BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications continues livestreamed events throughout the winter term
BYU Arts, in partnership with the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications, has planned an ambitious and inspiring lineup of music, dance and theatre performances for the Winter 2021 semester. The full list of events can be found in the new BYU Arts brochure.
“This semester of COVID challenges has resulted in wonderful creativity and ingenuity, allowing the School of Music to continue to do what we love — make and share music!” said Diane Reich, Director of the School of Music.
“I have been thrilled to see (via streaming) and hear the levels of excellence achieved by the ensembles in short amounts of time,” she continued. “Winter semester performances promise to deliver the superior quality you might expect, with the passion for music-making that has been ignited by our current circumstances!”
The School of Music has a wide range of performances in store, such as emotional band and orchestra concerts to faculty recitals, lively evenings of jazz and percussion and inspiring choral events.
Bands and Orchestras
The Philharmonic Orchestra will present “Symphonic Potpourri 1” on February 17 featuring varied selections by Brahms, Mozart and Debussy, and “Symphonic Potpourri 2” on February 25 featuring selections by Verdi, Ravel and Liszt. Two further performances planned for April will highlight the work of Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. This term the Philharmonic will be directed by Eric Hansen in February and Christian Smith in April.
Led by Christian Smith, the Symphony Orchestra will present works by Bizet, Khachaturian, Mozart and Gounod on February 23. A second event in March (led by Eric Hansen), “Dance Into Spring,” will feature selections by Dvorák, Debussy and Rachmaninoff, with faculty Nicole Brady as harp soloist.
Memorable performances are also in store by the Wind Symphony, directed by Don Peterson, and Symphonic Band, directed by Kirt Saville. This will be the final semester before retirement for both beloved directors.
On February 12, “Winter Choirfest” will spotlight all four of the School of Music’s premier choirs: BYU Singers, Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus.
In the months to follow, each choir will treat audiences to a separate evening of choral music at its best: the BYU Singers, directed by Andrew Crane, on March 12, and Men’s Chorus, conducted by Brent Wells, on March 26.
April will showcase concerts by Women’s Chorus, directed by Sonja Poulter, on April 2 and Concert Choir, led by Brent Wells, on April 8.
Jazz, Percussion and Faculty Recitals
Several jazz ensemble events promise evenings of uplifting and high-energy fun. Performances by the BYU Jazz Ensemble, Syncopation and BYU Jazz Legacy Band will include a wide range of genre music, from early, traditional jazz to big band and vocal jazz.
The School of Music will present faculty recitals by Robert Brandt, baritone; Christian Smith, bassoon; Jason Bergman, trumpet; and Matt Coleman, percussion; and accompanied by pianists Scott Holden, Jared Pierce and Christi Leman.
Audiences will also be treated to concerts by the BYU Harp Studio, BYU Percussion Ensemble, Tangents Percussion Quartet, Gamelan Bintang Wahyu, Panoramic Steel and BYU Global Rhythm.
Although the BRAVO! Series is taking winter semester off to divert resources to student learning initiatives, its focus will instead shift to continuing its efforts to produce the Listen Up! Series.
“This is an ongoing initiative within the college’s Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee,” said producer and Assistant Dean Bridget Benton. “While these events are not open to the public, we are working to connect students in the CFAC with world renowned artists from diverse backgrounds. We are excited to see the meaningful conversations that are challenging us to think deeply about inclusivity and accessibility.”
During the fall semester, the Department of Dance produced “BYU DANCE LIVE,” where each of the performing ensembles presented a 30-minute livestream highlighting choreographic works and student interviews. The results were impressive: roughly 9000 streams in over 40 unique countries.
“This coming winter semester we will continue with this production and also add livestreams for our mainstage concerts,” said Curt Holman, Department of Dance Chair. “These concerts will be performed twice at two separate times to accommodate different time zones for those that live around the world.”
Winter ballet performances will kick off with BYU Theatre Ballet’s performance of “Giselle” (Shayla Bott, Ashley Parov and Hilary Wolfley, artistic directors) March 12-13. It will be followed by the Ballet Showcase Workshop (Hilary Wolfley, artistic director) on April 10, highlighting student choreography.
The Ballroom Dance Company in Concert (Curt Holman, artistic director) April 9-10 features colorful costumes, creative choreography and innovative theatrical design for audiences of all ages.
Contemporary dance ensemble performances will take center stage in March, including dancEnsemble (Kate Monson, artistic director) March 19-20 and BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre (Keeley Song, artistic director) performing “Teleconnection: Remnants in Motion” March 26-27. “Remnants in Motion” will explore the pressure, friction and impact one’s movement has within the environment and society, both immediate and distant.
January 29-30, the International Folk Dance Ensemble (Jeanette Geslison, artistic director) presents “Journey,” a staged production of traditional and contemporary expressions of cultural dance and music from throughout the world.
Living Legends artistic director Jamie Kalama Wood presents “Seasons” on February 12-13, with indigenous and cultural dances from Native American, Polynesian and Latin countries and nations.
Always a crowd favorite, the Young Ambassadors, under the direction of Nathan Balser, present a brand new show: “Extraordinary Magic,” a timeless story of ordinary humans awakening the extraordinary magic in each of us. Fit for the whole family, the show mixes pop songs, heartwarming stories and the spectacle of theatre and dance. Performance dates are Feb. 26-27.
THEATRE AND MEDIA ARTS
Under the guidance of Artistic Director Adam Houghton, the BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts has planned an exciting mix of crowd favorites and innovative new works.
First in line is Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved “Pirates of Penzance,” directed by Tim Threlfall. Close on its heels will be a new undertaking both written and directed by Gloria Bond Clunie, titled “North Star,” with performances scheduled March 4-6.
Set in North Carolina in the 1960s, North Star is the story of Relia, an African-American girl, searching for her place to shine in both society and her personal life. The joyous innocence of Relia’s summer is transformed by the rising tensions of the growing civil rights movement. Relia’s memories of magical moments stargazing with her father help guide her as she risks her life to be a part of the “Dream” and the “Big Freedom.”
Megan Sanborn Jones will direct her adaptation of the morality play, “Everyman,” a fusion of medieval characters and contemporary society that examines what it means to live a good life.
A Broadway Revue will liven things up March 25-27, followed by a second thrilling installment of “Illusionary Tales” April 8-10 titled “The Turn of the Screw,” directed and adapted by David Morgan. Based on Henry James’ story of a new governess seeing specters haunting the children, the governess must solve the mystery before it is too late. This event will again make use of the intriguing Pepper’s Ghost effect.
As for future seasons of performances, faculty members are confident that BYU will return to live, in-person concerts in the very near future.
“I am already working on booking the much anticipated 2021-2022 BRAVO series guests,” said Benton. “We cannot wait to welcome our patrons back to our venues to experience live performing arts again. There are many exciting things to come!”
BYU Arts is the umbrella producing and presenting organization for the Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communications. We present more than 500 annual performances and events sponsored by the Department of Dance, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, School of Music, and BRAVO! Professional Performing Arts in the Harris Fine Arts Center, Marriott Center, and Richards Building.