News Release

Asia North Area Enjoys Concert Tour

Brigham Young University a Capella choirs perform in Korea, Mongolia, and Japan.

On May 1, 2024, Vocal Point, BYU's renowned men's a cappella group and Noteworthy, the university's powerhouse women's a cappella group began their North Asia concert tour in Korea, then on to Mongolia, arriving in Tokyo on May 8, 2024.Their nine-day visit to Japan was packed with four concerts, school visits, service opportunities, and cultural activities. The group fell in love with the beauty, culture, and people of Japan. 

Upon their arrival, the group’s first stop was at the Tokyo Temple to do ordinance work, followed by Shabu-shabu for dinner. The students were anxious to try a variety of Japanese foods. Late into the evening, Vocal Point worked to film a music video near the famous Shibuya Scramble crossing. 

The first full day in Tokyo was busy from early morning until late that night. After a brief visit to the Tokyo National Museum, the group was able to participate in exchange activities at both Ryogoku High School and Fuchu-Nishi High School. The students from Ryogoku High School and the junior high school have a study abroad program in Utah (USA) every year; they also tour Brigham Young University. This year, 160 students participated in the exchange and deepened their interest in the university. Both the students and the faculty had a wonderful time with the visiting BYU students. They appreciated the opportunity to learn more about BYU. 

Afterwards, a special dinner was prepared for the tour group by members of the Fuchu Ward, where the BYU students could visit and eat with the ward youth and young single adults. They all had fun, sharing their musical talents with each other. A quick visit to the Tokyo Tower, with an opportunity to view the city from above, was a happy way to complete their day. 

Early Friday morning (May 10th), Vocal Point continued to produce their music video, this time in Asakusa, near the Sensoji Shrine. Later, joined by Noteworthy, the groups enjoyed touring the area, before arriving at Aprico Hall in Ota City to begin preparations for their first Japan concert, where an audience of approximately 1,350 attendees happily enjoyed their performance. Following the concert, guests were welcomed to visit with the performers in an enjoyable meet-and-greet event, to take pictures and sign programs. 

The tour continued the following day with a brief visit to the Osaka Castle, before preparing for the Saturday evening concert at the historic Osaka City Central Public Hall, which was nearly sold out. The enthusiastic audience enjoyed meeting with the performers afterwards. 

On Sunday, local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints planned and presented a special early morning Sacrament Meeting for the tour group, allowing them a brief opportunity to visit a few sites in Kyoto, before performing in back-to-back events held at the Ibaraki Ward Building. The first, a charity concert to raise funds to support the Japan Red Cross efforts in providing relief for victims of the January 1, 2024, Noto Peninsula earthquake, was well attended by church and community members. The second, an areawide devotional with Shane Reese, the BYU president and Elder Takashi Wada, Asia North Area president, focused on the value of pursing higher education. 

On Monday, the university students were deeply touched when they visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where they performed their signature pieces, “Amazing Grace” (Noteworthy) and “Nearer My God to Thee” (Vocal Point) across the river from the Genbaku Dome, the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on August 6, 1945. The mini concert was enjoyed by those passing by. 

Concerts in Hiroshima (Aster Hall) and Fukuoka (Namiki Square), along with activities and meals with local youth and YSAs, and post-concert socializing completed the concert tour in a wonderful way. The BYU performers were so appreciative of all who worked to make the tour a success. They were awed by the great hospitality extended to them throughout their time in Japan. Several of them hope to return someday. 

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