Kristin Chenoweth sings with students for BYU Spectacular

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JAREN WILKEY/BYU
The BYU Spectacular ended with all performers singing “We Can’t Stop the Beat” as an entire company. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth headlined the annual BYU Spectacular! event held on Oct. 7. Many gathered in the BYU Marriott Center for the matinee and night performances to celebrate the end of the BYU Homecoming festivities.

BYU Young Ambassadors performer Tierney Bent sang a solo in the finale number “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray, singing in the same song as Chenoweth. For Bent, singing alongside Chenoweth was a dream come true.

Bent said her inspiration to become a professional performer came from Chenoweth. Bent saw the national tour of Wicked when she was nine years old and used to listen to Chenoweth’s Broadway recording of Wicked, trying to mimic her voice.

“If nine-year-old me could see me now she would be so freaking excited,” Bent said.

BYU Vocal Point vocal percussionist Matt Newman spoke highly of Chenoweth.

“I haven’t spent much time around her, but I will say the way I see her interact in a charitable and giving way to all of us performing with her is incredible,” Newman said.

Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Kristin Chenoweth sported a BYU t-shirt onstage with performing group Gentri at the BYU Spectacular on Oct. 7. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Gentri singers Brad Robins and Bradley Quinn Lever both agreed Chenoweth was a wonderful performer and person.

“The first time she met us, she told us that it was a great honor to meet us,” Robins said.

BYU student performers and other performing groups rehearsed long and hard for the event.

BYU YA performer Caitlin Shill said they began rehearsing for the two performances half-way through August. BYU Vocal Point vocal percussionist Matt Newman said it took a month of perfecting and putting together the difficult time signature changes they put into their songs.

Robins, a BYU alumnus, said the BYU Spectacular was the first show he performed in as a BYU Young Ambassador. Robins said he was excited for the full circle experience of returning to campus with all of the energy and talent at BYU.

“To be showcased with all these other groups is awesome,” Robins said.

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