Get To Know John Parry

After a bit of a hiatus Get To Know has returned.

John Parry Sr. was an early convert from Wales.  He was born in Newmarket in Flintshire in 1789, he later in life became a baptist preacher.  Working in his home community he was a Cambellite preacher, leading the John Parry Association.  As one could imagine, his was fertile ground for the church. 

Parry was of enough renown amongst the Welsh in his area that when he converted to Mormonism it sent a stir amongst the Welsh church membership.    Like others amongst the LDS membership in Britain he along with 100 other Welsh joined the migration to America.  In 1849 he arrived at Council Bluffs.  Unfortunately his wife died upon their arrival.

Parry arrived in Salt Lake City in the summer of 1849.  At the October Conference, he led other Welsh members in singing a few hymns for the conference.  Let me tell you in Wales they know a bit about singing,  I have never attended a service in Wales where I could barely hear people singing Hymns.  In fact I found myself having to slow down on moving back from there because most North Americans plod through hymns by comparison.

Shortly thereafter the Prophet, Brigham Young, asked Parry to build a formal choir to sing at succeeding conferences.  This would eventually lead to the formation of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir we recognize today.

Parry would lead the Choir until 1854.  It was not until after his death in 1868 that the choir became a more formalized and organized choir.  Parry would eventually remarry and have three plural wives, his second marriage would be to Patty Bartlett Sessions.


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