Sept. 20-21 in Marriott Center
Familiar strains from one of the world’s premier choirs will resonate from the Marriott Center rafters during Brigham Young University’s Homecoming Spectacular in September when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square appear as guest artists for the 2007 festivities.
The annual talent showcase is scheduled Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20 and 21, at 7:30 p.m. and will have a “grandeur, dignity and spectacle unique to any spectacular we have ever done,” according to artistic director Janielle Christensen.
Also featured will be Young Ambassadors, the Ballroom Dance Company and Living Legends. Tickets are available at byutickets.com, at the Marriott Center ticket office or by calling (801) 422-BYU1.
The celebrated choir will present a diverse program that ranges from the inspiring “The Spirit of God” and “Hymn of Praise” to the lively “Battle of Jericho” and haunting “Danny Boy.”
The performance could be considered a reunion ensemble because two-thirds of the choir as well as director Craig Jessop and associate director Mack Wilberg are BYU alumni.
“The choir leadership has a strong desire to establish a relationship with our student body,” explained Michael Handley, Spectacular producer. “They view the university as a pool for future performers and future audiences. We also see their presence providing a great way for our student performing groups to do ensemble work with the choir.”
Much of the show will focus on fun entertainment. The Young Ambassadors will offer the premiere of a “Tarzan” section complete with a jungle, water effects and monkeys on bungee cords. Songs will include “Trash in the Camp” and “Two Worlds.” The group will also present “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from the Broadway musical “Mary Poppins.”
The Ballroom Dance Company will do a “Pirates of the Caribbean” number Christensen says is “highly entertaining and visual.” The dancers will also perform “If You Could Hie to Kolob” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “When [Ballroom Dance Company director] Lee Wakefield heard the choir was coming, he was most excited about using this music with the choir. It should be stunning,” she added.
From Living Legends will come “Go My Son,” a number where a Native American father has a dream where the Great Spirit carries him away and tells him to gather his family and walk uprightly. This number will open the show.
Also planned is a finale with Living Legends that pays tribute to Karl G. Maeser, legendary principal of Brigham Young Academy and the man credited as the spiritual architect of Brigham Young University.
A 120-foot curtain will provide the backdrop for a panorama where visual projections of many kinds and colors will bring to life anything happening on stage. At one moment the screen may show the rooftops of London and then become the jungles of Africa or a sweeping ship amid choppy ocean waves. Because the performance makes full use of the stage, all seats will have an excellent view.
“This is a unique show for us,” Christensen said. “The choir brings its own sense of importance and grandeur. We also have Karl Maeser as the founder. He is always inspiring as we sense the importance of who he was and his philosophy of education and integrity. First and foremost, however, this evening always offers spectacular entertainment and the opportunity for the community and student body to see premier performers under one roof. It should be a great concert.”
Writer: Charlene Winters