Choir's Jessop is resigning

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  • Mike Mitchell
    Sept. 9, 2008 6:53 p.m.

    I remember Craig Jessup from the Rheinpfalz International Choir in Germany, where his outstanding leadership trained a no-audition community choir of military family members to sing Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Requiem" good enough for German TV. It was a highlight of my 3 years in Europe. Thank you, Dr Jessup for your time and effort.

  • LDS Sister in B.C. Canada
    Aug. 13, 2008 9:38 p.m.

    Wednesday August 13, 2008

    Brother Jessop, as I have always enjoyed music, it was a priviledge to hear and see you conduct the LDS Tabernacle Choir. For whatever reason you had to resign as the choir leader, I'm absolutely positive our Lord and Saviour had a hand in it. May our Lord and Father in heavan, bless you and your loving family.

  • Dan Whitley
    April 20, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    Craig brought a new level to the Choir and we wish you well in your new assignment. We love you and wish you and your family well in all you do.

  • Roberto Simpson
    March 10, 2008 1:56 p.m.

    I realize there is not much evidence to go on here, since those who know aren't talking. But one thing that should be pointed out is what the president of the Choir, Mac Christensen, said about Jessop's departure. He could have said nothing, kept quiet and let the "official" statement be the last word. But he has been effusive in his praise of Jessop. He went on record, immediately following the resignation, and spoke at length about how he feels personally toward Jessop and what Jessop's contributions have been. All very positive. We can read through the lines a bit here, I think, and assume that at least between Christensen and Jessop, there was a great deal of admiration and respect. Just something we should take into consideration amid all the guessing.

  • USA
    March 10, 2008 2:51 a.m.

    All of the above comments would be hard to add to. I hope that Craig Jessup can see, and feel, how much his tireless and skillful efforts have been appreciated by so many. Whatever your future path may be, Craig, may it be filled with the same happiness that you have brought to so many people.

  • Sam
    March 9, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    Thanks for the fun.

  • Brother DeSimone OR
    March 7, 2008 11:50 p.m.

    Thank You Brother Jessop for all you have done. Jeanie, NV I agree with you 100% AMEN

  • Jeanie, NV
    March 7, 2008 2:03 p.m.

    Why do some of you feel the need to see bad or conspiracy in Brother Jessop's resignation? He has given his reason, family and more importantly, guidance from Heavenly Father. People, remember: Nothing is more important than our families.
    Craig Jessop's years of service to the Church by directing the Tabernacle Choir have been great! We have all benefited for his inspiration and talent. For those years of service we say "Thank you and God Bless your future plans and you!"
    The Lord will make his wishes for the next Director known and remember this is His choir. We are just the recipients of his loving guidance.

  • Investigative reporting?
    March 7, 2008 8:54 a.m.

    That's easy for you to say, but how do you know no one at the DMN has done any investigative reporting? Asking questions is one thing, getting verifiable, publishable answers is another. Believe it or not, not all newspapers are willing to publish rumors. Would you prefer a story every day saying "we asked so-and-so what happened and he said no comment?" Or "this person who wouldn't give us his name told us such-and-such?"

  • ssjwo9
    March 6, 2008 9:58 p.m.

    Hasn't anyone raised an eyebrow as to why the Deseret Morning News hasn't done any investigative reporting as to WHY he actually left?

  • CHL
    March 6, 2008 4:39 p.m.

    Sang under Craig...Mr. Granite High School and took voice lessons from him. Some of my fondest memories! We've maintained some contact over the years. He will lift people and touch their lives wherever he goes with his musical skills and kindness. I'm looking forward to see his next undertaking! Thanks, Craig

  • John Goldsmith
    March 6, 2008 4:12 p.m.

    Craig . . . I am shocked to hear about this! You are such a fine, gentle, caring, musical soul . . . Elaine and I count you among our finest, most cherished and most admired friends. Best to you and your family!

