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Former Utah governor to lead well-known Salt Lake City choir

August 6, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former Utah governor and U.S. Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt was named as the new president of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on Friday.

As choir president, the three-time governor will manage operations, employees and marketing and supervise hundreds of volunteers. The world-famous choir, formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is a longtime staple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The world yearns for peace and the fundamental product of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is music that evokes peace,” Leavitt told The Salt Lake Tribune. “The choir has what the world needs, and I will use whatever skills I have so that the largest audience in the world has a chance to hear and feel those feelings.”

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The choir suspended rehearsals, performances and tours during the coronavirus pandemic but announced last month that it will return with the orchestra with a live broadcast on Sept. 19.

Leavitt is replacing Ron Jarrett, who had served as the troupe’s president since 2012, and was the first president to have been a member of the choir.

“I am thankful for my opportunity to serve and will miss my association with the extraordinary men and women in the choir organization,” Jarrett said in a statement. “Please know I will be watching and singing along with them from my living room each Sunday morning.”