News Release

Tabernacle Choir Introduces New Presenter of ‘Music and the Spoken Word’

Derrick Porter Replaces Lloyd Newell in role

Updated June 16, 2024

The new producer, principal writer and presenter of The Tabernacle at Temple Square’s “Music and the Spoken Word” weekly broadcast is ready to take the lead role. Derrick Porter replaces Lloyd Newell, who has been the voice of the Choir for 34 years.

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“Derrick represents the beginning of a new era for ‘Music and 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,” said Tabernacle Choir President Michael O. Leavitt.

President Leavitt, Porter, and Newell met with the news media on Friday, June 14, 2024, at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the choir's home.

Newell’s last broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word" was on Sunday, June 16, 2024. Porter will deliver his first message during the broadcast on June 23.

“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,” said President Leavitt.

“Lloyd Newell is something of a legend to me, having watched him in this role for so much of my life,” said Porter. “It has been so good to get to know him and to learn from him over the last several months.”

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.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Porter to serve with the Choir on March 22.

“This invitation from President Nelson is quite different than the work I’ve been engaged with over the past 20 years,” Porter said. “Speaking to people in a business setting is one thing, but sharing spiritual messages requires something more than professional expertise. It requires a personal connection to the words both spoken and sung.”

Lloyd Newell and Derrick Porter meets with the media during a news conference in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, June 14, 2024. Derrick Porter replaces Lloyd Newell, who has been the voice of the Choir for 34 years.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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A native of Bountiful, Utah, Porter was born in 1981 to Steven and Jan Porter. He completed his education at Weber State University and Ohio State University in 2012. He married Rebecca Brady in 2004 in the Salt Lake Temple, and they have six children.

Prior to this new calling, Porter was the bishop of his local congregation.

Lloyd Newell has served as writer and presenter of the Spoken Word since 1990. Only two others have been announcers of the Choir on the weekly broadcast — Elder Richard L. Evans and J. Spencer Kinard.

“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. “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.”

“Music and the Spoken Word” is the longest-running continuously broadcast network program in the United States and has served as a beacon of peace and healing for 95 years. For more information, visit the Choir’s website.

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