  • Anonymous
    March 6, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    I have the highest regard for Craig and his endless musical talents.I have had the privlege of being the soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir twice under his paton , and have seen his great abilities to inspire, lift, and see the vision of each performance. He will be deeply missed. I wish nothing but the very best for such a fine man. We are all the better to have had the opportunity to work under such a talent. Warmest regard, Nancy Peery Marriott

  • Mark, Louisiana
    March 6, 2008 9:06 a.m.

    You will be missed. I had the brief, but amazing, opportunity to sing under the guest direction of Craig Jessop once when I use to sing with the Mormon Youth Chorus (I think it was for General Conference). He was truly amazing. Having also sung under Mack Wilberg in BYU Men's Chorus, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is in VERY GOOD hands! God bless "Craig" and "Mack"...they bring the spirit into meetings via music like no one else has!!

  • Sky View
    March 6, 2008 7:04 a.m.

    I remember Craig from his being Sky View Class Prez. He was remarkable then and has continued on since! Best of wishes to him and his family ... and thanks for alllll you have done for so many, Craig !!!

  • Relocated Southerner
    March 5, 2008 11:45 p.m.

    I'm with Salt Lake Observer. If you notice, the original "poster" of the John Williams' "news" identified himself as "Peter Priesthood". Take that as your source, and you can figure out this was a farce. Oh, yes, and "may the farce be with you"........:)

  • Still Recovering
    March 5, 2008 11:41 p.m.

    Thank you Craig for sharing your talents, courage, gentleness, wit, wisdom, sensitivity, spirituality, leadership and love. Best not leave out sense of rhythm. The choir will miss "dancing" with you. Whatever it is that has taken you from us, God be with you.

  • Salt Lake Observer
    March 5, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    "What?", don't you recognize snark when you see it? The John Williams/Storm Trooper item was just someone being "clever."

  • An open position
    March 5, 2008 10:35 p.m.

    in the Quorum of the Twelve....

  • Chris
    March 5, 2008 8:28 p.m.

    I've been so blessed by the music of the choir. But I am not alone, Millions have been blessed by Brother Jessop's musicianship and love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • Utahn
    March 5, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    I've always been impressed with the cooperation between Bro. Jessop and Bro. Wilberg. Their collaboration has brought the choir to new levels, a goal that was set by Pres. Hinckley. I remember hearing Bro. Jessop speak in a fireside here at USU. He truly is a wonderful man, and I can imagine he's anticipating "retirement" so he can spend more time with his good family. Just as a wonderful director emerged after Bro. Ottley departed, another will come and lead the Choir onward. Best wishes in the future Bro. Jessop.

  • lynn in TN
    March 5, 2008 7:34 p.m.

    Thank you.

  • What?
    March 5, 2008 6:22 p.m.

    "I understand that the director John Williams was recently baptized in California and has been in contract negotiations with the general authorities about filling the new position.

    I can't wait to hear 'March of the Storm Troopers' during his conference dbut on April 6th!"

    Can anyone verify this?

  • jt
    March 5, 2008 6:10 p.m.

    Thanks, Brother Jessup - and thanks to your family for supporting you as you have given your all for our spiritual enllightenment through God's language - music. Music is eternal and will continue to inspire.

  • Peter Priesthood
    March 5, 2008 6:08 p.m.

    I understand that the director John Williams was recently baptized in California and has been in contract negotiations with the general authorities about filling the new position.

    I can't wait to hear 'March of the Storm Troopers' during his conference dbut on April 6th!

  • L.J.
    March 5, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    I want to express my gratitude for the last nine years being under the baton of one of the most sensitive, talented, fun and genuine individuals I have ever known. I too am stunned and have shed many tears, but I want Craig to know how much love I have for him and will cherish the time spent under the direction of this amazing man. He will be a tremendous asset to those lucky and blessed enough to work with him. I just wish it could still be me. God Bless you and good luck!

  • Sandman5
    March 5, 2008 5:02 p.m.

    Ta Ta Craig,
    Who could follow your crazy swooping motions anyway. Make Mack the director, he is the greatest since Rutter at arranging, and directing. When did they add an L to the word Christ. Watch and hear. I am glad to see him go.

