Wind Symphony

Wind Symphony Arrives in Portugal

BYU Wind Symphony stops for a group photo in front of the Belem Tower in Lisbon.

Upon arriving in Portugal, the BYU Wind Symphony headed to the city of Sintra, home of the beautiful National Palace of Pena. After lunch in the city center, they hiked uphill to tour the home and fantastic gardens of Quinta da Regaleira. In the hilltops of Sintra, the students stepped back into history as they climbed turrets, hiked labyrinths, and admired the statues and fountains of royalty—a visit made even more adventurous due to rain. 

Friday’s activities began at the historic Belém Tower before the group’s quick trip to the Mercado da Ribeira to eat lunch and see the fish market. The Wind Symphony had their first performance in the stake center in Setúbal. The performance was attended by families in the area as well as students of local music schools. One of the teachers remarked that many of the attendees lived below the income level that would allow them the freedom to purchase concert tickets and that BYU Wind Symphony’s high-caliber performance may be the only concert they see in their lifetime. The audience gave four enthusiastic standing ovations during the program. 

Several students take a breather on the steps of the old Palace Garden towers in Sintra, Portugal.

That weekend the Wind Symphony had free time to explore Lisbon. They also put on their second performance of the tour in the chapel located on the grounds of the Lisbon Portugal Temple. This audience also erupted in applause, cheers, and whistles, with four more standing ovations. Afterward the students enjoyed chatting with audience members. 

On Sunday, May 7—Mother’s Day in Portugal—the group said goodbye to Lisbon and drove to Porto. On the way, they made a stop at the sacred pilgrimage site of Fátima, where thousands of worshipers and visitors were gathered to attend mass, offer candles for burning, and take the kneeling path to the shrine. Students enjoyed touring the many chapels, shrines, and monuments. In Porto the BYU group gave a devotional and were warmly greeted afterward by youth and adults alike, many of whom commented on how deeply they felt the love of the students and their director, Dr. Shawn Smith. 

Wind Symphony students Kayla Buchanan, Kaylee Smith, Hadley Holman, Anna Judd, and Mandy Masters pose on the paths around Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal.

Mikayla Nance waves to the audience during their performance in Setubal, Portugal.