Born in 1949, Dr. Clay Christiansen was appointed Tabernacle organist in 1982. He served for 10 years as organist and choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, where he became well-known for his New Year’s Eve Bach recitals and weekly half-hour radio concerts. He also served as organist for five years at Utah’s only Jewish synagogue, Congregation Kol Ami. In 1988 Christiansen completed a doctorate in composition at the University of Utah. He also holds a master of music degree from that institution, as well as a bachelor of music degree from Brigham Young University. Christiansen’s solo performances have taken him across the United States, Canada, and England. He has been a featured artist for groups such as the United States Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants, Canadian Brass, and Danish Radio Choir. His published organ compositions are included in the catalogues of several major U.S. music publishers. Compositions also include works for chorus, string quartet, woodwind trio, and chamber and symphony orchestra.
Dr. Christiansen and his wife, Diane, are the parents of 13 children and have over 50 grandchildren. They welcomed the birth of their first great-grandchild during the summer of 2013.