Education and CareerMusic Performance at Brigham Young University in 1979. Wilberg taught music at BYU for several years before accepting a position as associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In 2008 Wilberg was appointed as director of the Tabernacle Choir, a position he still holds presently.
Wilberg has performed with the American Piano Quartet, arranged music for several groups, including the King’s Singers, and is the biggest-selling composer for the Oxford Press (Warnock).
At the 2012 Madeleine Festival of the Arts and Humanities, the Salt Lake Community College's Chamber Choir performed a program featuring Wilberg's music.
Awards and Honors
Wilberg was presented with the BYU Distinguished Service Award in 2007 as part of the BYU Homecoming Celebration.
In 2008 Wilberg was awarded the Star Award for Music as part of the third annual SCERA Center for the Arts Star Awards.
Comments from Students
The following comments were published in BYU Magazine, Spring 2000, in an article titled Professors of the Century.
Cathy Mooney Koncurat, ‘94, Baltimore, Md:
I would like to nominate Mack Wilberg as one of the top 10 professors in BYU's history. I auditioned for the BYU Concert Choir for four years in a row and finally got in during my senior year, 1993-94. It was worth the wait. My time with Brother Wilberg was the highlight of my years at BYU. For an hour each day I was challenged, moved and inspired. I got to perform in the hymns of thanksgiving broadcast (which I still listen to daily), in general conference, in Music and the Spoken Word with the Tabernacle Choir, and at a national conference in California. Brother Wilberg was a master composer and conductor, but also a master teacher. I now sing in the Baltimore Symphony Chorus with experienced vocalists and world-famous conductors, and none of these men has impressed me as much as Brother Wilberg. Some of them have his high standards of musicianship, but none of them have his magical ability to motivate people. He consistently manages to make inexperienced, immature singers sound and behave like professionals, and that is great teaching.
Jeffrey Rice, ’90, Boxford, MA:
I am nominating Dr. Mack Wilberg as a professor who has had a profound impact on my life, not only while I attended BYU, but even to this day. I had the extraordinary opportunity to participate in the Brigham Young University Men’s Chorus for five years.
Attending choir practice was the highlight of each day. Performing in the chorus built self-confidence, love of song, desire for excellence, friendships, and perhaps most endearing, a host of rich memories and experiences that will travel with me all the days of my life. Those days were days I look back on with a sentimental fondness and longing.
Currently Dr. Wilberg is serving as the associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I have a mixture of sorrow and excitement for this recent change—sorrow for the BYU community, which will indeed miss his rare mix of talent and tolerance, and excitement for the rest of the Church (and in reality, the world), which will have the opportunity to be moved by his gift of music.
In 1990 I was asked to write a tribute to Dr. Wilberg and to my experience in the Men’s Chorus. Following is a copy of that letter:
To whom it may concern:
I have been associated with Dr. Mack Wilberg for over four years. During this time I, as a member of the Brigham Young University Men's Chorus, have been privileged to observe his teaching style and interpersonal skills.
Dr. Wilberg's demand for excellence and precision in performance and performer alike is uniquely tamed by his genuine concern and respect for each choir member. This respect and concern motivates students to realize their potential without the unnecessary pressure that often stifles learning and desire. While a high level of achievement is required of each student, this demand is not hypocritical. Dr. Wilberg is consistently well prepared, and he maintains efficient use of class time.
Furthermore, he is flexible and able to adapt rehearsals to concentrate on problem areas, thus maximizing efficiency in class instruction. Occasionally, however, unscheduled rehearsals became necessary. These rehearsals are always planned with the convenience of the students in mind and, when time allows, enough in advance to permit the majority to attend. In these situations Dr. Wilberg is always mindful of the students’ busy schedules and is flexible with his own demands.
Frequently opportunities were given to students to excel as individuals in leadership positions, as soloists, in weekly spiritual devotionals, and in a variety of performance-related activities. These opportunities made the choir a choice and rich experience rarely offered by other instructors. Indeed, this blend of collective and individual growth is definitely in harmony with the university's goals and overall mission.
Dr. Wilberg fosters variety—not only in musical genres, but also in opportunities for musical performance. Each semester the choir had numerous performances. Some of these included Cougar Club pep rallies, professional recording sessions, combined concerts in various tabernacles (including Temple Square), high school performances, devotional assemblies, Homecoming, general priesthood meeting, and a funeral service, as well as the traditional biannual Men’s and Women’s Chorus concert and seasonal combined choir performance.
The growth of the choir is another convincing, tangible indicator of Dr. Wilberg’s success as a choral instructor. In 1985 the chorus had approximately 85 members. Since then the chorus has doubled in size—to well over 180 members.
I have been an alumnus of BYU since April 1990. In retrospect, I do not consider myself a particularly gifted or talented musician. I cannot say that Dr. Wilberg has brought out in me some latent musical talent which will inspire many. Instead, I can say with conviction and deep respect and admiration that Dr. Wilberg has inspired in me (and I am sure in others) a strong desire to continue throughout my life in the things that were taught: to realize my musical potential through progressively challenging opportunities, to seek after good music, and perhaps most importantly, to inspire others with the same love of song that he so aptly inspired in each of us. In summary, Dr. Wilberg wonderfully combines an intense passion for music with an obvious love and respect for his students—two qualities that are paramount to productive and successful learning.
- The Salt Lake Tribune - Diverse slate at Madeleine Fest (9 April 2012)
- The Deseret News - 'Glory' showcases feelings of Mormon Tabernacle Choir members (8 Mar 2012)
- The Deseret News - Mormon Tabernacle Choir brings 'Wonderful World' of tribute songs (23 July 2011)
- The Deseret News - New DVD chronicles Mormon Tabernacle Choir's tour stories (11 June 2011)
- The Daily Herald - Ye Elders of Israel: Mormon Tabernacle Choir releases its first album with songs by only the men (5 Feb 2011)
- The Deseret News - Choir's men lift voices: All-male album is unique in Mormon Tabernacle Choir's storied history (2 Jan 2011)
- The Deseret News - Mormon Tabernacle Choir successfully taps into new market (31 Dec 2010)
- The Deseret News - Behind the scenes with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (30 Oct 2010)
- LDS Church News - 'Wonderful' concert by Tabernacle Choir (24 July 2010)
- The Daily Universe - MoTab makes No. 1 on Classical chart (30 June 2010)
- The Daily Universe - Mormon Tabernacle Choir prepares for conference (2 Oct. 2009)
- The Official Site of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- BYU Magazine: BYU Honors Six at Homecoming
- BYU Magazine: Filling the Choir Seats (Fall 2007)
- "Professors of the Century, Part II." BYU Magazine. Spring 2000. <http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=1138>.
- Warnock, Caleb. “SCERA honors local art scene.” The Daily Herald. Provo, Utah. 10 Feb. 2008:A8.