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Education Beyond the Classroom: CFAC Students Travel the World for Experiential Learning Opportunities

June 04, 2024 02:49 PM
Students From the College of Fine Arts and Communications (CFAC) Travel Nationally and Internationally to Gain Real-World Experience and Share Their Talents While Studying Abroad, Competing, Interning & Performing
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From BYU to Broadway: One Music Dance Theatre Student Tells His Story

March 19, 2024 12:05 PM
After Being Selected to Participate in an Exclusive Theatre Workshop, Johnathan Tanner Learned What It Takes to Make it on Broadway
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BYU’s Young Ambassadors Perform Classics from Radio, Stage and Screen

January 18, 2024 05:14 PM
Join the Young Ambassadors For an Evening of Musical Hits
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Faith + Works: Nathan Balser on the Power of Vulnerability

December 19, 2023 12:52 PM
BYU Dance Professor Shares Guidance In Lecture “Vulnerability: The Companion of Faith”
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World of Dance Celebrates 55 Years of Tradition in the Marriott Center

September 07, 2023 08:38 AM
After 55 Years in the de Jong Concert Hall, BYU Department of Dance’s World of Dance To Be Performed in Marriott Center and Off-Campus
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Enter a New World: BYU's "World of Dance"

September 09, 2022 02:00 PM
BYU’s First Dance Performance of the School Year Will Also Be a Farewell to the de Jong
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BYU Young Ambassadors Present “Thank You For The Music” Featuring Classic Hits

February 08, 2022 12:00 AM
Attributing a variety of classic artists, BYU Young Ambassadors share their talents along with music sung by many of the “greats”
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The Young Ambassadors Honor Randy Boothe and Welcome Nathan Balser as the New Artistic Director

July 22, 2020 12:00 AM
After Randy Boothe dedicated decades to the Young Ambassadors, he is now passing on the leadership to Nathan Balser
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Ben Rector and Hilary Weeks to headline BYU Spectacular!

October 03, 2019 12:00 AM
Hit-making Nashville-based singer-songwriter Ben Rector will be the featured talent for BYU Spectacular! 2019, along with prolific LDS-Christian crossover artist Hilary Weeks. The headliners will also be joined by Vocal Point, Men’s Chorus, Young Ambassadors, Ballroom Dance Company, Cougarettes, International Folk Dance Ensemble and the BYU Dunk Team as part of BYU Homecoming 2019. BYU Spectacular! offers two performances: Thursday, October 17, and Friday, October 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the general public go on sale July 15th at BYUtickets.com, with advance ticket sales for BYU alumni and students and BYU ArtsPass holders the week prior. Read more at news.byu.edu
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BYU Student Uses Language to Build Bridges in China

September 03, 2019 12:00 AM
McKenna Wright had an unexpected opportunity to speak the language she learned on a volunteer assignment for her church when BYU invited her to perform in China. Brigham Young University invited the Young Ambassadors, a dancing and singing group, to perform as part of the BYU Spectacular tour. Wright, who is a performer in the group, excitedly accepted the invitation. When Wright received her volunteer assignment to Taiwan in 2014, she had no idea that years later she would be going to China and have the opportunity to use the language she spoke while in Taiwan. While living in Taiwan, Wright enjoyed learning about the Taiwanese culture and studying Mandarin Chinese. She shared that it helped her develop a love for the Taiwanese and Chinese cultures, which gave her a desire to integrate them into her life after her volunteer experience was completed. “It was like a springboard where I was like, ‘Of course I want to make Chinese my minor at BYU,’” she said. “I want to learn everything I can and associate myself with people who are from China or Taiwan.” Read the full story at universe.byu.edu.
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BYU’s China Spectacular Tour Celebrates 40 Years of Friendship

May 08, 2019 12:00 AM
Forty years ago, a group of Brigham Young University student performers traveled to China and put on a show that made history. This summer, the University is celebrating that anniversary with a return tour that highlights the relationship BYU and China have shared since 1979. Following the aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, BYU’s initial tour made the Young Ambassadors and Living Legends among the first Western performing arts groups to enter the country. The tour was the idea of then-BYU President Dallin H. Oaks, who had met with President Spencer W. Kimball of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1978. President Kimball spoke highly of China’s high standards and family values and upon returning from the meeting, President Oaks asked BYU officials to begin making plans for a performing arts group to go to China, despite no established U.S.-Chinese diplomatic relations at that time. But the diplomatic relations did happen in early 1979 and the show fell into place. Newly-launched China Central Television asked to broadcast BYU’s live performance and, even after the group had left the country, the channel continued to rebroadcast the performance. In the past 39 years, BYU performing groups have returned to China 28 more times. Read the full story at news.byu.edu.
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BYU Young Ambassadors presents “Heartsongs: Melodies of Love"