  • Juls
    March 5, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    Thanks you, Brother Jessop, for your years of dedicated service! They will not be forgotten, nor will you. Best of everything to you and your family in the future.

  • HL
    March 5, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    I have always said that someday a good book would be written about Craig. Millville's famous son. He is the son of great pioneer stock, of hard working and honest and humble people. He worked hard to get to where he is. He has made anyone who has known him or his parents proud.

  • J
    March 5, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    As a member of the Orchestra at temple square, all i have to say was that he inspires and is truly a spiritual man who wants to reach the hearts of those that have ear to hear. Thankyou, God bless, we love you....

  • Gabriel - 6 yrs old
    March 5, 2008 2:08 p.m.

    My grandson had just been operated on for a brain tumor (he was three), he also suffered a stroke during the operation. He does not have any options, his one wish was always to be able to lead the Choir and meet you. That wish was granted and since then he still goes to see you on thursdays. All he ever wants to do is to say hi to you. Thank you for making Gabriel's wish come true. Good luck!

  • Ronald A. Young
    March 5, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    Seek ye first the best things. In Music that would be the Mormon Choir. It is the only link to Mormonism and the Gospel that they ever experience. No matter what they may think of Mormons the Choir Music is always complamented. When Mitt Romney rescued the Debocle that was going to be the Winter Games. I Church being under agrement to the Liberal Media not to Prosolite. The Choir was able to get the message accross. They have always done well. I used to watch each Conference to see how many Black Members where in the Choir. When I read up on what it took to get in the Choir, I stopped doing that. The Choir is just an amazing group of people. Known the World Over and the only Religious or Classical Music that some people hear. When they perform with Secular Performers they reach far more people. The people they perform with are always inspired to give their best performance. So even the Has Bens and Decades Old Groups sound refreashed and Great. I have never sen a poo performance by the Choir. My Ohana wishes the Director the very best. Mahalo.

  • LindaL
    March 5, 2008 1:23 p.m.

    Well done thou good and faithful servant. God bless you and your family.

  • Phil Lowry
    March 5, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    When I began as a charter member of the Orchestra at Temple Square, Craig was one of those who inspired me and encouraged me. After a brief hiatus on active duty with the Army, he saw me playing again and came up to embrace me, welcoming me back. Those of you who know how hard he worked on the podium will realize this was not a "dry" experience. ;-) I was astonished and joyful. He was like a father to me. Craig, be well, and God bless.

  • Wally Greenfield
    March 5, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    Everytime I saw Craig leading the Choir, I was looking at a friend. Good Luck Craig!

  • Just Regular
    March 5, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    I'm just a regular person that was impressed by the tremendous love and kindness demonstrated by Craig Jessop as he served and lifted others. On behalf of the regular people, we just want to tell you that we love you Craig and that we are praying for you.

  • carolyne bamforth in winnipeg ca
    March 5, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    thank you Brother Jessop for your years of service to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Conferences will not be the same without you conducting our choir. May you enjoy retirement with your beautiful wife and children.

  • Disappointed
    March 5, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    Too bad Lawrence Welk died. He could have added dancing to more fully utilize the capability of the orchestra.

  • Texas
    March 5, 2008 11:58 a.m.

    This was not unexpected to the Lord. The problem for the Bretheren and Mac is to find the person that was prepared to step in.

    Jessop was there when we needed him. Someone else is too.

  • wjgram
    March 5, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    I just want add my thanks to Bro Jessop for his service to the Choir. I agree that he directed the choir with much fervor. I loved watching him direct the choir, and I enjoyed listening to Music & the Spoken Word, and the specials they did with some celebreties. I still remember when he gave an award to a sister who was the oldest former choir member.

    He is a great director who is full of energy, and now he will use his talents elsewhere. Good luck to him and his family wherever they go now.

  • GHL
    March 5, 2008 11:20 a.m.

