China Spectacular Celebrates 40 Years of Friendship

January 20, 2021 10:00 AM

China, 2019 | Sources: Shane Wright, BYU tour manager; Jeff Ringer, BYU associate international vice president; Randy Boothe, BYU Young Ambassadors artistic director

“In May 2019, the cast of more than 200 BYU students, directors, and technical crew will travel to China. China Spectacular is the largest show to come out of BYU, combining eight groups to make one grand production showcasing the best the university has to offer. With venues in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, the show will help celebrate the 40 years of friendship between BYU and China.

“BYU’s relationship with China began in 1979, when the BYU Young Ambassadors and a few members of the group now known as BYU Living Legends received an invitation to perform in China. They were among the first American groups to enter the country in years. They performed for more than 28,000 audience members in prestigious concert halls, factories, and universities. BYU was invited back the very next year, during which CCTV filmed the show. Thereafter, the Young Ambassadors show was televised in China repeatedly.”
— Shane Wright, Tour Manager

“It is the largest, most complex tour we’ve ever taken abroad. We hope that this tour will be a great experience for the student performers and great entertainment for the audiences. Beyond that, we hope the show helps raise the profile of BYU and highlights the deep academic connections between BYU and China.”
— Jeff Ringer, Associate International Vice President

“When we went back in 1983, the most well-known American universities in China were Stanford, Harvard, and BYU—BYU because they had seen them on TV many times from the previous years. . . . It’s been really such a wonderful relationship with China, and we’re so excited to continue building that friendship that’s been going now for 40 years.”
— Randy Boothe, Artistic Director