BYU Spectacular honors Maeser Building

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The traditional BYU Spectacular will be performed this Homecoming week with a new twist: it pays tribute to a campus building rather than an individual.

In the past, Spectacular has focused on honoring a Founding Father. This year, however, the performance will focus on honoring the Karl G. Maeser Building. The 2012 Spectacular theme is “Pillars and Cornerstones,” chosen to reflect this year being the 100th anniversary of the Maeser Building.

“This year we chose to honor a building rather than a person,” Janielle Christensen, director of the performance,┬ásaid. “We thought about the Maeser Building and the meaning it has to our campus and the wonderful stories that were there when it was first built.”

Christensen, who has been directing the Spectacular for twenty-two years, said being a part of it is always thrilling.

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“The Spectacular is such a unique performance on campus where we bring together so many of our premiere performance acts under one roof,” Christensen said.

The performance will run about 90 minutes in length and will feature multiple numbers from each of the performance groups. Synthesis, a BYU jazz band, will accompany other acts in addition to performing its own numbers. Joining Synthesis on the stage will be Young Ambassadors, the Cougarettes, Vocal Point, BYU Ballroom Dance Company and BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Selecting the Maeser Building also heavily affected the choreography and music choices for Spectacular. The performance will reflect on the different eras of campus, beginning in 1912. All of the numbers include period costumes and songs intended to take audiences back in time.

Kiley Forrest, a junior from Gilbert, Ariz., and Cougarettes president, said she is excited about this year’s Spectacular theme and looks forward to performing with the other groups in the show.

“This summer we actually got to go to the Maeser and film a music video for the Spectacular, which was really cool,” Forrest said. “One of our performances is a vintage 1950’s number, and we’re actually bringing back what the Cougarettes used to do in the ’50s.”

Professor Randy Boothe, director of the Young Ambassadors, said he has also enjoyed a chance to work with different groups.

“This is a rare opportunity for a number of talented groups to work together,” Boothe said. “The excitement for this event has really been building since July (when the music video was filmed).”

Taylor Morris, president of the Young Ambassadors, shared Boothe’s excitement. Morris, who is a senior from Houston studying music dance theatre, said his favorite parts of preparing for the Spectacular have been working with Young Ambassadors members and having fun with everyone.

“I hope people leave the performance changed,” Morris said. “If they’re having a bad day, I hope they leave happier and forget about the bad stuff.”

The homecoming Spectacular is set to take the Marriott Center’s stage Oct. 11 and 12. Tickets are available at BYUtickets.com, with prices depending on seat selection.

“People who haven’t been to the Spectacular will be amazed,” Christensen said. “We will transform the Marriott into a world-class theater.”

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