From the Church

‘Music & the Spoken Word’ says farewell to longtime host Lloyd Newell

The new producer, principal writer, and presenter of “Music and the Spoken Word” Derrick Porter, visits with Lloyd Newell, who has been the voice of the Choir for 34 years.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Lloyd Newell will deliver his last broadcast for “Music & the Spoken Word” on Sunday as Derrick Porter prepares to become the newest voice of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

During this season of change for the choir, Newell, Porter, and choir president Michael Leavitt spoke to the media in the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle. “Music & the Spoken Word” is the world’s longest-running broadcast.

“This is not an easy thing for me,” said Newell as he stood where he’s delivered countless sermons for the broadcast before. “And yet, at the same time, it’s a happy thing.”

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Newell and his wife will soon travel to Los Angeles to preside over a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Porter, an entrepreneur, will replace Newell as the new executive producer, principal writer, and presenter of “Music & the Spoken Word.”

It’s a calling Newell has served in for 34 years. President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ had invited Newell to fill in for the broadcast—and by 1991, Newell was the official narrator.

Newell said it was difficult for him to not feel some emotion as he stood in the tabernacle that pioneers built and where “Music & the Spoken Word” has been performed for 95 years.

“I was blessed to be part of this,” said Newell.

At the same time, Newell said he was looking forward to change and growing in new ways. “As President (Russell M.) Nelson said to me just the other day, the eternal progression of change is part of life.”

► You may also like: ‘Music & the Spoken Word’ announcer Lloyd Newell to conclude his service with the Tabernacle Choir

After Newell delivers his last words on Sunday, Porter will address the audience for the first time on June 23.

Porter said the calling “came as a complete shock and surprise.”

“I consider it a great privilege,” said Porter. “I’ve had the opportunity to bring visitors and guests here to this broadcast from around the world in conjunction with my work.”

You can read this full story on Deseret News here.

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