BYU Choir Given Warm Reception in Israel, Greece

“The Mormon Choir brought a new standard of singing into our musical lives.” In these words, Hanoch Ron, distinguished Tel Aviv music critic, praised Brigham Young University’s A Cappella Choir, which just completed a concert tour of Israel and Greece.

According to Mr. Ron, when the choir performed in Israel as part of the Tel Aviv Festival, it “stole the show from all others, smiling and performing with an unusual quality of richness in sound.” The choir is conducted by Dr. Ralph Woodward.

Tel Aviv, a musically sophisticated city of over 360,000 inhabitants, is noted for its critical taste in fine music. In order to accommodate the demand for tickets in the new 5,000-seat concert house, each regular subscription concert of the Israeli Philharmonic must be repeated nine times. The wholehearted reception given to the BYU choir in that city, by standing-room-only audiences, was therefore especially rewarding to the choir.

One BYU concert, performed with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, included the premier of “The Vision of Ezekiel” (celebrating the uniting of the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim), written for the occasion by Merrill K. Bradshaw, composer in residence at BYU. A long and vigorous ovation followed the performance, with numerous requests for encores.

Mayor Shlomo Lahat, present at the concert, and Roni Abramson, director of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, requested that another concert be scheduled in Tel Aviv. Dr. Eliot A. Butler, associate academic vice-president of BYU, who accompanied the choir, commented that “with only a day for advertising by radio and newspaper, and with the hall available only at 10 P.M., the choir again sang to a packed house. And again encores were demanded long past midnight. Backstage after the concert, Mayor Lahat urged the choir to return to his city soon and often.” In all, the choir gave seven concerts in Israel.

Mr. Ron lauded the choir freely and with a number of superlatives: “There they stood, young students with shining faces,” singing with “an inner power that creates long-lasting reverberations within the listener. This was not just perfect, well-projected singing; it was singing that comes from within, that carries softness, wraps like velvet, and that displays the true joy of singing.” He expressed his admiration of the choir’s conductor, Dr. Ralph Woodward, in similar superlatives, esteeming him as “that sensitive musician, that aristocrat of the podium, who leads his choir with a special nobility.”

Mr. Ron also praised the choir for “singing in such perfect Hebrew as when they sang Haim Alexander’s ‘I Will Gather You Together (Ezekiel).’” Mr. Alexander, present at the Choir’s Jerusalem concert, commented that he had never before seen such vigorous and enthusiastic approval of a choral concert in that city.

The Israel tour, sponsored by the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, also included concerts in the Knights Hall of Old Acre, in two Kibbutzim, and over national radio, broadcast live.

As a result of this extraordinary reception, Brother Woodward was invited to remain in Israel several weeks longer to conduct the Israel National Choir-Rinat in a June concert. He was also asked to conduct a number of workshops and seminars on choral music, and to work with various other choral organizations, conductors, and music teachers in the area.

The choir’s first visit to Greece also took place during this three-week concert tour. Under the sponsorship of the National Youth Foundation, the choir gave concerts in Athens and Tripolis and recorded a concert for national radio. In Athens the choir performed in St. Dionisius Cathedral. The Tripolis concert was performed in the city’s central square. Here as well, the city’s mayor received the choir with enthusiasm, making a personal request, beyond those for normal encores, for the choir to repeat one of the concert numbers.

In both Israel and Greece the choir enjoyed an outpouring of great warmth. Tears flowed freely in every concert when the choir sang “And What Is It We Shall Hope For?” from the Mormon oratorio The Redeemer by Robert Cundick.

[photo] Director Ralph Woodward and BYU’s A Cappella Choir rehearse with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv.

Policies and Announcements

The following items appeared in the June 1982 Bulletin.

Family Home Evening Manual. There will be no new family home evening manual printed for 1983. Bishoprics should (1) encourage families to use previous manuals in their possession or (2) order copies of the following past manuals from the Salt Lake Distribution Center. The supply is limited. A new family home evening resource book designed to last for several years is to be introduced. It will contain a large number of suggested lessons and resources, helps for parents, and a new section of suggested home-centered activities.



