May 23, 2018
Members of Living Legends enjoy their visit to the historic Neuschwanstein Castle.
During the final week of tour, BYU Living Legends traveled in the Bavarian region of Southern Germany, made a brief visit to Switzerland, and finished in Berlin. One of the most impactful visits of the tour was when they went to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site on Monday, May 14. Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany. The group was visibly touched as they learned about the tragic history of the site, walked through the barracks, and shuddered in the crematorium. It was a heavy and unforgettable experience.
The next day, the mood of the group was lifted when they visited Oberammergau, Germany. This small village is known for its once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play, a seven-hour play celebrating the final week of the life of Jesus Christ. The BYU group learned about the vow that Oberammergau residents made to God in 1633 to perform the play every ten years, and this vow reminded them of the importance of covenants made between humans and God. Later that day, the group toured Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most-visited castles in the world.
Living Legends then traveled to Switzerland and performed in a beautiful theater near Zurich that was filled to the bursting with ardent audience members, some of whom drove as many as four hours to watch Living Legends perform. On May 17, the group spent the day in the iconic town of Lucerne. The group also jumped aboard the steepest cogwheel railway in the world to summit Mount Pilatus, which stands just under 7,000 feet tall.
The group toured Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most-visited castles in the world.
While in Germany and Switzerland, the group members ate their share of some of the finest chocolate imaginable. But it wasn’t until the last Friday that they were able to tour and eat samples at Halloren, the oldest chocolate factory in Germany, which is now owned by a BYU alum. It was the sweetest stop on the tour.
Berlin was the last tour destination for Living Legends. The group performed at the prestigious Berlin University of the Arts. The performance was packed, and many of the audience members commented on their love for the cultures presented. While in Berlin on Sunday night, the group delivered a musical devotional. On Monday, they explored many sites in the city, including the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate.
Living Legends had a successful tour. They were well received by the German and Swiss people, who value cultural traditions.
Living Legends dancer Aiza Valeriano performs a Tahitian dance for the audience members in Berlin.
Prior to the group’s show in Zurich, BYU performer Erin Tapahe presents a gift to Matthias and Doris Weidmann as thanks for their hard work in arranging the performance.
Living Legends dancer Ikaika Cole instructs a young audience member on how to properly use the eagle’s wings.
Members of Living Legends visit the Berlin Wall on Monday, May 21.
Members of the BYU Wind Symphony enjoy the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
The BYU Wind Symphony spent Monday, May 14—the group’s last day in Melbourne—performing a lunchtime concert in Melba Hall at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. After their performance, they visited the museum that celebrates acclaimed Australian composer Percy Grainger. The group spent the evening with international congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the area.
The following days were a whirlwind of final workshops with Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane State High School, and Villanova College.
On Tuesday, the group arrived in Brisbane and briefly took in the city before an open rehearsal with Queensland Wind and Brass at the Old Museum Building. The next night they performed for the last time with vocalist Patrice Tipoki, this time at Brisbane City Hall. The following days were a whirlwind of final workshops with Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane State High School, and Villanova College. The final concert for the BYU Wind Symphony was Friday, May 18, at Villanova, where they were met with an enthusiastic and gracious audience.
Despite their busy schedules, the BYU students still found time for extracurricular fun. They enjoyed a desert safari and sand tobogganing on Moreton Island as well as some beach time at the Tangalooma Island Resort. Several group members also checked off an item on their bucket lists: they had the chance to hold a koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary near Brisbane.
The tour concluded on Sunday, when the BYU Wind Symphony had the privilege of providing the music for the Brisbane Australia Cleveland stake conference. The students spent the afternoon with local Church members in their homes.
The BYU Wind Symphony performs “Saxophobia” at Brisbane City Hall.
The BYU Wind Symphony prepares to perform with singer Patrice Tipoki in Brisbane.
BYU Wind Symphony member Josh Stout plays trombone during a combined rehearsal with Queensland Wind and Brass.
BYU Wind Symphony musician Mikayla Nance works with students from Brisbane State High School during a workshop.
