Article contributed by Joseph Hansen.
Alex Boye’s voice echoed through the auditorium, supported by the calm and prepared choir behind him. Choir members were swaying, clapping, dancing and singing, and they only had two days to prepare.
Days before the performance, Boye personally asked Whitley Finch, a junior studying public health, to handpick a choir of students to provide a crowd-pleasing performance.
Finch said this is the second time she has been asked to organize a choir for one of Boye’s performances.
“About a year and a half ago my Young Women’s leader contacted me about making a choir of 40 people for Alex Boye’s concert that he did in Spokane, Washington, and I put the choir together,” Finch said. “I picked a couple of people to do duets and to do solos, and I ended up singing “Let It Go“ with Boye as a solo.”
This solo allowed Finch and Boye to come to know each other on a personal level, connecting the two as friends on Facebook.
When Finch heard that Boye was coming to BYU-Idaho, she reached out.
“I assumed he already had his choir assembled,” Finch said. “I wanted to hang out as friends.”
Finch said she knew the singer had a very busy schedule, but she decided to reach out to him anyway. Three days before the concert, Finch sent a message over Facebook to Boye asking if he would have time to meet up.
Finch said Boye’s response was dramatically different from what she was expecting.
“It’s funny that you contacted me,” said Boye, according to the message. “I need a choir, and I don’t have one yet.”
With 48 hours until the concert, Boye asked Finch to handpick a high caliber choir and invited Finch to sing as well. Finch put together a choir of 20 students in approximately two hours.
Finch said she is pleased with the performance, the audience turnout and reactions.
The choir swayed rhythmically and energetically as they “oohed” and “aahed” along to “#celebrate,” a Boye original, as a teaser for the main event. Boye joined the choir onstage with a rendition of his own Piano Guys collaboration, “Peponi (Paradise).”
As the choir danced and sang, they delivered an emotive performance, concluded by a long thunder of applause from the audience.
Nicole Jones, a friend of Finch’s and a participant in the choir, said she believed the concert was a success.
Jones said she had doubts before the concert about how well it would go, given the small amount of preparation time they had, but her doubts were unfounded.
“It went much better than I had expected,” Jones said. “For the first time in my life, I was excited instead of nervous.”
Jones admitted to being fearful on stage, but again, she felt differently after the concert, hoping to have the opportunity again someday.
Finch said the combination of the choir and Boye’s singing inspired people.
Finch said looking out at the audience and seeing how much they were enjoying the concert filled her soul.
“It added a purpose to what I’m doing,” Finch said. “The Spirit was there.”