Mormon Tabernacle Choir: New associate director hitting the right notes

In a rehearsal earlier this week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singers weren't getting the specific sound that associate music director Ryan Murphy was seeking. So Murphy explained:

"Like you're slipping on a banana peel."

Unorthodox, perhaps, but "everybody got it," tenor Scott Russon said. "It was a real hairpin dynamic, and then a sforzando . It was really quite amazing."

Another time, Murphy asked for a sound like flicking a wet towel and added, "I want to feel a welt."

A sound like a welt? From the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

"He's an incredible educator," said alto Cherilyn Worthen, a former Brigham Young University classmate of Murphy's who now works with him to train the newest choir volunteers. She directs the Thursday-night school for incoming singers, while he is conductor of the preparatory Temple Square Chorale. "When he's in rehearsal, whether with professionals or total amateurs, he comes up with a clear description of the sound he wants."

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