13,000youth to perform at temple celebration
Rehearsals are now in full swing for the Payson Temple Cultural Celebration, which is set for June 6 at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium.
On the eve of the temple’s dedicatory sessions, 13,000 youth from the Payson temple district will gather to commemorate the history and culture of the area through narration, song and dance.
“I’m excited to see everyone come together and work hard as well as have fun celebrating a new temple in our area,” said Sarah Sherman, a youth from Spanish Fork.
Planning began last fall when Elaine Hansen of the LDS Canyon View Stake was invited to coordinate the event. With Hansen’s extensive experience in musical theater, including work at Disney World and the Kennedy Center, church leaders felt she was well qualified to handle the celebration’s cast of thousands of performers and volunteers.
“I’m honored and a bit overwhelmed with the response we’ve received from the 27 stakes in our district,” said Hansen. “We currently have a 103 percent participation rate for youth ages 12 to 18 – including both LDS youth and their friends from other faiths. We hope every participant will feel the purpose, power and excitement of the event.”
Last December, Hansen organized a planning committee comprised of writers, TV producers, website designers, composers, musicians, choreographers and costumers to assist in the effort. Following two months of intense brainstorming, the committee emerged with a 70-minute program embracing everything from high-energy hip hop-style dances to beautiful, faith-filled anthems. “Our selected theme is ‘Fill the World with Love,’ and that is exactly what we wish to do,” said Hansen. “Think of the possibilities – one simple gesture of love has the potential to change the world. With all of us loving each other, our families, our friends and our neighbors, think how fast just a little love will spread!” Since has its quickly February gainedroll momentumout, the celebration as training meetings, firesides, auditions and dance rehearsals have filled participants’ calendars. Thousands of yards of fabric and boxes of props are being ordered to outfit the 13,000 performers. “The youth’s costuming and props require more than 9,200 yards of fabric and 8,900 yards of ribbon,” said committee member Sherry McKellar. “This is no small undertaking!” Hansen believes this temple celebration will be a historic spiritual event for the area and encourages all youth ages 12 to 18 in the Payson temple district to participate. “We need singers, actors, trampoline artists, brass players, bagpipe players and dancers to help us share our fun, local culture of baseball, rodeo and grand parades,” said Hansen. “Together we will toss Frisbees and beach balls, braid ribbon around maypoles, wake up orchards and celebrate patriotism, but primarily we will fill the stadium with love and tribute to the newest House of the Lord.”
A limited number of tickets will be distributed to participants. All other residents of the Payson temple district are invited to view the celebration via satellite broadcast at their local LDS stake centers. For more information go to the Facebook page Payson Utah Temple Cultural Celebration and Open House.
Thousands of youth from the new Payson temple district are preparing to participate in the Payson Temple Celebration set for June 6.