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BYU-I Center Stage program promises great entertainment this winter season

Entertainment

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REXBURG — Brigham Young University-Idaho’s Center Stage program kicked off its winter 2020 season last week with a music-and-dance performance from the BYU Young Ambassadors. But if you missed that show, there’s no need to worry. Center Stage has a wealth of excellent arts and entertainment scheduled throughout the coming months.

“At Center Stage, we bring in a wide range of performers that will be of appeal to our student body and the community at large,” Center Stage and Performance Tours Specialist Dale Hillier told EastIdahoNews.com. “Everyone is invited to come. It’s not an exclusive program for students only.”

The longer-running program brings in four to six shows every semester, for a total of eighteen to twenty shows a year. Performers range from well-known, current popular artists to tribute bands to dance productions. The variety of different talents and skillsets Center Stage performers display is vast.

“For example, last year we had a group that was called ‘Abbamania,’ who were a throwback to Abba,” Hillier said. “They sound, look like and play the music of Abba.”

“We also have a line of more classical-oriented performers,” Hillier continued. “We’ll have a classical soloist or a smaller ensemble. A lot of times, we’ll bring in a major classical virtuoso who will perform with our orchestras or choirs here on campus.”

Center Stage also puts on festivals for various genres of music and performance. For example, the Winter 2020 season will feature the annual Center Stage Jazz Festival. Not only do such festivals provide entertainment and artistic enrichment, but they also give the university a chance to reach out to the community.

“The festivals that we offer go on for multiple days,’ Hillier explained. “In (Jazz Fest’s) case, we’ll bring in high school groups during the week to get training from clinicians who come from universities and musicians who play professionally.”

Hillier said that both high school and university students have the opportunity to receive training from the professionals. At the end of the week, the students can even join the festival’s major headliner on stage for the final show.

Along with the Winter Jazz Festival, the Center Stage Winter 2020 season also includes:

  • Singer/songwriter Bryan Terrell Clark, who recently appeared in the role of George Washington in the Broadway hit “Hamilton.”
  • The Barbershop Music Festival, which draws barbershop quartets from across the country and concludes with a performance from a special guest act invited by the university.
  • An acoustic set from popular singer/songwriter Ben Rector. Rector will share the stage with special guest artist Cody Fry.
  • The BYU-Idaho Sacred Music Series, which features an original work of sacred music created by a noted Latter-Day Saint composer. Admission to this show is free.

These artists join a roster of past Center Stage performers that includes country music legend John Denver and iconic vocal duo The Carpenters.

“A lot of times, we got them when they were actually affordable to bring,” Hillier said. “Then they got huge and we could never afford them, but we can say, ‘We brought them before anyone had accepted them as stars.’”

Center Stage shows will take place on the BYU-Idaho campus through the month of March. You can get more information on Center Stage and the individual shows by clicking here.

Tickets for Center Stage events can be purchased by calling the BYU-I Ticket office at (208) 496-3170 or by visiting their web page.

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