In April, under the direction of Dr. Randall Kempton, 42 singers from BYU-Idaho toured the country of Ghana for two weeks. Well over 6000 people attended the several concerts performed by the choir in Koforidua, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi (see article below), Winneba and Accra. Selected local Ghanaian choirs also performed during several concerts; a youth choir in Kumasi, the Winneba Youth Choir at both the Winneba and Accra National Theater concerts, and The Harmonious Chorale of Ghana at the National Theater concert.
Especially exciting for the BYU-Idaho Pathway students in Ghana was the opportunity to audition for a choir in January which would join the Collegiate Singers in concert both at the Christiansborg Stake Center and the National Theater. Dr. Kempton included the Pathway choir in several joint songs with the Singers. Following the tour, Dr. Kempton wrote, “I feel impressed that our tour was not the culmination and end but the beginning of our involvement with the BYU-Idaho Pathway Students. A groundwork has been laid for the continuation of what we hope will become a more regular, sustained musical interaction with singers not only in Ghana but in many nations where Pathway students gather together.”
Rita Tetteh, a member of the Pathway choir said, “We were happy singing and sharing ideas with you all. You are such a blessing and mentors to us. We are hoping to work hard and sing like you people.”
Many dignitaries and non-members joined an enthusiastic throng of Latter-Day Saints at the National Theater in Accra for the final concert. The hall was filled to its 1600 capacity seating.
Ghanaians were thrilled as the Collegiate Singers sang not only the National Anthem, but several other selections in the Twi language. Both the Winneba Youth Choir and The Harmonious Chorale of Ghana presented beautifully sung LDS hymns – “The Morning Breaks” and “Where Can I Turn For Peace?” – to a very appreciative audience. All choirs joined together to sing “I Am A Child Of God”.
The tour group from BYU-I held a testimony meeting in a room at the JFK airport on their way home from Ghana. It was reported that, “…as each student stood to express heart-felt feelings about the tour, it became apparent that their lives have been changed forever because of their experience.” The leaders in expressing their gratitude to those in Ghana who assisted them said, “It is our firm hope and faith that the Ghana concert tour will yield some positive results as you deal with government and business leaders, new members, prospective members, and the wonderful and faithful current members of the Church who did so much to support us in our travels!”