    Leigh Harline is my mother's uncle. He is not well known but he received 11 Oscar nominations in his lifetime aa a composer of film scores. His most recognized piece is the Oscar winning song from the Disney classic Pinocchio; "When You Wish Upon a Star" which became the theme song for the entire Disney organization. The two surviving daughters of Leigh Harline, who are not members of the church, met Craig Jessop when they were in town from California after a choir broadcast. He told them: "when you are in town again, give me a few weeks notice and we (the choir in broadcast) will sing your father's song". Well, my mother set that up, there were a hundred Harlines in the Conference Center that Sunday morning. The Choir was perfection. The Spoken Word focused on the lessons that can be drawn from that childhood story Pinocchio. It had a moving impact on the daughters of Leigh Harline who will never see the Church the same way again. Only Craig Jessop would have thought to do such a meaningful tribute to the two non-LDS daughters of the man who also donated the score for "Man's Search for Happiness".

  • Choir Fan
    March 5, 2008 11:18 a.m.

    I don't understand the background of this choir director change situation, however, after 10 years if would be logical to see a change, since it would be a real grinder and a strain on family life. Best of luck Craig, we have enjoyed immensely your leadership of the choir and the wonderful music it has provided.

  • Alaskan Saint
    March 5, 2008 11:19 a.m.

    I agree with "Greater things..." Just wait a little longer and you will witness how the Lord's hand is in all things...(think about it!)

  • sb
    March 5, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    Thank you Bro. Jessop for the great work you have done. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Scott
    March 5, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    My first thought was he has received a calling that will conflict with directing the choir. There are still a few Mission Presidents that are yet to be determined, the Curitiba Brazil Temple will be dedicated in June and needs a President, or perhaps as a Seventy. Also there is a vacancy in the 12

  • Billy Bob
    March 5, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    Come on people, he was really good at what he did and does, and good luck to him for sure, but he can be replaced as can all of us....wish him the best and lets get on with the next concert. Who can't be replaced? I know I certainly can and everyone that I know. Missed? yes..but not the end of the choir and it's great music. If you think otherwise, I have some special land for sale.(near some swamps)

  • suzyk
    March 5, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    Craig Jessop in my opinion has reached great heights with the Tabernacle Choir under his direction. I've loved watching him direct..he does it with such fervor. May the Lord's choicest blessings be with you and your family. You have served the Lord well.

  • Anonymous
    March 5, 2008 10:25 a.m.

    Several years ago, I brought Charles Decker (town historian for Afton, New York --South Bainbridge when Joseph Smith was there) to SLC. He had a marvelous time here, meeting various Church Authorities even President Hinckley, but the highlight of it all was when Bro. Jessup invited him to sing with the choir during one of the Thursday night rehersals! Today in Afton, Charles proudly displays to visitors a picture display of himself singing with the choir. First losing President Hinckley and now Craig Jessop, This has been a tough month. God bless you Craig Jessop--You've been incredible! Christopher Jones-Newport Beach, California

  • Greater things in store...
    March 5, 2008 10:18 a.m.

    Never fear people, Craig has even greater things in store for him. What some people interpret as a loss is often just a welcome transition to a greater opportunity. Just wait a while and all of us will see this principle manifest as far as Dr. Jessop is concerned. Also, the very same inspiration in play that called Craig to his position will be manifest with his successor!

  • Anonymous
    March 5, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    Thank you brother Jessop, we watch you every Sunday with Music and the spoken word. How spiritual and uplifting we feel from the Choir and your service.Heather Thompson North Shields, England

  • I hope
    March 5, 2008 10:08 a.m.

    The Choir invites him as a guest soloist - very few baritones can equal his voice - and too few have heard it since his college days.

  • Stunned
    March 5, 2008 10:01 a.m.

    I was stunned by the abruptness of this announcement.
    Why would he have to suddenly resign? Wouldn't he have at least stayed on through the Choir's upcoming Easter concert and General Conference (or was the decision not really his)?
    Good luck and best wishes to you Craig. You are without question the face and the soul of the Choir and will be missed.

  • From Wikipedia
    March 5, 2008 10:00 a.m.

