UNIVERSITY BAND | Courtesy Photo

Collegiate Singers and Symphony Band return from tour



The Symphony Band and the Collegiate Singers both went on tours from April 11 to 26.

The Collegiate Singers toured in Washington, and the Symphony Band toured in Oregon.

Diane Soelberg, the director of the Symphony Band, said these two groups go on tour every other year.

While on tour, they have the opportunity to meet and perform for a variety of people.

“It is a big deal,” Soelberg said. “They look forward to it, the kids. Some of them have traveled multiple times. Others just get one shot at it while they’re here on campus. It’s usually a really great experience for them.”

The Collegiate Singers choir toured through Montana, the panhandle of Idaho and most of eastern and central Washington, said Randall Kempton, the director of choral activities, previous conductor of the Collegiate Singers and current conductor of the Men’s Choir.

“We visited several locations along the way,” Kempton said. “We performed about 12 concerts, visited several high schools and did workshops with their choirs and along the way, we presented two firesides at stake centers on Sunday evenings.”

According to the BYU-I Symphony Band’s Web page and BYU-I Collegiate Singers’ Web page, the groups represent the finest wind instrumentalists, percussion players and singers on campus.

“They were very excited to see us because we visited a lot of small towns, so that was kind of special about this tour,” Kempton said. “Traveling with the choir for me is always a great experience because we get very close as a choir family.”

According to the Collegiate Singers’ Web page, this group offers both singers and audience members a life-changing experience.

Soelberg said the band performed a variety of band music for an hour and a half, but they closed every concert with a unique choral piece.

“It was very moving,” Soelberg said. “It’s very unexpected for the audience and everywhere we went. That was the comment afterwards, ‘You played so well! And we couldn’t believe that you could sing, too!’”

According to the Symphony Band’s Web page, the band performs pieces from a variety of musical periods and styles.

The pieces included premiers of original works, orchestral transcriptions and standard band literature.

Throughout the tours, the students stayed in the homes of members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Kempton said the firesides were memorable experiences for the students.

“Most people would house two to four, either girls or boys,” Soelberg said. “After the concert, we’d get all the stage cleaned up and all the equipment truck packed, and people would take members of the band to their homes to stay overnight.”

Kempton said some of the students said it was really great to see how other members of the Church live.

Soelberg said the way they deal with their kids, whether they have family prayer or not, and many other family interactions really impacted the students.

Soelberg said that it impressed students and that it was a great experience.

“It was nice to be traveling through areas that send a lot of BYU-Idaho students, so we saw a lot of potential future students on this tour,” Kempton said.

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