February 27, 2015 12:00 AM
Brigham Young University’s Young Ambassadors will perform “Heartsongs: Melodies of Love” Thursday through Saturday, March 5-7 in the de Jong Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. along with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $12, with discounts available to alumni, seniors and students, and can be purchased in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone 801.422.2981 or online at byuarts.com. “Heartsongs: Melodies of Love,” highlights some of the world’s all-time favorite love songs in a vibrant musical journey through the rollercoaster of life. With show tunes from award-winning Broadway musicals “Cinderella,” “Singin’ In the Rain” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” along with international hits by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael Bublé, Adele and Michael Jackson, the performance celebrates life’s unforgettable seasons of love in a spirited 90-minute showcase that is appropriate for family members of all ages. Wearing colorful costumes and filling the stage with a kaleidoscope of dance and musical styles, the Young Ambassadors’ concerts provide a glimpse of their unique vision of international understanding, born of decades of goodwill tours around the world. Dance styles range from tap to the syncopated rhythms of the Caribbean islands, while featuring the next generation of contemporary sounds and choreography. The 2013—2014 season locations for “Heartsongs: Melodies of Love” included performance halls throughout Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The upcoming touring season includes performances in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Illinois. To commemorate the groups 45 years of world tours, The Young Ambassadors will be joined by group alumni and accompanied by a live ten-piece show band that features some of the university’s finest instrumental performers. These musicians’ animated performances enhance each number so audiences always get what they came for: a night of talent and entertainment in every facet of the performance. Over the past 45 years, the Young Ambassadors have shared their remarkable talent and energy in almost 70 countries. The talented group traveled to Australia in 2008 for a special three-week tour where they performed for the legislators in the Queensland State Parliament in Brisbane. The Young Ambassadors have also performed for heads of state in India, Britain, Jordan, Egypt, Japan and the United States. Since 2000, the Young Ambassadors have been to Brazil, Argentina, the 2002 Winter Olympics, Canada, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, twice to China, Tasmania, Africa, throughout Scandinavia and all over the United States. The Young Ambassadors represent the School of Music in cooperation with the Department of Dance from the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. For more information and to download production photos, visit youngambassadors.byu.edu. Tickets and Show Details Performance Dates: March 5-7, 2015 Times: 7:30 p.m. (with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee) Location: de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU Price: $12 (with $4 off for students and $1 off for alumni and seniors) Tickets: Available at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by phone 801.422.2981 or visit byuarts.com. For a limited time, a discount two-for-one promotion code is available at the Young Ambassadors’ event page at BYUarts.com.
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YASE Camp Underway

July 14, 2014 12:00 AM
Photo by Jocelyn Bowman. The Young Ambassador Singing Entertainer Workshop (YASE) is underway at BYU for two one-week sessions this month. YASE prepares ambitious high school students improve their skills and understanding of music, dance and theatre. YASE is a camp where the teachers are the BYU Young Ambassadors, who take time to help teenagers put together a show after a week of high-energy musical dance training that includes group classes, auditions, rehearsals and performance-enhancement workshops. YASE attendees also enjoy an outdoor barbecue, a fireside given by Young Ambassadors and a final concert on Friday. “I loved being able to step into a high level of professionalism as we embarked on the challenge of putting a show together in less than one week,” said Tanner DeWaal, the current president of Young Ambassadors. DeWaal attended YASE when he was in high school, and attributes much of his happiness in his Music Dance Theatre (MDT) major to the time he spent there. “I am still great friends with a number of people who I originally met at YASE camp,” DeWaal said. “As a person with a passion for performing, there isn’t anything else I would more strongly recommend to a young performing artist than to be a part of this summer camp.” For more information about YASE camp, click here.
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Young Ambassadors take on Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

May 21, 2014 12:00 AM
The Young Ambassadors started their week off in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is the first time the Young Ambassadors have ever visited this beautiful country. One of the first things the group was able to do was tour parts of Angkor Wat. Translated, Angkor Wat means 'City of Temples' and is considered to be the largest religious monument in the world. That same night, the group met with 400 LDS church members for a devotional. The capital city of Phnom Penh was next. The group had the humbling experience of visiting the Killing Fields Memorial at Cheoung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Tears were shed as the group toured these locations where many people were tortured and killed during the reign of Khmer Rouge.
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Young Ambassadors director inspires beyond the stage