Stock Number



Walk in the Light




Personal Commitment




Heaven in Our Home




Delight in the Law of the Lord



Family Histories. The North Hollywood Third Ward of the Los Angeles California North Hollywood Stake responded to the challenge given by President Spencer W. Kimball to write family histories. Ward members were asked to record the conversion story of the first member of their family to join the Church. Many ward members had been the first to join, and as a result their personal conversion stories were recorded. With some, however, the first member was almost as far back as the restoration of the Church. Some ward members undertook much personal research to obtain the needed history. The project brought a renewal of the spirit of genealogy in the ward as members became involved in preparing conversion stories. All the stories were compiled into a 166-page book, And a Record Shall Be Kept, a record of the Lord’s dealings with people in many different times and in many different lands—stories of courage, faith, and sometimes great trial. This book preserves the heritage of the members of this ward. They owe their membership in the Church to those whose conversions and experiences are preserved in And a Record Shall Be Kept.

Four-Generation Submission to the Ancestral File. This is a reminder that four-generation submissions is an ongoing program. Those who have not done so should prepare and submit an accurate pedigree chart and the corresponding family group records. If possible, brothers and sisters and their parents should work together on this assignment. As soon as the family has completed these records as best they can, one member representing the family should send a copy of the records to the Ancestral File, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. This file will be a vital part of the ongoing genealogical program of the Church.

Many families have already submitted four-generation records to the Ancestral File. These families should be commended for their efforts. Research should now be continued on each family line as far back as possible. As ancestors are identified, the names should be submitted for temple ordinance work if the work has not already been done.

Gathering Talent and Interest Surveys. The Crescent Seventeenth Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent West Stake, activities committee began to make a talent and interest survey of all adult members of their ward by distributing survey forms at Sunday School, Relief Society, and priesthood meetings with the permission of the respective leaders. In this way, they surveyed 30 percent of the ward members. The committee chairman completed the survey himself by visiting ten or fifteen families at a time asking them to complete the forms during the next thirty minutes, after which he returned to pick them up. This approach had several benefits. Over a period of several months the completion ratio had increased from 30 percent to 86 percent, so that the committee was able to base its activity plans on a firm knowledge of ward members’ needs and interests. The final list included some who had not attended regular Church meetings. People who might not normally respond to such a survey were delighted that someone was interested in their skills and interests.

Copyright guidelines. The following guidelines apply to all use of copyrighted materials by Church organizations.

a. Finding Copyright Status. To be copyrighted, a published script, sheet music, or a recording must carry a notice that includes the year it is first published and the copyright owner’s name. If the notice indicates that less than seventy-five years have elapsed since first publication, consider the material as copyrighted.

b. Copying. Do not duplicate copyrighted sheet music, scripts, or recordings without the copyright owner’s written permission. You may copy sheet music copyrighted by the Church if you include the Church copyright notice on each copy.

c. Performance. You must obtain the copyright owner’s written permission to perform all or part of a copyrighted play or musical production in a Church building or other public place, even if you do not charge admission. However, you do not need permission if the Church owns the copyright.

You may play copyrighted music whether it is originally part of a musical production or not, if you do not charge admission, directly or indirectly, or pay the performers or directors. You may play such music as an accompaniment or as part of an original skit or road show. You may also use recordings of such music. However, you may not perform the music in its copyrighted dramatic setting as it originally appeared without permission. Attempts to reproduce the original setting with scenery, costumes, and so forth would be considered a performance of part of the dramatic production.

d. Recording. You must have the written permission of the copyright owner to record the performance of a copyrighted dramatic production or musical work.

