The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full report, CLICK HERE.
Photo: Barry Anderson, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square administrative manager, poses for a portrait in the Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 17, 2022. Anderson is retiring after 21 years. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square took time Sunday to commemorate the farewell of a man who is considered the “father and certainly the shepherd of the Orchestra at Temple Square.”
Barry Anderson, the choir’s administrative manager, logistical master and unsung hero in the shadows, is retiring after more than 21 years of service.
Anderson received a lengthy standing ovation from the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, along with personal tributes from President Michael O. Leavitt and music director Mack Wilberg this past weekend.
“I feel confident that each person in this choir and orchestra and our combined choir organization know in their heart the profound contribution that he has made, the faithfulness both in personal and professional ways that he has provided,” said Leavitt, who referred to Anderson as the orchestra’s “father and shepherd.” “And I think all of us will be sympathetic with the fact that words are simply not sufficient.”
“We’ve been comrades in arms for over 20 years and as the president has already said, words can’t express my own personal appreciation and love for you,” Wilberg said. “I don’t know how we’re going to replace you. … Just know of my personal appreciation and love for you and we’re going to miss you.”
The Tabernacle Choir also sang a heartfelt rendition of “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”
“You always hear people say, ‘You’ll know when it’s time.’ I’ve been thinking, ‘How does that work?’” the 66-year-old Anderson said. “But you get to a point where you say, ‘I’ve done a lot of what I wanted to accomplish, I feel good about it,’ and you get a feeling of maybe it’s time to venture out into some new areas. … Let’s see what else there is.”
Who is Barry Anderson?
Anderson joined the choir’s administrative staff in 2001.
Before working with the choir, Anderson graduated of the University of Utah and spent 26 years working for a large food distributor as director of human resources, director of sales and marketing and division president.
One day he found himself in a Mr. Mac store talking with a friend and the son of Mac Christensen, then the new president of the Tabernacle Choir. A week later he received a call from President Christensen, who requested he send a copy of his resume. This led to a series of interviews with people in the choir, but Anderson was the president of a Fortune 500 company.
Eventually Christensen called and informed Anderson that his wife had granted permission so he could work for the Tabernacle Choir.
“Oh, well, that’s nice,” Anderson said. “Did you and my wife figure out how we were going to pay bills?”
Even so, he met with the staff and was offered a job.
“It was a leap of faith,” he said. “I thought, ‘When would you ever get a chance to do this?’ I talked it over with my wife and I took a humongous pay cut and came to work for the choir. It’s been a wonderful 21 years.”
To read the full report, CLICK HERE.