Choir members from BYU and from Vietnam’s Military University of Culture and Arts pose in this group photo in Hanoi following their combined concert on May 14.
BYU Singers spent two days in Hanoi visiting the city’s historic sites and performing with two different university choirs. The group visited the Military University of Culture and Arts for a major rehearsal and a full-capacity concert on Monday night. Next was a visit to the National University of Art Education for a second collaboration, in which a local composer led the combined choirs in a musical piece he had composed.
After enjoying a cruise on the breathtaking Ha Long Bay from Wednesday to Thursday, the group journeyed to Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon), where they performed two concerts at the excellent Conservatory of Music Concert Hall. Following a tour of the city’s major sights, such as the Reunification Palace, Cu Chi Tunnels, and Wholesale Flower Market, the group returned to the Conservatory of Music Concert Hall for a joint concert with the Saigon Choir.
BYU Singers spent two days in Hanoi visiting the city’s historic sites and performing with two different university choirs.
After giving a devotional for the branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ho Chi Minh City on May 20, BYU Singers returned to the United States. This tour included ten concerts, three devotionals, and two outreach events. The group members were involved in collaborations with nine different choirs in eight cities, and the memories created on this tour will long be remembered on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
Prior to the concert on May 14 in Hanoi, Rector Nguyen Thuy of the Military University of Culture and Arts presents BYU President Kevin J Worthen with a special gift: a picture of the Temple of Literature, which housed the first university in Vietnam.
At the National University of Art Education, Dr. Le Vinh Hung leads the combined choirs in rehearsing a special music piece that he composed. He later directed the finale in the joint concert.
BYU Singers member Liza Smith descends into the Cu Chi Tunnels, built by the Viet Cong in the historic Cu Chi area of Ho Chi Minh City.
Dr. Andrew Crane, celebrating the final concert of his first international tour at the helm of BYU Singers, shares flowers with audience members.
The Ballroom Dance Company explores the Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Massachusetts.
On Monday, May 14, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company had a workshop with Brooklyn Dancesport Club. The students participated in master classes given by Eugene Katsevman, Maria Manusova, and Alina Basyuk —who are all longtime friends of BYU’s Department of Dance and who have choreographed numbers for the BYU Ballroom Dance Company.
That evening, the BYU students took on the role of teachers by hosting two dance workshops for youth, young adults, and families from the Soldier Hills area of New Jersey.
The students participated in master classes given by Eugene Katsevman, Maria Manusova, and Alina Basyuk —who are all longtime friends of BYU’s Department of Dance and who have choreographed numbers for the BYU Ballroom Dance Company.
Tuesday brought a turn in the weather, including a tornado that touched down just north of the touring company. But the twister didn’t stop the group from performing at Montclair State University before an active and welcoming crowd. Wednesday brought a variety of experiences in New York City for the BYU group members. Some attended Broadway performances, others toured a NYC ad agency, visited Central Park, and two technicians were even able to shadow backstage at the Broadway production of Wicked.
On Thursday, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company continued to Hartford, Connecticut, where the group underscored the tour theme—Faith, Family, and Freedom—by touring the Hartford Connecticut Temple and the Connecticut Historical Society (established in 1825). They finished the short stop in the Constitution State with a performance at the famed Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, May 18.
The final stop of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company’s 21-day tour was Boston, Massachusetts, where they performed for a nearly-sold-out audience in the Boston suburb of Wellesley.
BYU Ballroom Dance Company members listen as Jody Blankenship, CEO of the Connecticut Historical Society, gives the group a behind-the-scenes look at the flag that hung in Ford’s Theatre the night that Lincoln was shot.
After learning some new dance steps, youth from the Hartford, Connecticut, area are rewarded with a short performance by the BYU Ballroom Dance Company on May 17.
BYU Dancers (from left to right) Jessi Baldwin, Adam Coker and Laurel Loveless greet an audience member at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts following a May 18 performance in Hartford, Connecticut.
Ballroom Dance Company member Matthew Holden participates in a master class at the Brooklyn Dancesport Club on May 14.
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