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May 26, 2015
The Living Legends concluded a highly successful tour to Montana, Canada, and Alaska this past month with a final appearance in Anchorage. Past presenter Stephanie Thompson, working with the BYU Alumni Chapter, organized wonderful concert opportunities. Jodi and Treg Taylor, co-chairs of the BYU Alumni Chapter, summed up the impact the group was able to make in Anchorage: <blockquote><em>The performances were a complete success. We were able, in the name of BYU, to open many doors that would have been difficult or impossible for the Church. This is a role that the Alaska Alumni Board feel strongly to continue. We partnered with 19 businesses (8 Native corporations) and 6 family donors. </em> <em>Almost 2,000 school children and youth saw the Living Legends perform at the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday afternoon. Many area schools attended including the entire Alaska Military Youth Academy, North Star Elementary and the Native Charter School. Many came from Title I schools. Feedback included a Title I principal that said that this was the best performance his students had ever seen. He also said that because of this performance his students saw for the first time a broadened picture of possibilities for their lives; before that they could not see out of the narrow box their circumstances and environment had imposed on them. He indicated that if we ever do anything in the future to please involve his school.</em> <em>The Alaska Military Youth Academy principal indicated that while all of his students loved the show, his many Polynesian and Native students were particularly moved. He stated that they would partner with us anytime in the future and have already agreed to help with the Day of Service. Several teachers took extraordinary lengths to get their students to the show. One put her entire class on the public bus system because she could not garner any parental support. Another chartered a private bus using her own funds when the school district indicated it was too late to get a school bus (when we found out, we reimbursed her). The costumed Living Legends mingled with the kids after the performance for pictures and encouragement, to the crowds delight.</em> <em>The Tuesday night concert attracted 2000 attendees. The Living Legends received thunderous applause throughout and after a standing ovation they treated the audience by singing I Am a Child of God. The performers again mingled with the attendees for almost an hour following the performance. </em> <em> GCI (Channel 1) taped the performance for streaming to Bush Villages. The performance is also available through GCI’s Videos on Demand (VOD) and will be for several months. </em></blockquote> <h6><em>Almost 2,000 school children and youth saw the Living Legends perform at the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday afternoon. Feedback included a Title I principal that said that this was the best performance his students had ever seen. </em></h6> As they prepared for each concert and outreach, the Living Legends felt many times like, “warriors of light” going to battle to show youth and families a vision of something better for themselves. It is their hope that their message will indeed continue to bear fruit in the years to come.READ MORE
A guide from the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage addresses members of Living Legends. The Heritage Center is a renowned cultural center and museum where visitors come to expand their understanding of Alaska’s indigenous people.
Shanoah Ulibarri and Cheyenne Rivera from the Living Legends Native American section pose with children that attended the matinee performance from schools in Anchorage. Almost 2,000 children saw the performance at the Alaska Performing Arts Center. Area schools attending included the Alaska Military Youth Academy, North Star Elementary, and the Native Charter School.
Mikey Ikahihifo and Sia Fifita from the Polynesian section of Living Legends pose with local Polynesian elementary students after the matinee performance in Anchorage. Feedback from the matinee included a Title I school principal that said this was the best performance his students had seen. He said the performance broadened the picture of possibilities for the students’ lives.
The Wind Symphony completed their three-week tour to Asia in the charming and welcoming country of Japan. During their eight day stay they visited six different cities and had the opportunity to perform for thousands. The students quickly learned that Japan offered different challenges and opportunities from Mongolia and South Korea. The group relied primarily on the Japan rail system to move about the country, causing the students to learn the importance of sticking together and punctuality. But just as they did in every concert, the members of Wind Symphony performed extremely well, and became proficient train travelers. The group first visited a school in Fukuoka, where they experienced the disciplined and friendly atmosphere of the Japanese education system. Our students were able to share the different sounds of the band’s instrumentation with hundreds of engaged Japanese children. One of the pieces most enjoyed by the young students was an oboe tribute to a favorite local cuisine, called <em>Squid Party</em>. Their first day in Fukuoka also included a visit to the Fukuoka LDS Temple and a fun evening with some local young single adults. The next day they performed a matinee concert for the public in a lovely concert hall in the town of Chikushino. Home base for the next few days became the capital city of Tokyo. The Wind Symphony performed for a large and appreciative audience in the Nakano Sun Plaza Hall. They also took time out to visit a school in the more remote mountainous town of Yuzawa, once again charming young students, but also a large contingent of interested townspeople. <h6>The final two performances of the tour were in Nagoya and Osaka, where appreciative audiences made their approval known as they demanded multiple encores.</h6> The final two performances of the tour were in Nagoya and Osaka, where appreciative audiences made their approval known as they demanded multiple encores. As the tour wound down the students began to reflect on the memories they had created together and with their new friends in this country and others. There were few dry eyes as they packed up their instruments for the last time. The group spent their final day in Japan experiencing the historic city of Kyoto; a fitting end to their time in a country so rich in history and culture.READ MORE
The oboe section performs for school children in Fukuoka.
The saxophone section performs Saxophobia, an audience favorite
The percussion section entertains at a school in Yuzawa.
Trombone soloist Lyman McBride garners acclaim in Osaka with his performance of Fantastic Polka.