BYU’s Young Ambassadors look forward to touring abroad after entertaining audiences at the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City with a colorful presentation of “Harmony: The Music of Life.”
The colorful 90-minute performance featured a range of songs, from oldies such as George and Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You,” to more modern hits such as Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” While the songs were very different in style, they all combined to highlight the performance’s theme: harmony.
Randy Boothe has been the director of the Young Ambassadors since 1978. His years as director have taken him to more than 40 different countries and exposed him to diverse ways of life and thinking. The theme of the performance was intended to speak to many different cultures and communicate a simple and understandable message. Boothe said he believes harmony plays an important role in uniting cultures and reinforcing the important foundations of family life.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re in South Africa or China,” Boothe said. “Harmony in the home is going to build a strong nation.”
After a U.S. tour to Idaho, Washington and Oregon, the Young Ambassadors will bring its performance to mainland China.
“We’ve been doing this particular show for three seasons,” Boothe said. “We took it first to the southern states and then to Cuba. Shortly after that we went to South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. This year we’re going to China.”
Boothe said he believes bringing the message of harmony overseas will help Young Ambassadors find common ground with their audiences and reinforce strong family values.
“We tried to think of a theme that would stretch across borders and around the globe. Harmony did just that. Especially harmony in the home.”
Amanda Baugh, a junior studying music dance theater, has been a member of Young Ambassadors since last fall. She said it has been an amazing experience.
The songs within the performance trace the ups and downs of growing up, falling in love, growing old and other important life milestones. Baugh said the progression of the performance and the theme of harmony help the Young Ambassadors to not only relate to a wide audience of different ages and cultures, but also to share their religious values a relatable way.
“It starts from the beginning then goes through the teenage years and falling in love,” Baugh said. “Eventually it kind of goes into the Plan of Salvation, which is a cool thing since we go on tour to areas where there are non-members who don’t know about the Plan of Salvation. Hopefully we’re planting those seeds. It helps us share the gospel in a relatable way, especially to people who don’t have the gospel in their lives.”
Unique experiences come at the price of hard work and time for the Young Ambassadors.
“At the beginning of the semester we practice 16 hours a week,” Baugh said. “Now since we’ve learned the show, we only rehearse six hours a week.”
For many audience members at the Saturday night performance, the hard work paid off. Whitney Hatch, a freshman from Salt Lake City, hopes to one day be a part of the Young Ambassadors. Hatch said she loved their energetic performance.
“They had a lot of energy throughout the whole thing,” Hatch said. “I could tell that they really meant what they were saying and performed with their hearts.”
The Young Ambassadors will perform “Harmony: The Music of Life” on Feb. 13–16 at 7:30 p.m. in the HFAC Pardoe Drama Theater. Tickets can be purchased by calling 801.422.4322 or visiting byuarts.com/tickets.