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GM for Tabernacle Choir retires after 21 years

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — When Scott Barrick looks back at his career as general manager for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, he sometimes can’t believe it happened.

“For 21 years I’ve been part of the magic, and I still pinch myself,” Barrick said while standing on the stage inside the Salt Lake Tabernacle. “So, for me, this is where it started and this is the symbol of the choir as a whole.”

But Barrick’s job and the business of bringing the choir’s music to the world existed in the basement below the iconic organ pipes.

“During the pandemic, we had the new logo put in the offices. I’m actually quite proud of this because I had the opportunity to do not one but two logos for the choir,” he said.

Barrick was also responsible for establishing the choir’s recording label with 112 products to date, 15 Billboard No. 1 releases and 2 Grammy nominations. In cooperation with PBS, “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir” became a top-rated PBS Christmas program each year since 2004.

“He wore many hats. As a result, he was juggling a lot of things at the same time and, as you know, that takes some ability. I guess the word is multitask, and he did it in such a great way,” said Mack Wilberg, the choir’s music director.

Barrick ushered the choir into the digital age through a social media strategy that included a YouTube channel that now has over 500 million video views.

He also coordinated venue contracting, ticket sales and VIP receptions for 10 national and international tours and 10 regional tours of the choir and orchestra.

The choir’s biographer, Heidi Swinton, said people came to know the choir in a different way due to Barrick’s marketing strategies.

“His influence, his imprint is on everything,” Swinton said.

Barrick is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he knew about the choir before he joined the church at age 16.

“What I think I know now is that God’s hand is in the work of this choir and that he does want his children to feel his love. … And the reason why this choir exists is for that,” Barrick said.

Barrick was almost always the first person to arrive in the office, often by 7 a.m., and the last one to leave. Those who worked with him said he always put people first.

“He just went about doing good. Whether it was in the lives of an individual, someone was having trouble, he’d be the first one to be there,” Swinton explained. “It was open door policy, to have everyone working together to move the choir forward. It was never about him.”

As a parting perk, Barrick, an experienced baritone, asked if he could sing with the choir during October’s General Conference.

“That was a sweet, sweet experience and I’m very grateful for it,” he said.

And the choir is very grateful for him.

“He’s been able to help the choir not only build not just its reputation, but a means by which it could provide music that brings a sense of peace and healing throughout the world,” said choir president Michael Leavitt.

Barrick won’t have much to relax following his retirement. He and his wife, Shauna, have been called on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the site leaders for the church’s historic sites in Ohio. They will be leaving in February.


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