The Church Copyrights and Permissions Office will answer questions or assist in handling copyright matters. They are located at 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

Dance and Music. Dance can be an important part of the Church activity program. Priesthood leaders may encourage dancing in the wards and stakes to provide enjoyable and spiritually uplifting social and recreational activities for all members of the Church. The bishopric may call dance specialists to work under the direction of the activities committee to—

a. Provide ideas for dances.

b. Organize dance activities to include families, special age groups, combined age groups, or groups with special needs.

c. Give instruction in various dance forms and appropriate conduct at a dance.

In providing opportunities for youth and others to help plan and carry out dance activities, priesthood leaders should counsel with those involved to pay strict attention to—

a. Lyrics. The lyrics should contain nothing contrary to gospel principles.

b. Beat. The beat, whether instrumental or vocal, should not overshadow the melody.

c. Lights. Lighting should be bright enough to see across the room. Psychedelic lighting designed to pulsate with the beat of the music is not acceptable.

d. Sound. The volume of the music should be low enough to allow two persons standing side by side to carry on a normal conversation.

A Performance Contract (PXMU0029), available at no charge from Church distribution centers, can be used when hiring a live orchestra or band. The contract will help ensure appropriate conduct and music by the performers when they are playing for Church dances.

Suggestions for successful dance activities are included in the Activities Exchange (PBAC0362), available from Church distribution centers.

Referrals. The most productive referrals are from nonmembers who have expressed a willingness to have the missionaries visit them. When the nonmember has not expressed this willingness, the missionaries are rarely able to teach the gospel. Therefore, referrals should be forwarded to the missionaries only if the nonmembers have explicitly agreed to be visited. (This procedure does not change policies on friendshipping or on tracting and other types of normal missionary contacts.)

Relief Society Membership for Eighteen-year-old Women. All women who are members of the Church and are eighteen years of age and older, and those who are married, are members of Relief Society. Therefore, young women who reach their eighteenth birthdays will generally move into Relief Society. However, there may be special circumstances such as individual maturity, desire to continue with peer group associates, graduation from high school, and attendance at college that may make it advisable to make exceptions to this policy. Such exceptions should occur after the young woman consults with her bishop and parents, and with the approval of her bishop.

Conference on Business Ethics

“An Unchanging Ethical Standard” will be the theme of an upcoming Monday, August 23, conference sponsored by Brigham Young University. Education Week begins the following day.

“We are all aware of many insidious practices which have eroded our integrity as a society and as a people,” says Dr. William G. Dyer, dean of BYU’s School of Management. “Leaders of the Church have spoken out against such practices. This will be the most definitive and inclusive BYU conference held to date on this subject.”

Cost for the conference is $50 per person. Information is available from BYU Conferences and Workshops, 297 Conference Center, Provo, Utah 84602.

BYU Offers New Missionary Preparation Course

Brigham Young University’s Department of Independent Study has formulated a course of home instruction to help prospective missionaries. The course, titled “Sharing the Gospel,” includes a study of fundamental gospel principles. It is designed to supplement local priesthood missionary preparation.

The course work can be completed in a few weeks. To obtain additional information, call (801) 378-2868, or write to Independent Study, 206 HCEB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

Zion: Valuable Activation and Missionary Tool

The dramatic musical production Zion is proving to be an exciting activation and missionary tool for church members wherever it is presented.

Zion tells the story of the search for Zion and the promises that will be fulfilled in the lives of members of the Church who “seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.” (D&C 6:6.)

The script, written by Kim Burningham, Marilyn Adams, Mollie Shaffer, and Jayne Malan, combines music, drama, dance, and multi-image photography (by Don O. Thorpe). The musical score, composed and orchestrated by Merrill Bradshaw, includes arrangements of familiar Mormon hymns as well as original music.

After seeing the production Zion presented on the grounds of the Los Angeles temple, a man—now a recent convert—immediately began investigating the Church—he wanted to find the source of the spirit that he had felt that night. For a young BYU student, seeing Zion was a turning point; it instilled in her a great desire to do genealogy work for her family.

