Music, Ministering, and Hope for a Brighter Future

May 6, 2023 9:00 PM

Eastern Europe, 2022 | Source: BYU Student Elizabeth Cappetto

BYU_W2_8652 BYU Chamber Orchestra Director Kory Katseanes meets with Ukrainian refugees after the concert. The BYU Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Kory Katseanes, performs a concert entitled “A Musical Prayer for Ukraine” for members of the Ukrainian refugee community at at the Neuottakring Catholic Church in Vienna, Austria on May 1st, 2022. Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU May 01, 2022 Copyright BYU Photo 2022 All Rights Reserved – (801)422-7322

Chamber Orchestra percussionist Elizabeth Cappetto traveled with the group to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy on their 2022 international tour. While there, Cappetto had the opportunity to experience some of the finest art and architecture the Western World could offer. She lamented that seeing iconic pieces such as Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Michelangelo’s David was a surreal, unforgettable experience.   

An essential part of the Orchestra’s tour was performances, many of which happened in gorgeous cathedrals. As a musician, one unforgettable experiences was hearing how the arched ceilings and gothic construction made their sound richer and more complex. But as a human, Cappetto found that the most memorable part of their performances was interacting with all the different cultures within those cathedrals. She stated that the experience “made me realize that the world has endless possibilities and varieties—the world is so much bigger than the environment you surround yourself with.” For her, the tour was a lesson to extend herself outwards toward others, through both music and conversation.   

Her most meaningful audience interactions occurred during a concert just outside of Florence. When the Orchestra finished their pieces, the saints asked them for an Encore, specifically the Children’s Hymn, A Child’s Prayer. When the ensemble started to play, the audience began to sing along. From her spot in the back, Cappetto could see a few older women in the front row grabbing their hymnbooks so they could sing along, a sequence of simple actions that made her heart swell. She remarked, “Our tour was amazing. The performances, the sights, and the activities were amazing. But to feel the way [those women] felt about our shared Savior was truly the sweetest experience.”