March 28, 2014 12:00 AM
It’s 10 p.m. in a bitterly cold New York City. As light and excitement pour out from the windows of a late-night diner, a growing crowd flows into the establishment. Inside, surrounded by dozens of his former BYU students, sits Randy Boothe. It is Boothe’s last night in the city, and he makes it a point to take advantage of every chance to catch up with his graduates.
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Young Ambassadors Celebrate Family Values in China

April 22, 2013 12:00 AM
In 1979 the Young Ambassadors became one of the first American groups to travel to China after diplomatic recognition between the two countries. This spring the Young Ambassadors will return to China for the eighth time. Their three-week tour, from April 27 to May 20, will include cities the group initially visited in 1979–Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong–and also Tianjin, Jinan, Hefei, and Xi’an. The Young Ambassadors received significant media attention during their previous tours, including a 2007 documentary aired by China Central TV explaining the history of the Young Ambassadors in China and the relationships that have since developed. During their first China tour in 1979, the Young Ambassadors gave a private performance for 15 high government officials. The reaction of those officials would determine the extent to which the group would perform while in China. At the end of that show, artistic director of the Young Ambassadors Randy Boothe recalled the Chinese officials announcing, “Tonight the Young Ambassadors will perform in the Red Tower Theatre,” which at the time was the most prestigious theatre in Beijing. Through their joint efforts with the Chinese Performing Arts Agency, the Young Ambassador’s have presented throughout China. During this next tour the Young Ambassadors will join the Beijing Dance Academy, one of the most prestigious dance schools in China, for a performance. They will also return to the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, which they last attended in 2005. Representatives from BYU and China have developed strong friendships from such regular interaction over the years and look forward to working together again. “Our friends in China have always welcomed us with open arms,” said Boothe. “Returning to China is a dream come true, and we look forward to making new friends as we share our unique brand of family entertainment through the best of America’s music and dance.” The Young Ambassadors certainly bring a style of music unique to American musical theatre and radio. Harmony showcases music from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, and Carousel, as well as popular songs by Michael Bublé, the Gershwin brothers, and Benny Goodman. The Young Ambassadors are making every effort to communicate clearly with their Chinese audiences. The lyrics will have Mandarin supertitles and the video will have a Chinese voice-over. In addition to their very American-style music, the Young Ambassadors are also preparing an original piece for their Chinese audience titled “Take a Step,” composed by Boothe and Stephen Jones, dean of BYU’s College of Fine Arts and Communications, with choreography by Jiamin Huang, a former student of the Beijing Dance Academy. According to Boothe, “this is a tribute to our friends in China, showing the deep respect we have for them and their commitment to family values.” Set during the Chinese New Year, the piece tells the story of a young couple sharing a message of strength and the importance of family with their infant–then hearing the same message retold by the couple’s ancestors. Chris Udall, a soloist for “Take a Step,” looks forward to sharing the message of family with Chinese audiences. “The entire message of the Young Ambassadors show is about the importance of families,” he said. “I hope the message can touch their hearts and strengthen their family bonds.” The Young Ambassadors have a Pacific Northwest midsemester tour before they cross the ocean in April. From February 22 to March 2, they will perform in Idaho (Nampa), Washington (Richland, Everett, Marysville, Kent, Bremerton, and Olympia), and Oregon (Hillsboro). Watch KSL's feature on Young Ambassadors here. Source: BYU Performing Arts Management
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From Carnegie Hall to the Olympics, BYU performers dazzle audiences during summer tours

