“Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus Tour San Diego,” Ensign, Oct. 1986, 79–80
The Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus recently completed a five-day concert tour of the San Diego Area. The tour, from July 23 to July 28, included two performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre for the Performing Arts and a concert on the U.S.S. Ranger, an aircraft carrier. The Chorus also performed at Sea World, where they presented a twenty-three minute program.
At the Civic Theatre, the symphony and chorus performed before 4,800 people, receiving standing ovations both nights.
The concert aboard the aircraft carrier was attended by approximately 1,500 Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. Backed by a large American flag and surrounded with ship signal flags, the symphony and chorus presented a program of classical, popular, and patriotic music. The audience rose to their feet during the last number, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and enthusiastically responded to the encore, “Anchors Aweigh.”
The performance on the aircraft carrier was a highlight of the tour. “Our response from the Navy was tremendous,” said Robert C. Bowden, the group’s conductor.
While in San Diego, the symphony and chorus also performed sacred and patriotic numbers at a regional fireside featuring Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Members of the one-hundred-piece symphony orchestra and three-hundred-voice chorus range in age from sixteen to thirty. They perform some thirty concerts a year, including their Summer Pops Concert series in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Upon their return to Salt Lake City, at their first performance following the San Diego tour, the group was presented with a 20′ by 38′ American garrison flag by the Utah Chapter of American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam (AMVETS). The flag, presented for “significant patriotic contributions to the Nation,” is the fourth to be presented in Utah.
The symphony and chorus have performed on national television and at such concert halls as the Hollywood Bowl and the Space Mountain Amphitheater at Disneyland. In 1980, they received an Emmy Award for a sixty-minute television special, “Christmas World,” which was shown in the U.S. and later broadcast in more than thirty-five countries.