    A native of Millville, Utah, Jessop has been a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which the choir is affiliated. He was a student of Robert Shaw and received his B. A. from Utah State University, M. A. from Brigham Young University and Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stanford University.

    He has been the director of the National High School Choir Festival for the four years of its existence. The event, held at New York's Carnegie Hall, auditions schools from around the country to inspire and enable young singers in learning great works of music and performing with renowned musicians from around the world.

    Craig Jessop retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force where, among other assignments, he conducted the USAF Singing Sergeants for seven years. He has also spent seven years as a baritone with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and performed in the choirs of Helmuth Rilling and John Rutter.

  • Alan
    March 5, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Craig Jessop's departure will be a great loss. Of all of his accomplishments as director, I think his talent for presenting music that is "listenable" and "approachable" will be remembered as his most important contribution. Under his direction the choir's music drew in listeners of all faiths who simply appreciate beautiful music. The choir has reached new heights of musicianship under his baton, and has earned the love of the world. I hope that his successor will have the same sensitivity for appealing to the masses rather than a narrow niche of classical music devotees. Craig--all the best to you; you'll be greatly missed.

  • Daivd G.
    March 5, 2008 9:39 a.m.

    Why? I just can't believe this! I have often worried about the future of the choir and orchestra in a post-Jessop era. I hope it is as bright as was the past few years. I am so dissappointed! Good luck Craig. But why?

  • Brainwrap
    March 5, 2008 9:28 a.m.

    If the DesNews does a followup article about this fine musician, I hope that his very impressive background and experience will be delineated. More than a few people will be surprised.

  • Sybil Perks
    March 5, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    I totally agree with Peter Danzig. Craig Jessop has been an inspiration to me and fellow South Africans since he was first appointed Associate Director. Thank you for the most memorable three years of singing in person with the choir under your baton. May you be abundantly blessed for the work done and for whatever lies ahead.

  • He will....
    March 5, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    be greatly missed and the best of luck to him and his family. I do hope though that the term "Interim" is just a formality in support of Wilberg...

  • Peter Danzig
    March 5, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    Craig Jessop was the heart and soul of what made the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square beautiful. His gracious and compassionate heart was housed in a person who made every individual he encountered feel valued and loved. He was a true leader who motivated those under his baton to greater heights not through fear as is so often the case, but because they loved him. He is one the finest conductors I have ever worked under, able to inspire not only through his skills, knowledge, and encouragement but also by his quiet example of faith, dedication and love. Wherever he goes, people will be blessed.

  • Gratitude
    March 5, 2008 8:44 a.m.

    I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to be in several choirs under his direction. He is a wonderful person, and I wish him much luck for whatever his endeavors may be for the rest of his life.

  • Spanky
    March 5, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    I went to junior high at Providence and South Cache with Craig, and high school with Craig at Sky View. Not being LDS, I haven't followed the Tabernacle Choir, but I can tell you this. Craig has always been a great person from the time he was a kid. I can't remember anyone ever having a bad word to say about him. A wonderful musical talent, and an exceptional, very good person.

  • Linda
    March 5, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    Bro Jessop your are a wonderful and inspirational leader and I am grateful for the music. May God bless you and your family and may you continue to enjoy what you do.

  • Hangman
    March 5, 2008 8:42 a.m.

    Thank you Brother Jessop and Brother Wilberg for bringing in great arrangements for the church! It is a great thing to have new 'Hymns' and music that uplifts. Good Luck Brother Jessop and may your health be good and allow you to spend time with your family and your other interests.

  • Mimi
    March 5, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    A great loss to the Choir and those who love it. There must be compelling reasons for Brother Jessop to make what surely was a difficult choice, and I wish him the very best and every blessing needed for his and his family's future.

  • Jim
    March 5, 2008 8:30 a.m.

    It's sad to see Craig retire. Since their involvement, Criag and Mack Wilberg have raised the level of professionalism and quality of music and performance by the Choir and Orchestra. Each CD and concert is better than the last. I know it will only get better. I wish him well.

