Latter-day Saint Life

NBA star Thurl Bailey makes his debut with The Tabernacle Choir—as an audience greeter

Thurl Bailey makes an “audience greeting” before the “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Former NBA star and sports broadcaster Thurl “Big T” Bailey started a new calling on Sunday, Aug. 21, as a greeter for the “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square.

About 15 minutes prior to performance, Bailey, dressed in a gray suit, blue tie and coordinating pocket square, adjusted the microphone stand up for his 6-foot-11-inch height and with his recognizable deep voice, he welcomed those in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City to the weekly broadcast.

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“I am so honored and so privileged to be able to be up here to welcome all of you,” he said. “It’s a pleasure for me to welcome all of you here to this live broadcast of ‘Music and the Spoken Word.’ Now, wherever you’ve traveled from, near or far, we’re glad you are here on this day with us in this magnificent Conference Center to witness this incredible talent.”

He also asked how many were attending the broadcast for the first time—and many hands went up.

“So that means we do have a few rookies in here, but don’t worry, you’re not alone,” said the former Utah Jazz player and current broadcaster. “This is my, kind of, rookie debut as your official greeter today. But I’ve been told that if you keep coming back again and again, you’ll finally get the hang of it. So, welcome all of you first-timers.”

You can read more about what Tabernacle Choir greeters do and Bailey’s history with music on Church News.

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