BRAVO! Performing Arts Series Brought in Praiseworthy Performances and Captivating Classes Throughout 2022
BYU’s BRAVO! Performing Arts Series is a beloved tradition that highlights excellence in the global performing arts community as well as rising talent at BYU. This series features professional performers that come to BYU to perform and often conduct master classes for BYU students. Below are highlights from the 2022 BRAVO! Performances and opportunities that BYU students participated in.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis | February 15, 2022
Nine-time Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis took the stage at BYU along with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) — comprising some of the most accomplished soloists, ensemble players and jazz arrangers of today. The orchestra, composed of 15 jazz musicians, is managed and artistically directed by Marsalis himself, who played his first jazz concert at the young age of eight years old.
When Marsalis met with jazz students in the School of Music, students felt inspired to make the most out of their practice time outside of performances. Members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra described how jazz can evoke a visual image for the audience, but it takes a practiced performer. Students commented on how this masterclass left them feeling like they were truly part of the music community.
An Evening with Morris Robinson | March 2, 2022
Morris Robinson, a world-renowned singer and regular at the Metropolitan Opera, brought his operatic technique and well-practiced bass voice to the BYU stage. On his March 2 visit to campus, Robinson emphasized the role that God has had in his journey from an all-American football player in college to the renowned performing artist he is today. He said that he considers his current opera career not a job, but a calling from God.
In the masterclass with BYU Opera students, Robinson reminded students to breathe. He emphasized intentionality and encouraged students to learn the meaning behind the lyrics they sing. Students received help with operatic expressions, and many went away with new knowledge on how to improve their movements and facial expressions on stage.
An Evening with Eric Whitacre featuring the BYU Choirs | March 15, 2022
Not many choral music composers are popular enough to have their name recognized outside of choral circles, but Eric Whitacre has done just that. Whitacre’s music is often performed by BYU Choirs. These two entities united in March 2022 to present a concert featuring treasured selections from Whitacre’s catalog performed by the BYU Choirs conducted and curated by Whitacre himself.
In addition to conducting BYU Choirs, Whitacre also hosted a Q&A with BYU students, telling them how he started with music and his experiences working with other composers. He advised students to see their weaknesses not as faults, but as things that could eventually be what makes them unique as composers.
An Evening with Jeremy Jordan | September 2, 2022
Jeremy Jordan brought charm alongside impressive credentials to BYU’s stage in September. Jordan is known for several award-winning performances such as his role in Broadway productions of “Bonnie and Clyde.” Many may recognize him from his performance in Disney’s “Newsies,” which earned him a Tony nomination. Jordan has appeared in several popular television shows, such as NBC’s “Smash” and CW’s “Supergirl.”
Jordan met with students in the music dance theatre (MDT) major. In the masterclass, Jordan encouraged students to take risks and trust their instincts. Jordan asked students to personally connect to the pieces they were performing during the masterclass and continue this practice. Many MDT students hope to perform professionally and hearing from Jordan was an impactful experience.
Voces8 Masterclass with the BYU Concert Choir| October 28, 2022
Voces8 is a world renowned British Choral Group. After two previous sold-out performances, BYU invited Voces8 back to perform on stage and meet with the BYU Concert Choir. Voces8 tours worldwide, frequently performing up to 100 concerts per year. Established in 2005, Voces8 uses their international to ensure “Music Education For All” with their foundation.
In their meeting with the Concert Choir, Voces8 reminded students that music is both technique and heart. When performing to any audience Voces8 hopes to connect emotionally and tell a story. Many in the class remarked on how gracious and humble members of Voces8 were as they instructed the Choir. Students walked away from this class with more confidence in their individuality they can bring to their choir.