Sacred Music Series

About the Sacred Music Series

In 1986, the university began a program of commissioning an LDS composer biennially to create a religious oratorio based on scripture.  This Sacred Music Series has been performed in major national venues from Phoenix to Washington, D.C.  Initiated with Darwin Wolford's Behold, He Cometh! in 1986, the Sacred Music Series has since contributed significantly to the body of sacred music works envisioned by President Spencer W. Kimball when he said,

"If we strive for perfection--the best and greatest--and are never satisfied with mediocrity, we can excel. In the field of both composition and performance, why cannot someone write a greater oratorio than Handel's Messiah? The best has not yet been composed nor produced" (Spencer W. Kimball, The Gospel Vision of the Arts, 1978).

The most recent Sacred Music performance of God's Everlasting Love, composed by Robert M. Cundick (music) and Elder David A. Bednar (text) premiered in November 2009 in Rexburg, Twin Falls and Salt Lake City.


The most recent commission, announced for the summer months of 2012, will be composed by K. Newell Dayley.


The Series

Each new work is performed by musical ensembles from BYU-Idaho including the Symphony Orchestra, Collegiate Singers and the Men's and Women's Choirs. Often local institute or area choirs also participate in regional concerts.  Recordings of all works are available for purchase.


Funding for the Sacred Music Series comes from private donations with generous support from the Endowment for the Performing and Fine Arts and the Snow Society.


The Artists

Concert presentations of each oratorio combine the talents of a 200-plus chorus, soloists and the 90-piece BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra.


Past Sacred Music Series

1986 - Darwin Wolford, Behold,  He Cometh!
1993 - Crawford Gates, Visions of Eternity
1995 - Robert M. Cundick, Song of Nephi
1997 - K. Newell Dayley, Immanuel
1999 - Merrill Jenson, Come Unto Christ
2001 - Daniel E. Gawthrop, The Passion and the Promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ
2003 - Dr. A. Laurence Lyon, Visions of Light and Truth
2005 - David Zabriskie, The Testament of Paul, His Witness of Christ to the World

2007 - Dr. Eda Ashby, The Tree of Life: Redemption

2009 - Robert M. Cundick, God's Everlasting Love


Recently Commissioned

2012 - K. Newell Dayley,


SACRED MUSIC CDs and DVDs are now available online

or by contacting:


BYU-Idaho University Store
Brigham Young University--Idaho
142 Manwaring Center
Rexburg, ID 83460-0715 

Phone: 1 (800) 995-2713
Phone: 1 (208) 496-2211
Fax: 1 (208) 496-2267