News Release

Enthusiastic Audiences Applaud BYU Wind Symphony Australia Tour


After two years in the planning, the Brigham Young University (BYU) Wind Symphony from Utah, US, successfully completed their tour of Australia 18 May 2018 which included concerts in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

This premier band of 50 musicians and conductor Dr Don L. Peterson performed in front of enthusiastic audiences at venues such as Verbrugghen Hall in Sydney, Melba Hall in Melbourne and the Brisbane City Hall.

Their repertoire included pieces from Shostakovich, Bernstein, Sousa, Gasparini and several Australian composers Percy A. Grainger, Ralph Hultgren, Alex Lithgow, and David Stanhope. The number, "Adoramus te, Christe" surprised concert goers as band members not only played but beautifully sang part of the music.

A highlight for those attending in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane was the inclusion of special guest vocalist Patrice Tipoki best known for her roles in musicals from Australia to the West End. Accompanied by the Wind Symphony, she opened with "Amazing Grace" and then sang several Broadway and Disney hits. She ended her performance with "I Still Call Australia Home" by Peter Allen which brought tears to many in the audience.

When asked about the Wind Symphony's performance, concert goer Rachel Tam answered, "They had so much energy. I really enjoyed it because they brought such a great mixture of excitement and spirit to their pieces."

Perhaps the most appreciative audiences were the students who were fortunate to listen and play side by side with band members as they were directed in afternoon workshops by Don Peterson and BYU's Director of Music, Kurt Saville prior to an evening's performance.

Students at Moriah College, Eltham High School, Canberra Girls Grammar School, Brisbane State High School Wind Bands, Villanova College Symphonic Bands and members of the Sydney Youth Symphonic Wind Orchestra were lucky recipients of BYU's generous time, skill, talents and friendship.

George Hubbard, flute student at Eltham High School said, "Their conductors were really good at explaining how to product a certain sound. It was just lovely playing alongside them."

Eltham High School band teacher Rick Plummer commented, "We were really excited when their manager Karson Denney reached out to us. This afternoon's session was great because we learned a lot from their (BYU) conductors on how to extend the musicality of a piece and the finite details of intonation and tone quality.

He continues, "From our experience today not only will we be able to make great music in the here and now but even better music going forward."

Dr. Don Peterson sums up their experiences with the various students, "The light in your eyes is amazing. It's inspiring for us to be with you. Your focus, excellence and dedication allow you to receive the joy that music has to give. I have a strong belief that the music doesn't just happen but that it comes from somewhere above."

Most of BYU's Wind Symphony had never traveled to Australia before and enjoyed the sights and attractions of each city as well as participating in a service project and multicultural youth activities.

Brigham Young University was founded in 1875 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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