Echoing the university's motto, student musicians and dancers from Brigham Young University proved once again that "the world is their campus" with performances last summer that spanned the globe.
While the American Folk Dance Ensemble and the Lamanite Generation were anchoring down the East and West Coasts of Canada respectively, Synthesis, the Chamber Orchestra and the Young Ambassadors were touring throughout Europe and the Soviet Union.The Dancers Company brought their modern dance interpretations to Israel and Turkey, while "Down Under" the Ballroom Dance Company toured extensively through the South Pacific.
All the groups extended the scope of their individual performances to millions of viewers through extensive television and radio coverage in each country, according to Ed Blaser, director of BYU's Office of Performance Scheduling.
In June, BYU's Synthesis became the first American jazz ensemble to tour five of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. The group performed 20 times during a 27-day tour to 12 Soviet cities. Eight of the performances were broadcast on radio and television.
In Moscow, the group appeared with the distinguished Oleg Lundstrem big band at the Orlyonok Concert Hall as well as at the Moscow Conservatory.
"The Russian people love jazz, because this type of music requires personal interpretation and is a way of expressing freedom," noted tour manager and BYU Music Department chair Newell Dayley.
The award-winning group, under the direction of Ray Smith, was hailed by Soviet jazz critic Alexei Batashev as "the finest college jazz band ever to visit the USSR."
In Australia, where ballroom dance is a major social and cultural force, the Ballroom Dance Company presented several live performances in Sydney and Melbourne and taped several other shows and interviews for broadcast to a potential audience of 3.5 million in June.
The young dancers were featured performers on "That's Dancin'," a top-rated Australian television series seen on more than 500 stations throughout the nation. The group also made a special guest appearance at the New Zealand Ballroom Dance Championships and performed in Hawaii and Tahiti during the mid-June tour.
The Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Clyn Barrus averaged four encores a performance during its June concert tour of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Belgium and France.
The ensemble performed in some of the most beautiful halls in Europe, including the Casino in Basel, Switzerland; the Mozartsaal in Vienna, Austria; and the Lille (France) Opera Hall.
Encores and standing ovations marked a four-week Young Ambassador tour to Scandinavia in July. Performance highlights included shows at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, Goteborg and Sweden's Liseberg Amusement Park.
Sold-out performances were the rule in Norway, where the Young Ambassadors extended their program to more than 165,000 viewers through local and regional radio broadcasts and interviews.
The Lamanite Generation brought its "Living Legends" show to a large Native American audience during its tour to the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.
During the colorful show the group paid tribute to 14 outstanding Native American leaders in education and government. They also performed in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, as part of the state's centennial celebration.
They entertained live audiences totalling more than 35,000 and reached hundreds of thousands more through television broadcasts during the tour.
A repeat performance at the World Folk Drummondville Festival in Quebec marked the beginning of a six-week tour of Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States for the American Folk Dance Ensemble.
The group enjoyed 10 intensive days of live and broadcast performances at the Drummondville festival's Marcel Dionne Center, one of the largest such festivals in Canada. The performers also dominated the program at the festival's more intimate "Folkoteque" performance area.
"The dancers and the bluegrass band were so popular with this crowd that they were invited back as the sole entertainment for closing night," said tour manager Roy Brinkerhoff.
The popular dance ensemble then took its show to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. They concluded with successful performances in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Perhaps the most unusual exchange of cultures occurred during the Dancers' Company tour to Turkey and Israel in May. The group brought its fresh American modern dance interpretations to 25 audiences, including large crowds at Ege University in Izmir and Hacettepe University in Ankara.
The dancers also performed with and for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, a well-known Israeli ensemble at Kibbutz Ga'aton. Several workshops and teaching experiences allowed for extensive exchanges with hundreds of children during the trip as well.