Over spring break, Collegiate Singers will be presenting its “We Sing Love” tour. They will travel from April 7-15 throughout parts of Texas and Oklahoma. The singers will travel to Stillwater and Alva in Oklahoma as well as Lubbock, Uvalde and San Antonio in Texas.

Randall Kempton, a professor of music and director of Collegiate Singers, has been preparing for this tour this semester and hopes to bring healing through his music.

“We’re taking music of love and peace, and we hope healing, to folks, especially in Uvalde,” Kempton said. “It’s one year after their school shooting.”

Kempton said a miracle occurred in preparation for the tour and performing with all BYU-Idaho choirs for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on March 25.

“So many of them (choir members), when we rehearsed Beethoven’s Ninth, didn’t like it,” Kempton said. “After the orchestra performance, they started to say ‘I really get it. I really like it.’ That’s true of music and so many things. We get dragged into something that we don’t think we like and then we get through it and we say, ‘Oh, now I understand it,’ and when we understand it, we learn to love it.”

From COVID-19 many Collegiate Singers missed out on at least a year or two of choral training. Kempton said it affected college programs as well because most of the opportunities previous singers were given had to be shut down.

“Most of these students … came through COVID and had their high school choir programs basically shut down,” Kempton said. “Most of them have not toured with me. Most of them have not had those experiences and none of them have had the experience of singing on the broadcast with the Tabernacle Choir.”

Kempton said that watching them go from having their choirs shut down due to COVID-19 to singing with the Tabernacle Choir on Music and the Spoken Word, was miraculous.

“I wanted to build the kingdom, build the students, build people, build disciples through music. It was my reason for getting into the profession. The program I put together, the music I choose, it’s not all sacred, it’s not all spiritual, we do other things as well. The reason that we sing, why I sing, is because music is one of the many ways that we can build disciples.”

Kempton said that building testimonies and learning how to cooperate is one of the fundamentals of music and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His students try and bear their testimonies in their music.

Beyond music, Kempton believes that the work someone does with a team for a transcendent purpose is conducive to learning how to function in the Church. Learning how to collaborate with different talents, mentalities and personalities can become a type of training to build up the kingdom of God.

“The process of singing in a choir, performing in a musical ensemble, being on a sports team, these are all the same thing,” Kempton said. “You collect your efforts and your spirit and you create beauty. You create a testimony. You create a piece of music and that is what Zion is. We are all imperfect, but we all put our efforts together toward one goal. The results can be miraculous. It’s greater than the sum of the parts.”

In building up his students, Kempton’s choir was able to share their testimonies, including at the Rexburg debut of the tour March 30. Sophie Waters, a junior at BYU-I, was able to attend the concert.

“Collegiate Singers had such a powerful sound and spirit that they brought,” Waters said. “For the duration of the performance, I was completely engaged and in awe of the hard work and beautiful tone they demonstrated. I felt the truthfulness of the sacred words they sung as they sunk deeply into my heart, and there was so much love and peace radiating in that room.”

Kempton said that music is important because it draws people away and prevents them from self-isolating.

“There’s no better cure for that feeling of isolation than joining a community of singers, instrumentalists, or whatever,” Kempton said.

Kempton also offers advice for any who feel isolated and detached.

“If you feel alone, if you feel isolated, come join a choir,” Kempton said.

For more information about the tour visit BYU-Idaho’s Collegiate Singers website.