Working alongside Performing Arts Management (PAM), the BYU Chamber Orchestra has earned numerous accolades and enjoyed many successful performances. One such success was when the orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall in 2008, a historic first for BYU orchestras. Rather than sell the tickets for a profit, the group distributed them to 22 stakes surrounding Manhattan.
Another success was the group’s 2017 tour to the Philippines, where they performed with Broadway star Lea Salonga. They were applauded by a full house, which included Cardinal Luis Tagle of the Catholic Church. PAM artist manager Justin Smith said of the experience, “We’re doing this for the students. We want to enhance their education by giving them what our university president, Kevin Worthen, calls ‘inspiring learning.’”
The orchestra also put together a collaborative album with Salonga titled The Story of My Life: Lea Salonga Live from Manila, which received the 2020 Broadway World Album Award for Best New EP/Solo Release. For a university orchestra, it was not only a prestigious achievement but, in the words of director Kory Katseanes, virtually “unheard of. . . . It’s unbelievable—but not undeserved—that BYU won.”