April 3, 2017
Writer: Spencer Williams
The Brigham Young University-Idaho Symphony Band will embark on a two-week tour to Mexico on April 8. The name of their concert tour is Around the World in Mexico and their set list includes international music, including some music originating from Mexico.
The 42-student band is directed by BYU-Idaho Music Department Chair Diane Soelberg and will be joined at different points in the tour by local orchestras and choirs.
"To my knowledge there has not been a Church Education System tour to Mexico for more than two decades, and the people there are very excited to welcome us to their cities," Soelberg said. "The outreach that is available through these tours will touch the lives of thousands of people in their home towns, adding to our influence to reach far beyond campus in a very personal and spiritual way as we share our testimonies of the gospel through music and by example."
The group will perform in Mexico City, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, León, Pachuca, and Toluca. They will play for the governors of two states in Mexico along with other dignitaries in León and Pachuca. The band will also perform concerts for church members at a number of LDS stake centers.
"This tour is beneficial for both the school and the people of Mexico," said Tour Coordinator Omar Ponce, a student at BYU-Idaho and native of Mexico. "Pathway has already made the academic connection between the people there and BYU-Idaho. Now we have an opportunity to make an artistic connection with them."
The visiting students will also have time set apart to visit historical sites and experience Mexico's unique culture.
"These performance tours provide unique benefits to our students that really can come from no other experience," Soelberg said. "As representatives of BYU-Idaho, the Church, and ultimately the Savior, the opportunity to prepare and share wonderful and uplifting music with people who are seeking to know more about who we are and what we represent brings blessings that are difficult to quantify-both to the student performers and to concert attendees."