The musical drama consists of numerous sequences depicting different themes in Church history—the Restoration, the martyrdom, temples, missionary work, and the international Church, among others. Because each sequence can effectively stand alone, families use them in family home evenings. Teachers and other leaders use them in classroom situations and for special programs in Seminaries and Institutes, Relief Society, and other ward and stake events.

Many areas of the Church have adapted the script to include scenes of events indicating the growth of the Church in local areas, and have also included pictures of local interest. Much of the music in the script is appropriate for use in sacrament meeting.

The following production materials are available at the Church Distribution Center (1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104) and at Promised Valley Playhouse (132 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101):

Zion Production Book (PXAC0053; $1.50)—Includes complete information for presenting the production, including music, script, suggestions for simplifying and adapting the show to local situations, costume sketches, lighting and staging suggestions.

Zion Choral Book (PXAC0020; $.90)—Contains choral music and piano music for the production.

Zion Production Kit (VVOF3083; $11.00)—Includes a filmstrip of visuals needed for the production, plus two cassette tapes for use with the filmstrip. One cassette includes the complete Zion soundtrack; the other includes the orchestral music and sound effects.

Zion Complete Soundtrack (VVOT1055; $1.25)—Consists of a stereo cassette; suggested for listening pleasure.

The Zion Production Book and the Zion Production Kit together provide the necessary materials for family home evening, classroom, and simple programming needs.

LDS Scene

Leland F. Priday, a retired businessman from American Fork, Utah, has been called by the First Presidency to be president of the Provo, Utah Temple. President Priday, 67, succeeds Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who has presided over the temple for the past two years. President Priday’s wife, Thelma Farnsworth Priday, will serve as matron of the temple.

Two Latter-day Saint women were recently honored by the National Council of Women during its seventh annual Salute to Young Achievers. Six women are chosen as award recipients yearly. Honored were Angela “Bay” Buchanan, 33, Chevy Chase, Maryland, who is Treasurer of the United States; and Linda Jacobsen Eyre, 34, McLean, Virginia, mother of seven and cosponsor of a preschool system.

The Ricks College track team finished in second place May 22 at the United States National Junior College Athletic Association track and field championships.

Over 400 women attended the second Hawaii Women’s Conference on the Brigham Young University—Hawaii campus in early May. Featured speaker was Beverly Campbell, prominent advertising executive, wife, and mother. She urged LDS women to develop their communication skills to properly promote high moral and family values in today’s permissive society.

Missionaries with proficiency in languages will now be assigned as guides on Salt Lake City’s Temple Square. These missionaries, called from areas outside the United States, will speak French, Spanish, Japanese, and German, to assist the hundreds of English-speaking volunteers now handling visitors on Temple Square.

Portable Keyboard Instrument Available

A portable electronic keyboard instrument, the “Casiotone Model CT-101,” is now available for meetinghouses with Church participation. This four-octave keyboard weighs seventeen pounds and can be adapted to any electrical current. The built-in speaker is adequate for small chapels and classrooms, but can be used with an external amplification system as well.

The instrument has several sound options, including organ and electronic piano, harpsichord, flute, cello, and mandolin. It can easily be placed on a table and used as a supplementary instrument in standard meetinghouses for opening exercises and in classrooms where an organ or a piano is not available. Its range accommodates the playing of all Church hymns.

Accessories include a volume pedal control, a sustaining pedal control, a soft carrying case, a hard carrying case, and a stand.

The instrument and its accessories can be ordered for Church units from the Purchasing Division of the Church, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

Keeping Pace

A new filmstrip has been announced.

A Generous Fast Offering tells the story of how a Canadian family, struggling to understand the spiritual significance of fasting and paying fast offerings, find individual strength and greater family unity by faithfully living these gospel principles. The filmstrip, which is being presented at Saturday evening sessions of stake conferences this year, is available at the Salt Lake Distribution Center. (Stock no. VVOF3051; $2.50.)