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Tabernacle Choir gets new voice as announcer of ‘Music & the Spoken Word’

Deseret News
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s venerated weekly program “Music & the Spoken Word” will have a new announcer for the first time in 34 years this summer.

Derrick Porter, 42, will be the new executive producer principal writer, and presenter of “Music & the Spoken Word,” replacing Lloyd Newell, who has served for the past 34 years and is retiring to serve as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The First Presidency named Porter as Newell’s replacement in a news release issued Friday.

“This kind of announcement is very rare, considering that during the past three decades we’ve all become accustomed to hearing Lloyd Newell on Sunday mornings,” said the church’s Presiding Bishop, Gérald Caussé, advisor to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. “We are thrilled about the future of this program and know it will continue to bring peace and hope in a troubled world through its music and messages each week.”

“Music & the Spoken Word,” a weekly Sunday morning broadcast featuring the choir and words of inspiration from the presenter, is the world’s longest-running broadcast.

The show has had three regular announcers in a history that is closing in on a century of broadcasting:

Porter will be the fourth.

Porter lives in Bountiful, Utah, with his wife, Rebecca. They are the parents of six children. He currently serves as a bishop in his local congregation.

“Rebecca and I marveled as we’ve reflected upon this call extended by President Nelson,” Porter said in the news release. “I am sincerely humbled at the opportunity to serve as a steward to carry on this great legacy.”

Newell and his wife, Karmel, have been called to serve as mission leaders for the California Los Angeles Mission and will begin their service in mid-June.

“What an honor and blessing to begin every Sunday morning with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for more than half my life,” Newell said in the release. “I can’t begin to capture the many meaningful moments I have shared with the Choir. It has been a sacred trust to prepare and deliver inspirational ‘Spoken Words’ over so many years, and now my wife and I look forward to serving the Lord in new ways.”

Choir President Michael O. Leavitt expressed appreciation for Newell’s service and optimism for the future of Music & the Spoken Word.

“We express our gratitude to Lloyd, who served as someone trusted and admired by millions who have become accustomed to his soothing voice and trademark wisdom on Sunday morning” Leavitt said in the release. “We are delighted for the Newells and their new assignment. Derrick represents the beginning of a new era for Music & the Spoken Word, and we have plans that will help carry the messages from this beloved program to people throughout the world in new and exciting ways.”

Newell’s final Sunday broadcast with the choir will be June 16. Porter will deliver his first “Music & the Spoken Word” message the following week, June 23, the release said.

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