The Music and Spoken Word speaker closes the Tabernacle Choir service

With emotion in his voice, Lloyd Newell, host of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s weekly Music and Spoken Word program, announced on Sunday, December 10 that he and his wife, Carmel Newell, have received a call to be leaders of missions. starting in July 2024

Their specific location will be announced later. Newell will continue to serve with people until they leave, according to a statement from the People of the Tabernacle posted on

“I can’t express what an honor it has been to serve for the past 34 years as the speaker and writer of ‘Music and the Spoken Word,'” said Newell. “Our call will allow Carmel and I to welcome a new service opportunity. Until then, we will continue to enjoy each week with our dear friends in the remarkable Tabernacle Choir.”

Temple Square Tabernacle Choir President Michael O. Leavitt, right, with Music and Spoken Word speaker Lloyd Newell following the announcement that Lloyd and Carmel Newell will serve as mission leaders beginning in 2024. They made the announcement during in rehearsal before Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at the Salt Lake City Convention Center.

Kate Turley, Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square

Lloyd Newell has hosted the weekly show for more than three decades. Carmel Newell has been the Tabernacle Choir Member Support Director for the past 18 months.

“We are happy for Lloyd and Carmel, but understand the challenge of replacing this icon in an inspirational broadcast,” Tabernacle Choir President Michael O. Leavitt said in the release. “Lloyd is trusted and admired by millions who have grown accustomed to his soothing voice and wisdom on Sunday mornings. We will enjoy the remaining months of Lloyd’s weekly presence.”

Mission leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are assigned to a specific geographic area and are responsible for supervising and training hundreds of missionaries during their service. Most mission presidents and their wives serve three years.

Lloyd Newell taps upcoming episodes of “Music & the Spoken Word” at the Conference Center.

Lloyd Newell tapes several upcoming installments of “Music & the Spoken Word” at the Salt Lake City Convention Center on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Spoken Word Speakers

The Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square’s Sunday Morning Show was first broadcast more than 94 years ago on July 15, 1929, with 19-year-old Ted Kimball standing on a ladder to reach the microphone to announce each musical number.

Richard L. Evans was the first regular speaker on Music & the Spoken Word from the summer of 1930 to 1971—more than 41 years. Spence Kinard presented Spoken Word from 1972 to 1990.

Newell’s first official time presenting Spoken Word was on March 31, 1991. He had been filling in since late November 1990.

When extended, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency, said it would be until further notice.

“And now comes this additional notice,” Newell said as he told the choir and orchestra during Sunday morning’s rehearsal. His wife and daughter Abby stood at the side of the stage as he made the announcement.

“We will go where we are asked to serve. … It’s not ‘goodbye,’ it’s ‘see you in the next many months,'” he said.

“There’s nothing like it in the whole world,” he said of the choral organization. “And I am nothing but grateful to have had these years of association with each and every one of you.”

Lloyd Newell practices with the Tabernacle Choir for the Music & Spoken Word at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

Lloyd Newell practices with the Tabernacle Choir for “Music and the Spoken Word” at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Sunday, October 17, 2010.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In an interview with Church News in 2021, Newell said that President Hinckley told him that this call would change his life. “President Hinckley was right, it changed my life and my family’s life for the better. He understood it much better than I did. … I think he definitely had a bigger vision for it than I did at the time.”

Newell worked as a television news anchor and during his calling traveled the world as a corporate trainer and consultant.

He has since taught at Brigham Young University as a professor of religious education. Carmel Newell is an assistant professor at BYU’s Marriott School of Management.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the choir and orchestra were on hiatus from concerts. In late 2021, he began writing new “Spoken Word” messages and inserting them into the “Music & Spoken Word” encore shows until the choir and orchestra began live performances.

As of May 2021, he also serves as a counselor in a stake presidency of young single adults.

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