Choir’s 1959 Recording of Messiah to Be Inducted Into the National Recording Registry

SALT LAKE CITY – The 1959 recording of Handel’s Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Philadelphia Orchestra will be inducted into the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress.

This announcement was made today in a press conference in the Whittal Pavilion of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Recording Preservation Act “to establish the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and for other purposes” (Public Law 106-474; H.R. 4846).

“The recording of Messiah by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra and Richard Condie and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir set a standard for classical music recordings that has been unparalleled,” said Craig Jessop, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “To continue to receive this recognition nearly 50 years after its initial release is a distinct honor and recognition for two national music treasures, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We are very honored to share in this legacy, even today.”

Starting in 2002, 50 recordings have been inducted each year into the registry. The choir’s recording will be among the 50 inductees for 2004. (Information on the registry, the 2000 legislation that created it and other inductees can be found at

The Library of Congress invited a small number of the 50 inductees to send representatives to the press conference. Elder Ralph W. Hardy Jr., an Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, represented the choir at the press conference.

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