Homecoming Spectacular 2005 at Brigham Young University will offer abundant “Hail to the Prophet” moments when it honors the legacy of the Prophet Joseph Smith in an evening featuring many of BYU’s finest musicians, dancers and vocalists Thursday and Friday, Oct. 13 and 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center. Serving as emcee for the evening will be Jane Clayson Johnson, formerly of CBS’s The Early Show.
“This show is going to be absolutely stunning,” says producer Michael Handley. “Each group has designed a tribute to our prophet where the audience will feel his power and influence, especially in his focus on education. Our perspective comes from Brigham Young who said that everything he ever learned, he learned from the Prophet Joseph Smith.
“This Spectacular is not an inward show that proclaims, ‘Rah, rah, BYU,’” Handley explainsed. “Rather, this is an offering to the world that reflects the educational philosophies and contributions of Joseph Smith, Jr. We are showing how his influence has passed through the 200 years since his birth and how it manifests itself in educating the youth in the world.”
The show will contain elements reminiscent of his life, often through music and dance. One segment of the show, for example, will feature four of BYU’s performing groups in a modern-day tribute. “His testimony affects us and guides how we carry that spirit to the world,” he says.
Young Ambassadors, Living Legends, Dancers’ Company and Vocal Point will be featured. “Behind those performances, the audience is going to see the humanitarian efforts of those groups. They may see a Young Ambassador lifting an orphan, for instance, or see how they share their love of the Savior. Spectacular will also link the ideals of the past with a connection to today’s Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The show will open with the processional from the Hill Cumorah Pageant with Living Legends. In addition to the above-mentioned groups, also performing will be Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, the Philharmonic Orchestra and Nauvoo Brass Band, which gets its inspiration from the military band Joseph founded.
Among the specialties will be Robert Cundick’s arrangement of “High on a Mountain Top” that introduces some of Josephis ideals in establishing education in Zion. Kathleen Sheffield’s “Lullaby” is a dance that begins with the birth of the prophet and shows the joy he brought to his family as a baby, toddler, a seven-year-old on crutches and as an older boy.
Ross Boothe has composed “I Have Seen Him,” an original song that highlights the Prophet’s knowledge and testimony despite his challenges and trials.
Living Legends will perform in “From Cumorah’s Hill,” a dance that shows Joseph receiving the record from the hands of Moroni.
“As he turns the leaves of the plates, vignettes come to life from behind the pages of the Book of Mormon,” said Handley.
Also featured will be “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” with the Philharmonic Orchestra, “It is Well With My Soul” by Vocal Point and “Praise to the Man” with all choirs and the orchestra.
The Men’s Chorus will introduce the finale and the tune will evolve into the familiar song sung today.
“It should be a powerful ending that reflects our beliefs, passions and faith that extend far beyond the confines of the campus,” Handley said.
Writer: Charlene Winters