BYU Young Ambassadors
Now approaching their 47th year (Fall 2016), the BYU Young Ambassadors have performed extensively both nationally and internationally combining contemporary music and dance for a fast-paced showcase of American musical theater. Through their outstanding performances, they offer a fresh view of America’s culture and ways of life. Their genres include Musical Theatre, Broadway, Jazz, Pop, and Contemporary, and their record label is BYU Records. Randall Boothe, a former director of Walt Disney Productions, Hawaii’s Polynesian Cultural Center, Showcase Hawaii, and the Polynesian Dance Ensemble has served as the group’s director since 1977.
Since making their premiere performance on stage at Japan’s Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, the group has presented their spirited mixture of song and dance in 67 nations of the world. They have performed in Australia, China, Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. Their international audiences have included the Prime Minister of India, the Queen of Thailand, and the King and Queen of Jordan. They have also toured in South Africa, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. They were the first BYU performance group to entertain in the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.
The selection of Young Ambassadors involves an extensive audition process. The Young Ambassadors team is made up of 20 singers/dancers, ten live band members, and a 9-person technical crew. The School of Music in the College of Fine Arts and Communications, in cooperation with the Department of Dance, at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah produces them. Throughout the school year, the Young Ambassadors offer local and regional performances, workshops with middle school and high school students, service projects and outreach performances in hospitals, orphanages, town squares, and government palaces.
In 2002, the group performed during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and took their production to Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta, Canada, receiving great reviews. In February 2009, they toured New Mexico and Texas. In May of that same year, they traveled to the Nordic countries and visited Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, performing nearly 30 times in over a dozen different venues. In the winter of 2010, the Young Ambassadors toured through Arizona. They also performed for two weeks in Nauvoo, Illinois, during the month of June. In 2011 they toured the east coast before performing in the southern United States. In 2012, they toured South Africa. The company recently returned from a spring tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The BYU Young Ambassadors are all full-time students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Preston Taylor, president of the BYU Young Ambassadors, commented, “As we have traveled the world, sharing our love through the universal language of music, our eyes have indeed opened to God’s magnificent creations. It is humbling to realize that Heavenly Father created this amazing world for all of His children everywhere.”
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