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“1856: Long Walk Home" at BYU May 19 celebrates Martin and Willie Handcart Companies

The American West Heritage Center and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University will present “1856: Long Walk Home,” a concert-opera commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies, Friday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Nelke Theatre at Brigham Young University.

Admission is free, and the public is welcome. The BYU performance is part of a series of performances of the new work held throughout the state.

Composed by Harriet Petherick Bushman, the opera uses excerpts from company members' journals, documents and poetry written during their harrowing trek to Zion to join other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The production focuses on what members of the handcart companies learned during their trials on the trail and how they kept their faith alive.

Directed by Rodger Sorensen, chair of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts at BYU, the opera features performers Jennifer Welch-Babidge, Darrell Babidge, Dianna Graham, Amanda Crabb and Kevin Goertzen.

For more information, contact Rodger Sorensen at (801) 422-8132.

Writer: Brian Rust

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