The Collegiate Singers of BYU-Idaho recently returned from a week-long spring break tour to Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.
The tour ran from Saturday, April 8 to Saturday, April 15, and included seven destinations, such as the Salt Lake Assembly Hall on Temple Square, The Blackfoot Performing Arts Center and various high school auditoriums.
Under the direction of Dr. Randall Kempton, the group’s conductor, the Collegiate Singers consists of 42 superior vocalists from across campus, and is the highest level choir the university has to offer.
The recent tour’s central theme was “Sounds of Easter,” bringing the triumph of the Resurrection to eager listeners via song.
“Because the tour (was) the week before Easter, this year’s concert feature(d) music appropriate for this special season when we remember the life and mission of the Savior,” Kempton said, according to BYU-I Newsroom.
The Collegiate Singers were able to spread the hope and peace of the gospel through the truth of the Easter message.
Jackson Hern, a member of the Collegiate Singers and a sophomore studying economics, said the tour was filled with choir excellence, group support and unexpected experiences.
Hern said that while traveling to Martin’s Cove, Wyoming, the Collegiate Singers experienced bus trouble.
“One of the valves broke off the bus’s air tanks while driving on the freeway,” Hern said. “Without air pressure, the bus has no breaks and cannot be driven.”
Luckily, Hern was able to help the driver fix the valve problem.
“I have a commercial driver’s license and have special endorsement and training for air brakes,” Hern said. “The bus that we were riding in is the exact same bus I spent five months driving and learning in Alaska.”
In a Facebook post, Hern shared 11 reasons to be thankful, despite the stranded choir’s situation, such as breaking down at a full truck gas station with a Denny’s, the weather being sunny and the choir having an hour of downtime to fix the problem.
“It is a great reminder to all 44 of us on the bus, as we attempt to drive to Martin’s Cove, that God will always provide a way,” Hern said. “We (were) on tour, driving and performing and sharing the gospel. Just as the pioneers trekked through Martin’s Cove by the drive of their testimony, so are we, as we go from city to city, state to state, sharing the power of our testimony through music.”
Taylor Pulsipher, a member of the Collegiate Singers and a sophomore studying music education, said every performance is a testimony of Jesus Christ.
“Choir is one of those amazing experiences where people with different personalities, backgrounds and talents can come together and be unified in a purpose,” Pulsipher said. “Typically, that purpose is to share our passion for the power of music. Here at BYU-Idaho, not only do we share this passion, but we also share our faith.”
Pulsipher said she has spent four semesters with the Collegiate Singers and feels a constant power from participating in this top BYU-I choir.
“We become closer as singers, as friends and as children of God,” Pulsipher said. “In a non-LDS situation, it is still typical of choir members to have a united, family feel. But when you add the gospel to that, the bond is stronger.”
Auditions for this ensemble include a range check, sight-reading and performing a memorized solo.