News Release

West African Singer joins the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for April 2023 General Conference

Choir Welcomes Singers from Around the World


Members of the Gbawe Ward in Accra Ghana have added incentive to pay close attention to General Conference in April.  Ward member and Elders Quorum President Elisha Tubo-Oreriba Joseph will be singing with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, which has welcomed qualified singers from 10 different countries to sing at General Conference.

In November of 2022, the leadership of the Tabernacle Choir announced a program that gave members from throughout the world an opportunity to sing with the Choir and gave the Choir the opportunity to better reflect the worldwide membership of the Church.

Elisha took part in auditions that were held for qualified singers from Mexico, Central America, South America, West Africa, the Philippines and other Asian Countries.

The Choir leadership noted that this is a pilot that is designed to build a deeper attachment with the Church and the Choir among members and non-members of the Church in other countries.  “It is possible that this will be a one-time event,” explained Choir President Michael O. Leavitt. “Or perhaps it will be something we do periodically.  The most likely outcome, however, is that through this pilot project we will gradually see new options and possibilities that will help the Choir to better represent the worldwide Church.”

Music has always been a big part of Elisha’s life. “Music, like food, satisfies me when I sing it”, he said.  Growing up in Nigeria he began singing and learning to read music in the Church choir at 12 and began teaching himself to play the piano.  After serving his mission in Enugu Nigeria, Brother Joseph relocated to Accra and began singing with the BYU Collegiate Singers in Accra.  They had many local performances including a live broadcast to BYU Idaho and a local performance of Handel’s Messiah.  He also sang with the BYU Idaho Choir when they performed at the National Theatre in Accra.

 Elisha arrived in Utah on March 18, giving him some time prior to conference to work with the Choir and prepare for singing during the conference sessions. “It’s been awesome, a big learning experience” he said, and added that “I have been exposed to many growth opportunities, learning diction, vibrato, tone, volume, and voice quality.” 

It has also been very challenging.  “The Choir has a standard and even though we are here for a very short time, we must maintain that standard to be able to sing with the Choir,” he said.  Memorizing the words and music is also a significant task and Elisha said, “I am very glad that English is my first language.”

The time in Utah has allowed Brother Joseph to experience some new and unusual things. “I have never seen snow, and on a trip to Provo it was 4 feet deep.  I don’t have a coat, but luckily they provided me with one”.  He was also able to meet and sing for Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and was able to participate in a special project, helping the team creating the new hymn book. “We are working with them to help the new hymn book to reflect the global nature of the Church,” he said.

Wearing a nametag that has both the Ghanaian and Nigerian flag, Brother Joseph recognizes the importance of his achievement, and this opportunity, to all West Africa.  “Music is such an important part of our faith in Africa.  I am grateful to be able to represent that faith and our culture,” he said and added, “ music heals, comforts and spurs me to love God and my neighbor.  I have felt countless times the supernal, uplifting power that emanates from singing the hymns of Zion.  When I feel dispirited, music cheers me, rejuvenates my soul, and brightens the glimmer of hope in me.  I feel closer to God when I raise my voice in hymns of praise.”



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