August 28, 2008 12:00 AM
by Ed Blaser In a single summer, Brigham Young University performing groups delivered more than 100 shows and countless workshops to thousands of people worldwide. Each year these groups, from the School of Music and Dance Department, leave Provo to share their love and energy with people around the globe. Living up to the university’s motto, “The world is our campus,” students traveled to nearly every continent, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Chamber Orchestra’s tour of the eastern United States was filled with firsts for many of the student musicians. Not only did they bring their energy and sensational music to more than 7,000 people during their tour, they also learned about the roots of American culture and history. The group traveled to Washington, D.C.; Boston; New York City; and other historically significant cities. They were also afforded the opportunity to perform for a full house at Carnegie Hall, one of the United States’ most famous venues for classical and popular music. Carnegie Hall is known for its beauty, history and acoustics. Playing in the hall built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was a definitely a first for Chamber Orchestra and director Kory Katseanes. During the tour a special outreach performance was arranged at a boys’ home for troubled teens in Rochester, New York. After the remarkable presentation, all who were present experienced feelings of peace, including one prison guard who responded to the show by saying, “This was the most relaxing hour I have had in 20 years!” Living Legends took its production, 'Seasons,' to Chile and delighted more than 18,000 audience members with a captivating storyline and an authentic performance. 'Seasons' incorporated themes from Chile’s own Latin American heritage, as well as the cultural heritage of Native American and Polynesian music and dance. Pablo Penailillo, the single Chilean member of Living Legends, recalled how the audience would stand up and sing along to the cueca, the national dance of Chile, and clap and cheer to la negra, a popular dance that originates in Mexico. Synthesis, the “Big Band” from BYU, was selected to perform at five international jazz festivals in England and Scotland, where visitors found more jazz per square inch than in New Orleans. The group made their way through Birmingham, Marlborough, Wigan, Durham and Edinburgh, and performed ten different times. Everywhere they went, the Synthesis musicians were received enthusiastically. Shows were sold out and others were bursting at the seams. People couldn’t help but tap their feet and nod their heads to the beats that resonated first in their ears and then in the heart., said director Ray Smith. Every measure presented a surprise – a complexity of rhythms and beats strung together in new and innovative ways. Chamber Orchestra, Living Legends and Synthesis originate in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts and Communications. Meanwhile, the Young Ambassadors went “down under” to various cities on the eastern coast of Australia, as well as Tasmania. Their performance, 'The New American Songbook,' featured popular music from the 1960s through today, with a few Broadway hits mixed in. After a 25-year absence from the country, the Young Ambassadors were pleased to return with the opportunity to perform this show, which even included a few Australian folk songs. A highlight of the tour was the Young Ambassadors’ performance for the legislators in the Queensland State Parliament in Brisbane. The group’s presence was recorded in the minutes of Parliament – a first recognition of its kind for BYU. Mike Reynolds, speaker of Parliament, said afterward that he was impressed with the musical skill of the Ambassadors. Reynolds commented that in a time when academic institutions “have eliminated the academic music programs, BYU has chosen to showcase this important medium.” The Young Ambassadors are produced by the School of Music in cooperation with the Department of Dance. The International Folk Dance Ensemble was privileged to take its dancing to Central Europe and share the stage with some of the continent’s finest performing folk ensembles. The performance was a celebration of cultures. Ed Austin, artistic director, said, “The production is steeped in tradition – a patchwork of mankind’s finest expression– an attempt to preserve fragments of diversity that might otherwise be forgotten.” The U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, April Foley, called the production a “triumph” and extended her appreciation for the “tireless, young ensemble that showcased the cultural heritage of the United States.” Ambassador Foley also presented the group with the Ambassador’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy, which recognizes those who “display exceptional talent and exceptional service to the goal of friendship between America and Hungary.” A special occasion was afforded to the Ballroom Dance Company, which had the opportunity of performing at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Cultural Festival in The People's Republic of China. This event highlighted the diversity and spirit in the arts from around the globe. The occasion to take part in the Olympic festivities was a bright complement to BYU. Tour coordinator Rex Barrington explained, “The opportunity was granted largely because of the impressive reputation BYU performers have established in China over the years.” In the three weeks of their tour they also performed in Hong Kong and eight other cities throughout China, five of which would later host Olympic sporting events. A strong relationship with the Chinese Performing Arts Agency led to a full taping of their performance, with an estimated 480 million people watching on China Central Television this summer. During the tour, dancers were also able to share feelings of peace and comfort after the country experienced a devastating earthquake in central China, which took almost 70,000 lives. Brad Peterson said, “They received us wholeheartedly – their eyes were full of light and appreciation.” The International Folk Dance Ensemble and Ballroom Dance Company both originate in the Department of Dance of the College of Health and Human Performance. Performing Arts Management represents the touring ensembles that originate from the School of Music and the Department of Dance. Source: BYU News
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BYU's Young Ambassadors to present "New American Songbook" Jan. 11-12

January 07, 2008 12:00 AM
Brigham Young University’s popular Young Ambassadors will perform “The New American Songbook” in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12. The group will also perform a matinee Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. in the same location. Tickets at $10 or $7 with a BYU or student ID can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, by calling (801) 422-4322 or by visiting performances.byu.edu. 'This variety stage production will celebrate popular music and dance of the 1960s up to the present day, and will feature familiar tunes that will no doubt have the audience tapping their toes and humming along,' said director Randy Boothe. The show includes hits by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Diamond Rio, Billy Joel and some of the most exciting moments from Disney and Broadway today. The ensemble, under the direction of Randy Boothe, will tour Southern California during winter semester and will visit Australia this summer. Since entering the world stage at Japan's Expo '70, the Young Ambassadors have performed their vibrant blend of song and dance in 56 nations of the world. Their audiences have included the prime minister of India, the queen of Thailand and the king and queen of Jordan. Source: BYU News
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