Project Description

Can you imagine registering for a 5k run through the beautiful Thanksgiving Point Gardens and as you come around the bend, there at the base of the largest manmade waterfall in the world is a symphony orchestra dressed in tuxedos playing Simple Gifts?! We arrived that morning dressed in our not-so-casual tuxedos before sunrise. We had to film everything before the grounds opened to the public and were supposed to film the week before but a rainstorm caused us to postpone. We soon learned that there was a 5k run was scheduled to pass right through the gardens that morning! So we just setup beneath the majestic waterfalls and started filming as fast as we could in hopes of getting those beautiful drone shots with the sun rising over the trees without the host of sweaty racers! Needless to say, we ruined some of their race times as they stopped to take it all in. Ashleigh Richardson from Ballet West II generously joined us. She really is the star of the show. She was so humble and adventurous flitting through the forest glens and flowery fields, and couldn’t have been more sincere in presenting her gifts.

Simple Gifts is the title of our fourth album. We feel like even though we’re just a youth orchestra with very simple gifts to offer, we can use those gifts to lift others with our music. We can lay our gifts at the feet of the Master and then we turn, turn, turn and have faith that things will eventually come round right. Individually and as a group, we’ve seen over and over how using our talents to try to inspire others magnifies them.

Other gift givers in the video also included:

Angela Johnson (sculptor) – Angela created the amazing bronze sculptures featured in the video. These larger than life representations of Christ are located at Thanksgiving Point in special “Light of the World Garden.” Angela is also a classically trained singer both her spirit and her art resonated perfectly with the message we were hoping to share. Find out more about her at http://ajsculptures.com/

Kendra (violin) – Kendra recently graduated from high school and is studying nursing and music on scholarship. She has chosen to dedicate the next 18 months of her life to serving a full-time mission for her church.

Nathan (trumpet) – a remarkable young man who volunteers his time to help our young musicians and make music while preparing to become a doctor.

Conner (football) – Conner received a scholarship to play Division 1 football as a 16 year old sophomore. Shortly after filming this video he left to serve a two-year, full-time mission in urban Washington D. C. putting on hold his promising football career to serve God.

So many of our youth are deserving of tributes. Nearly all of them go on to receive major scholarship awards. A large percentage of them choose to serve God on missions for their church. We’re not perfect. In fact, we feel downright simple – but we gladly lay our gifts at His feet.

Steven Sharp Nelson of The Piano Guys maybe described it best when he said, “The Lyceum Orchestras Program is an incomparable combination of everything that music is meant to be — joy, refinement, belonging, and fun. It offers kids the kind of opportunities that make music exciting and cool. It provides an environment that isn’t blindly affixed upon purposeless perfection, but rather a more selfless pursuit of excellence. My favorite part of Lyceum is its inherent spirituality. There is a special feeling suggesting a profound development not only of the body and mind, but of the soul.”

If you like this video, checkout our other Easter messages including Savior Redeemer of My Soul, If You Could Hie to Kolob, Be Still My Soul, and I Need Thee Every Hour.