Patriots and Pioneers- GeorgeDyer

The BYU-Idaho Department of Music is presenting a celebratory concert honoring the “Patriots and Pioneers” of the past, according to the BYU-I master calendar.

“Those who attend can expect an enormously entertaining and moving evening of great music and dance and touching pioneer and patriotic stories,” said Rebecca Lord, artistic director of the event.

The event will take place Saturday, July 9, from 7:30 – 9 p.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center Auditorium, according to the BYU-I master calendar.

“I have the privilege of working with a lot of great performers each year,” said Don Sparhawk, coordinator of Center Stage. “For me, Patriots and Pioneers is one of my favorite events of the year. I love seeing our own choirs and band featured in a spectacular event like this.”

Sparhawk said a special guest is invited each year to join the choirs and band for one of the year’s largest cultural events on campus. He said the special guest this year will be opera singer George Dyer.

“Mr. Dyer has performed extensively in prestigious opera houses and concert halls across North America and in many countries,” according to the BYU-I master calendar. “He has been a guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on numerous occasions.”

In 2009, Dyer opened in “The George Dyer Show” in Branson, Missouri, according to the BYU-I master calendar.

“George Dyer actually performed in Patriots and Pioneers in 2011,” Sparhawk said. “He was very well received, so we decided to bring him back again. He is a very popular performer in Branson, Missouri.”

Lord said they decide a theme each year for the Patriots and Pioneers performance.

“As artistic director, it was my responsibility to write the script and select the theme,” Lord said. “I chose the pioneering spirit after praying and seeking to know what would be the most valuable message for our student performers and our audience.”

Lord said the program will be in three sections focusing on different stories: part one, our patriotic heritage; part two, our pioneer heritage; and the final section will be our call today, which will include the new refugee effort.

“President Gilbert had a similar theme for his inaugural address in the fall,” Lord said. “He will be featured at the end of the show, sharing some thoughts on the pioneering spirit, our heritage and our charge to carry that spirit forward into the future.”

Lord said she prayed and sought for the spirit when planning this performance. She said many students and faculty have put in hours and hours to bring this project to the stage.

“We’ve had a large team of students, faculty and staff devoting hours to this performance for several months: music, sound and video, horticulture, PR, costuming, dance, artwork, etc.,” Lord said. “This show has been an enormous undertaking, and it will be an event to remember.”

Patriots and Pioneers requires event dress. Tickets can be ordered online at or purchased at the BYU-I ticket office, according to the BYU-I master calendar.

“There is nothing like hearing great patriotic songs and pioneer hymns in July when we are celebrating both the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day,” Sparhwk said. “Every year, I come away feeling gratitude for both this great country and for being part of a great pioneer heritage.”