Homecoming Spectacular showcases performing groups

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    By Monica Sheffield

    The Marriott Center will be alive with talent Thursday Oct. 17 as professional soloists, guest alumni and eight of BYU”s top performing groups come together for Homecoming Spectacular.

    The theme, Alive in You, will be celebrated with production numbers from Broadway shows “The Lion King,” “Paint your Wagon” and “Barnum.”

    “Homecoming Spectacular is the only production on campus that really unites the vocal groups, the dance groups and the instrumental groups in one beautiful uniting of talent,” said Ed Austin, director of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble.

    Ticket prices are cheaper this year than past years. The Executive Homecoming Committee was concerned not enough students attend the spectacular, said Charlene Winters, a member of the committee. Often Alumni are the focus of marketing for the Spectacular. To address this, ticket prices have been slashed four dollars for students.

    “Ticket sales have been wonderful so far,” Winters said.

    The tickets are available for tonight and Friday night”s performances for $5 to $6 for BYU students and $9 to $12 for non-students. They can be purchased at the Wilkinson Information Booth or at the Marriott Center ticket office.

    The Cougarettes, Young Ambassadors, Y Juggle, and other groups will all make an appearance.

    The finale, called “Alive in You,” will include selections from “The Lion King.” It will feature the Young Ambassadors, Living Ledgends, Young DanceMakers and Synthesis.

    “I think the ending will be an explosion of fun,” Winters said. She names this piece the highlight of the evening.

    Another anticipated performance is the Living Legends and International Folk Ensemble”s “Rendezvous,” originally put together for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    “The excitement and energy in this number is unparalleled to other pieces that we do,” said Penny Taylor, a member of the Folk Dance Ensemble. “I think we”ll really grab the audience.”

    Preparation for The Spectacular began last November.

    “This show is going to be more complicated than past years have been,” said Jason Tieman, assistant stage manager. “This will be one of the better homecoming shows we”ve done.”

    This year”s show will also involve pyrotechnics rarely seen at BYU, Tieman said.

    With the blend of complicated stage effects and an eventual worldwide broadcast through KBYU, Homecoming Spectacular will the most expensive production of the year.

    While some portions of the show needed months of preparation, others had less time to get ready.

    “We just barely got our music,” said Daniel Henderson, 22, a junior and a member of Synthesis, a jazz ensemble. “The last few weeks have been pretty intense.”

    Synthesis will perform an arrangement of “Paint Your Wagon” with the Men”s Chorus.

    As a tribute to Benjamin Cluff Jr., the first president of BYU, producer Michael Handley coordinated a multimedia presentation honoring his vision and achievements.

    “For Homecoming this year, we looked at the contributions of one of our early founders and discovered that many of the traditions and ideals still embodied by BYU began with Benjamin Cluff,” says Handley.

    The presentation will include a video presentation by Glenn Anderson shown on a 23-foot screen.

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