“Music expresses what words can’t,” said Jaquell Taylor, a music major at BYU-Idaho.

Taylor was part of a quartet that showcased melodies at President Meredith’s inauguration on Oct. 10. The event wasn’t just a display of academic processions and formal speeches — it was a symphony of testimonies woven into music by the BYU-I Combined Choirs and members of the Symphony Orchestra.

Scroll interviewed two quartets that welcomed the new president. One consisted of four women: Jaquell Taylor, Naomi Smith, Joy Gil and Sarah Campbell, and the other of four equally talented men: Lewis Garner, Clayton Hinton, Michael Weir and Brayden Hahn.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband calling President Meridith as the new President of BYU-Idaho

Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband calling President Meridith as the new President of BYU-Idaho Photo credit: Chester Chan

The musicians shared that a symphony is more than just notes and chords — it’s a heartfelt expression of testimonies. Weir, a quartet player, said that words don’t come as easy to him as music.

“For me, there are a lot of things that my testimony is based on that I can’t put into words,” Weir said. “But I feel like I can do a better job playing my instrument.”

According to Hinton, a fellow violinist, there is an inherent challenge in trying to convey deeply spiritual experiences with words. Words can often be misinterpreted, lost in translation or fall short. Hinton said that their instruments serve as their voices, empowering them to communicate their spiritual truths universally.

“Music has a way of evoking certain emotions,” Campbell, a quartet player, said.

Paul Busselberg conducting the BYU-I Symphony Orchestra

Paul Busselberg conducting the BYU-I Symphony Orchestra Photo credit: Chester Chan

This idea of music being an international language of emotions, capable of transcending barriers and touching souls, was a recurring theme among the two quartets.

Garner, a quartet player, explains that music is his testimony and sharing it is a sacred duty.

“It was amazing to feel all of us come together to be unified,” Garner said.

The eight musicians routinely participate in several ensembles throughout the academic year, from the symphony orchestra, with its ensemble of string players, brass, winds and percussion, to chamber groups and quartets.

Their performance was not just about showcasing their talents — it was a labor of love.

“Music is pretty straightforward with how the Spirit speaks,” Hinton said.

The quartets will be harmonizing the stage again at the BYU-I Christmas celebration. For more details on upcoming performances and ticket information, visit the BYU-I Music Department’s website.

BYU-I Symphony Orchestra

BYU-I Symphony Orchestra Photo credit: Chester Chan

Audience applauding President Meredith getting set apart

Audience applauding President Meredith getting set apart Photo credit: Chester Chan

Lewis Garner playing the Cello

Lewis Garner playing the Cello Photo credit: Chester Chan

Clayton Hinton playing the Violin

Clayton Hinton playing the Violin Photo credit: Chester Chan

Brayden Hahn playing the Viola

Brayden Hahn playing the Viola Photo credit: Chester Chan

Michael Weir playing the Violin

Michael Weir playing the Violin Photo credit: Chester Chan

Joy Gil playing the violin

Joy Gil playing the violin Photo credit: Chester Chan

Naomi Smith playing the Viola

Naomi Smith playing the Viola Photo credit: Chester Chan

Sarah Campbell playing the Violin.

Sarah Campbell playing the Violin. Photo credit: Chester Chan