“Musical on Karl G. Maeser Available for Local Production,” Ensign, June 1986, 80
The Brothers, a musical play that depicts the life of early Latter-day Saint educator Karl G. Maeser, premiered at the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square April 2–13.
The production was designed to demonstrate the type of play that could be easily staged in local units of the Church. It had minimal scenery, few props, and a variety of production aids that are being offered through Church distribution centers.
Karl Maeser was the educator largely responsible for making tiny Brigham Young Academy into a viable institution that would become Brigham Young University.
The play focuses on the efforts of Brother Maeser, who had been a professor in his native Germany before joining the Church in the 1850s, to travel to Utah and establish a school of his own.
The production was directed by Keith Engar, author of both the play and the lyrics for its songs. Brother Engar is dean of the College of Fine Arts and previously served as chairman of the Theatre Department at the University of Utah. He was formerly chairman of the Church’s General Activities Committee. Music for The Brothers was composed by Robert Cundick, one of the Church’s Tabernacle organists. It was arranged by Galen Hatton, a professor of music at BYU.
The Temple Square production used a taped orchestral score. The tape was recorded by volunteer musicians, many of them professionals. The orchestra was conducted by Ralph Laycock, a retired professor of music from BYU.
The script (stock number PXAC1362) and the piano-vocal score (stock number PXAC1373) are both available through the Salt Lake Distribution Center. Several other production aids are also available: taped orchestral accompaniment for the production, on audiocassette (stock number VVOT2998); and the taped orchestral-solo-choral music, on audiocassette (stock number VVOT3006).