May 11, 2015
During the second full week of tour, Living Legends traveled deeper into the beautiful forests and lakes in British Columbia, as they pioneered new territory for BYU performing groups. <h6>Living Legends continued through Kamloops and Prince George, performing for full houses and enthusiastic audiences.</h6> Performing in Merritt at the invitation of a former member of Living Legends, in a period of 24 hours the group was able to present two school assemblies, a performance, and a fireside. The assemblies almost never happened when the brakes went out on the truck containing all the costumes and equipment. It was a tender mercy that on this particular day the truck was traveling ahead of the bus, which was very unusual. A hectic transfer of essential costumes from the truck to the bus on the side of a dusty, busy highway allowed the performers to arrive just in time for the assembly. A miraculous roadside repair allowed the truck to catch up to the group with remaining equipment for the evening performance. The community flocked to the night show, filling every seat and commenting afterward about the costumes, dancing, music, scenic elements…but mostly about the spirit that they felt. It did seem that the horizon looked a little brighter over the town of Merritt as the bus headed out of town early the next morning. Living Legends continued through Kamloops and Prince George, performing for full houses and enthusiastic audiences. Following the Prince George performance the students overnighted in two different towns so that they could do two early morningsides for the seminary students in those areas. When a last minute change in the ferry schedule to an earlier time threatened the show in Prince Rupert, once again the faith and prayers of the group and sponsors worked miracles and the departure was changed to midnight, allowing the group to do both an assembly and an evening performance. The assembly proved to be especially important for these local high school students. Following a 50 minute presentation of colorful energetic numbers from the show, two of the Native American Living Legends talked to the students about education and goals. They shared their own stories of humble beginnings and following their dreams. These energetic high school students sat completely still and there was not a sound as the spirit filled that gym and made it a sacred place. Afterwards a teacher said with great emotion, “So many of our students feel they have no hope for a brighter future or a reason to stay in school. To hear your young Native Americans share their struggles along the way and still succeed will make all the difference for these kids and the decisions that they will make in their lives.” Over 400 people from that small town attended that evening performance. Originally disappointed that their beautiful community theatre was not available, Living Legends realized that having the performance in the local community gym instead turned out to be the most comfortable and familiar setting for the mostly Native American audience. Following the show in Prince Rupert, BC, the group quickly packed up their costumes and equipment and headed to the overnight ferry that would take them to Ketchikan, AK. The students left Canada with memories, tender mercies, and miracles on more than one occasion and looked forward to the new adventures awaiting them in Alaska.READ MORE
Middle and high school students loved the assembly program presented by Living Legends for the Prince Rupert schools.
Native American section of Living Legends learns to appreciate First Nation totems in Prince Rupert, British Colombia.
Living Legends presented two morning devotionals to seminary groups in Prince George.
The second week on tour for the BYU Singers was one of performance and close association with university based choirs in the cities of Tianjin, Jinan, and Kaifeng, and with a community chorus in Xi'an. This collaborative work included time spent with some of the best educational-based choirs in China. Friendships were built at the same time that vocal abilities and harmony were enhanced by working together. The Pei Yang Chorus at Tianjin University shared their stage at the beautiful Tianjin Concert Hall; the Shandong University of Arts Chorus in Jinan hosted an enthusiastic joint concert on their campus; and the Henan University Art College Choir (in Kaifeng, China) enjoyed several hours of workshop training and interaction with the BYU Singers before their joint concert took place. The choir member to choir member interactions were significant and the workshops and concerts were very well received. In Xi'an the interactions took a turn toward the community, with workshop and concert held with the Xi'an Chorus Association. <h6>Friendships were built at the same time that vocal abilities and harmony were enhanced by working together.</h6> To increase their understanding of China the Singers were treated to a Cantonese Opera performance in Tianjin, two Chinese high speed train trips between cities, a visit to the Iron Pagoda and other historic sights in Kaifeng, and learned Chinese calligraphy in Xi'an. Tour members are doing well and are realizing what an amazing place China and her people are!READ MORE
An intense choral workshop at Tianjin University with the talented Pei Yang Chorus
BYU Singers visit the Cantonese Opera House in Tianjin, where they were treated to a short performance
Dr. Ron Staheli leads a choral workshop at Henan Art College by mixing his performers in with the local choir and worked on specific choral techniques
Prof Li Qiang of Jinan, China was one of many friends of BYU involved in this week's events
The Wind Symphony spent less than a week in Mongolia, but the experiences the students, leaders, and the people of Ulaanbaatar shared will be forever etched in their minds and hearts. Students had opportunities to exchange music and understanding with their Mongolian counterparts at the Defense University of Mongolia, the State School of Music and Dance, and the Mongolian Royal Academy International University. Each experience brought unique insights into one another's culture and musical heritage. Every school expressed their admiration for our talented students and a desire for future exchanges. <h6>Students had opportunities to exchange music and understanding with their Mongolian counterparts at the Defense University of Mongolia, the State School of Music and Dance, and the Mongolian Royal Academy International University.</h6> The band performed two concerts to sold-out and very enthusiastic audiences. Each night the Wind Symphony performed arrangements of Mongolian folk tunes. Some of the original composers of these tunes attended the concerts and were emotionally moved by the performances. The group was also joined for two numbers by the Mongolian LDS choir who sang <em>High on the Mountain Top</em> and <em>Khaluun Elgan Nutag</em>, another beloved folk song. The entire audience was stirred as they joined in singing together. Friends of the Wind Symphony surprised the group as they joined them on top of Zaisan Hill to give gifts and say a final farewell. Later, after attending an amazing traditional song and dance performance, the students practiced their throat singing and reflected on their memorable few days in this welcoming and unique country.READ MORE
Sharing the stage with students at the Defense University of Mongolia.
The State School of Music and Dance presents Don Peterson with a special gift.
Students talk together at the Mongolian Royal Academy International University.
New friends say a final good-bye to the Wind Symphony.