The Temple Square Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra took time on Sunday to commemorate the farewell of a man who is considered the “father and certainly the shepherd of the Temple Square Orchestra”.
Barry Anderson, choir administrative manager, master of logistics and unsung hero in the shadows, is retiring after more than 21 years of service.
Anderson received a long standing ovation from the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in Temple Square, as well as personal tributes from President Michael O. Leavitt and Music Director Mack Wilberg last weekend.
“I am confident that every person in this choir and orchestra and in our combined choral organization knows in their hearts the profound contribution he has made, the loyalty both personal and professional that he has brought,” said Leavitt, who referenced Anderson. as “father and shepherd” of the orchestra. “And I think we will all be sensitive to the fact that words just aren’t enough.”
“We have been comrades-in-arms for over 20 years and as the President has said before, words cannot express my personal appreciation and love for you,” Wilberg said. “I don’t know how we’re going to replace you. …Just know my personal appreciation and love for you and you will be missed.
The Tabernacle Choir also sang a heartfelt rendition of “God be with you until we meet again.”
“You always hear people say, ‘You’ll know when it’s time.’ I was like, ‘How does it work?’ said Anderson, 66. “But you get to a point where you say, ‘I’ve done a lot of what I wanted to accomplish, I feel good,’ and you get the feeling that maybe it’s be time to venture into new areas. … Let’s see what else is there.
Who is Barry Anderson?
Anderson joined the choir’s administrative staff in 2001.
Prior to working with the choir, Anderson graduated from the University of Utah and spent 26 years working for a major food retailer as human resources manager, sales and marketing manager, 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 asked him to send a copy of his resume. This led to a series of interviews with members of 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 good,” Anderson said. “Did you and my wife figure out how we were going to pay the bills?”
Despite everything, he met the staff and was offered a job.
“It was a leap of faith,” he said. “I thought, ‘When will you get the chance to do this?’ I discussed it with my wife and took a huge pay cut and came to work for the choir. It has been 21 wonderful years.
As administrative director of the choir, he oversaw the budgeting and financial operations of the choir as well as the management needs of the Temple Square Orchestra. Her duties involved event planning and coordination, wardrobe, catering, location scouting for hotels and venues, creating detailed plans and itineraries, and managing complex logistics for events. visits.
Has he ever felt overwhelmed by work?
Not really. At some point, he realized that he rarely got sick, that he could eat anything, and that he could sleep anywhere.
“I always felt like I was given a skill set that allowed me to do this,” he said. “And so I worked hard. When we were going on tour and that sort of thing. I always felt very prepared. I always had the certainty that our plans were good.
An example of Anderson’s logistical magic was demonstrated when the choir was on tour in Minnesota in 2013. Anderson insisted that the choir use multiple buses to transport its members, but never filled them to capacity, leaving plenty of extra seating. When a bus broke down 250 miles from Minneapolis, Anderson filled the other buses with the stranded choir members and everyone arrived in time for the concert.
Reflections from the Tabernacle Choir Service
Many have inquired about Anderson’s thoughts and feelings as he nears retirement.
“There are two words that continually come to mind as I thought about it,” he said, addressing the choir and orchestra. “The first is ‘gratitude’ for landing here 21 years ago and being able to contribute. And for that, I am grateful. I’m grateful for so many relationships that I’ve made over the years and for the mentors that I’ve had and that sort of thing.
The second word that comes to mind is “preferred”.
“We were reminiscing with some people last Friday and I don’t remember all the amazing experiences until something clicks or I read a newspaper,” he said. “I think, ‘How the hell did this happen to me? How was I put in this place?
Anderson recalls the first time he met President Gordon B. Hinckley in his office.
“I just remember thinking when I was at West High, who would have ever thought I would end up here, at least for something good,” Anderson said. “But it’s just been an amazing race that way.”
What’s next for Barry Anderson?
Anderson hopes to reconnect with her joy of golfing, gardening and fishing, not to mention spending more time with her family.
He’s been to 35 countries in the past two decades, so he’s not really into travel.
“I would like to be home, have a regular routine and enjoy life,” Anderson said.
He will put some energy into working with a non-profit organization that deals with addiction recovery.
Anderson will also continue to love and appreciate the Tabernacle Choir and its music.
“What a feeling of satisfaction,” he said. “I never sang, I never performed with them, I was never on stage, but every time they sang it was so good and I knew what it took to get them there. I will always have this great sense of satisfaction. It’s been 21 years of amazing experiences and I feel privileged to have helped.