  • Choir Friend
    March 5, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    I know it's tempting to draw the connection B. Christensen has made; he is not the only one who will jump to such a conclusion. But knowing of Brother Jessop's strong support for Church leadership and the spirituality with which he approached his duties, I am sure he would have been willing to move in any direction his Church leaders asked. Whatever personal crisis may have precipitated this decision, I very much doubt it was a conflict with his leaders.

  • Julie densham
    March 5, 2008 8:11 a.m.

    Just wanted to thank yoou for all your service to the Choir and to all who enjoy the music and spoken word

  • Larry Beck
    March 5, 2008 8:07 a.m.

    When President Hinckley passed away, people commented on what was his greatest legacy. Some say temples, some say the PEF, but in my opinion, what he's done to build up the Choir into a world class organization is his crowning achievement. And it couldn't have be done without Brother Jessop and Brother Wilberg. The Choir will sing on, a new director will be named, and the Choir will bring more good will for the Church than just about anything else, but you will be missed, Brother Jessop. Your Shepherd will supply your need.

  • LWortley
    March 5, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    Well Done Craig!!!!!! We couldn't be more prouder of you and what you have done with the Choir. We have been so privileged to have you part of our community for the last 13 years. We are happy for you and your family and good luck!

  • A
    March 5, 2008 7:54 a.m.

    I think Bjarne has no concept of how the church works.

    Good luck to you Mr Jessup. May you be blessed for your service.

  • S.L. Flint
    March 5, 2008 7:47 a.m.

    I have know Craig since our days at Stanford together. He is a remarkable person in addtional to a a great talent in the music world.

    His quiet service 'outside' of music is even more impressive - but most will never no of his great service in other areas.

    I wish him and his family the very best.

  • Anonymous
    March 5, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    Brother Jessup:

    We wish you the very best and thank you for your years of service to us, the regular membership of the Church. You brought us to our knees through the Spirit you brought to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Many of us do not live in SLC and want you to know of our deepest thanks for all you have done.

    Pamela K

  • Former choir singer
    March 5, 2008 7:20 a.m.

    A great leader, musician, full of charisma, spiritual and fun. It is no wonder choir members love him. Good luck, Craig!

  • Michael, Ireland
    March 5, 2008 7:18 a.m.

    I just wanted to add my expression of shock and sadness at the news of Craig Jessop's resignation. Along with, I'm sure, fans all around the world I have marvelled at the Choir's new heights of musicality, precision and expression under his leadership. I know that the Choir is a massive team organisation and effort, but I would like to record and convey my special, heartfelt thanks to Craig Jessop. Every possible good wish for the future.

  • Bjarne Christensen
    March 5, 2008 6:33 a.m.

    Is it a coincidence that Jessup resigns right after Gordon B. Hinckley's passing? In retrospect, it was doubtful the new leadership would allow Jessup the free hand that President Hinckley did. It's a sad day for music and the arts.

  • elviejo
    March 5, 2008 6:30 a.m.

    If I were the "bretheren" I wouln't tolerate this resignation. I would call him to the First Quorum of the Seventy and give him the assignment to direct the choir. The best to you and your family bro. Jessop

  • John
    March 5, 2008 5:14 a.m.

    Thank you for your great years of service.

  • Chris
    March 5, 2008 5:06 a.m.

    Jobs like this take lots of time. He is not getting younger. Perhaps he wants to spend more time with his family?

  • Good luck
    March 5, 2008 4:03 a.m.

    Never had the slightest bit of interest in the MoTab. But friends in the choir business tell me Craig's a good guy. So good luck to you, Craig.

  • Bob
    March 5, 2008 1:47 a.m.

    How sad that Brother Jessop is leaving the choir. In my humble opinion, he has taken the choir to heights that they have never before achieved.

    There have been times during General Conference when my wife and I have just looked at each other with tears in our eyes and said, "WOW".

    Best wishes to him and his family for the years ahead.

  • Dave
    March 5, 2008 1:14 a.m.