Noteworthy & Vocal Point

Reflection and Celebration in Japan

Noteworthy and Vocal Point, with BYU administrators and staff as well as leaders and staff from the Church of Jesus Christ, visit Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

As the groups’ tour entered its closing phase in Japan, Noteworthy and Vocal Point bid farewell to Osaka and journeyed by train to Hiroshima, a city with a poignant history etched in the memories of humanity. Their first stop was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which stands as a solemn testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy. Amidst the serene surroundings, they sang songs of hope and unity to honor the memories of those affected by the atomic bomb. After their reflective morning, Noteworthy and Vocal Point brought their a cappella talents to the hall at Hiroshima’s JMS Aster Plaza, where they shared their music with a captivated audience.

The groups journeyed onward to Fukuoka, where they immersed themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Hakata Station. The BYU students savored their first taste of sushi within the very land renowned for its creation. Prior to their final concert, the groups engaged with local youth and young adults of the Church by sharing one another’s cultures and forging connections that transcended language barriers. That evening, esteemed guests warmly welcomed Noteworthy and Vocal Point at Namiki Square for the final show of the tour.

Noteworthy member Kassie Sanders teaches beatboxing to the audience in Hiroshima, Japan.

On Wednesday, May 15, the groups flew back to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. Amidst the wonder of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Noteworthy and Vocal Point embraced the magic of childhood dreams and created unforgettable memories as they reveled in the joyous ambiance of these iconic parks.

However, Tokyo has a kaleidoscope of experiences besides the magic of Disney. Some of the group explored the immersive creativity of teamLab Planets in Tokyo, where art and technology intertwine to create ethereal landscapes of light and color, and wandered through gardens that seemed to come alive with every step.

President C. Shane Reese and Wendy Reese pose with Vocal Point and Noteworthy following the Fukuoka performance.

With hearts full of gratitude for the wonderful people they met and memories to last a lifetime, Vocal Point and Noteworthy bid a fond farewell to Japan. David Gaag, a tenor in Vocal Point, says, “Our tour to Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea was an eye-opening experience. The selfless efforts of the local people and their willingness to assist us on our tour showed an example to me of how I want to serve in my own life using the talents I’ve been given.”

Noteworthy beatboxer Kassie Sanders adds, “The Asia tour gave me experiences as a student performer that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I was impacted the most by the interactions I had with audience members because I got to know so many different people from so many different places. Through them, I gained a greater sense of gratitude that BYU provides these opportunities for their students, that we can connect with people around the world and improve our cultural competency skills through these lived experiences.”

Noteworthy members (from left) Randi Sanofsky, Savannah Packer, Addi Chandler, and Hope Ambridge pause for a picture in front of Cinderella Castle inside Tokyo Disneyland.

The memories of Asia and the warm hospitality of the people in South Korea, Mongolia, and Japan will forever resonate within the hearts of those privileged to have embarked on this remarkable journey.

Members of Vocal Point share a personal moment while singing “Change” to the audience at Namiki Square in Fukuoka, Japan.

BYU Noteworthy sings “Amazing Grace” during a concert in Hiroshima.