Organ itself has a rich history and was first put in use in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in October 1867.
But Peeples is well-prepared for the demands of the job. He earned his master's degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University where he studied with Don Cook and Douglas Bush. He then earned his doctorate from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he also studied organ.
Since then he's added more expertise to his impressive resume. He was the organist at the Speedway Christian Church in Indiana and the university organist at California Lutheran University, where he taught applied organ, keyboard harmony and music appreciation. He is serving as organist for the First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara. He has also taught a variety of music courses at Pepperdine University, Indiana University and Brigham Young University.
After a thorough search for the right musician, Mack Wilberg, the choir's music director, is excited to welcome Peeples.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Joseph Peeples as Temple Square organist. He is a talented musician who will add to the excellent tradition of the Choir family,” Wilberg said.