Every Sunday evening at the BYU-Idaho Stadium, groups of students get together to sing hymns in a variety of languages, including Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, according to the Stadium Singing Facebook page.
Not all languages are offered every week, but both Spanish and English groups meet weekly.
Spanish singing starts at 8:45 p.m. and English singing begins at 9:30 p.m., according to the Stadium Singing Web page.
Jason Nestor, a former president of the BYU-I Brazilian association and a senior studying financial economics, said he recommends Stadium Singing to everyone, especially those trying to learn a new language or who are returned missionaries.
“It helps you remember the love you had for the members when you were on your mission,” Nestor said. “As you remember that, you help incorporate that to the school and the way you treat everyone during the week.”
Karen Pace, a sophomore studying elementary education, said she served her mission in Milan, Italy, and she tries to attend the Italian language Stadium Singing that happens every other week.
Pace said Stadium Singing is great and that she loves it.
She said that because some of the languages, like Italian, only meet every other week, students have a harder time making the event a habit and attendance is lower than she would like.
“It started out really well but I think people forget about it,” Pace said.
Nestor said he has been doing Stadium Singing for at least three years.
He said about half the students who attend Portuguese Stadium Singing do not fluently speak the language and are trying to learn.
“It doesn’t matter if you know the language or not,” Nestor said. “Come and learn.”
Nestor said he has been going to Spanish Stadium Singing for about two years. He said he is slowly picking the language up and is able to sing in Spanish relatively well now.
Nestor said that when he and other Stadium Singing leaders attempted to start up different languages for Stadium Singing, they first contacted all the student associations. He said they also spoke with the current manager of Stadium Singing and teachers on campus to encourage students to come.
“Some of them encouraged it through extra credit,” Nestor said. “Some of them just encouraged it by telling them it will help them out.”
Nestor said they tried to start a French Stadium Singing before his mission in 2010, but it was not successful. However, they have been able to start French Stadium Singing along with other languages this semester.
Nestor said the Chinese Association tried to start Stadium Singing in Chinese for two or three semesters before it had any success
“The main groups that are pretty big right now are Italian, German, French and Japanese,” Nestor said.
Nestor said Stadium Singing was started with the idea of bringing people together to sing hymns.
Stadium Singing is free of charge.
Students must wear classroom or Sunday dress to attend, according to the Stadium Singing Web page.