Special Feature

40-Year Celebration of BYU and China

40-Year Celebration of BYU and China

This month, the BYU Chamber Orchestra, BYU Folk Dance, BYU Ballroom Dance, BYU Young Ambassadors, BYU Living Legends, BYU Vocal Point, BYU Cougarettes, and the BYU Dunk Team, will be touring in China, celebrating a 40-year strong relationship between BYU and China. Read the incredible story of how that relationship began in the following links from BYU Studies and ChurchofJesusChrist.org.



yellowchina1979.jpg“This is Very Historic”: The Young Ambassadors 1979 Tour of China by John Hilton III and Brady Liu, BYU Studies Quartlery 55 no. 3
In 1979, diplomatic relations between the United STates and the People’s Republic of China were reestablished. Because of counsel from President Specer Kimball, leaders at Brigham Young University were already considering that a performing group might tour China. this article tells the story of putting the tour into place and the events of the tour intself. Twenty students, Elder James E. Faust, Sister Ruth Faust, and four leaders made the trip in July 1979. Their performances were well receieved, and the tour opened up regular invitations for BYU groups to tour China in succeeding years. Chinese television aired later performances, leading to BYU becoming well known among Chinese people. 

“BYU’s Young Ambassadors Delight Thousands in China,” Ensign, October 1979
“When twenty Brigham Young University performers traveled to China in July, they took 1,000 pounds of lighting equipment and a message of brotherhood. They went on faith, without a schedule of performances. But when the two-week Chinese segment of their four-week tour was over, their preparation and goodwill had taken them before some 17,000 Chinese people.”


“BYU China Spectacular,” BYU Arts, 2019
“To celebrate BYU’s long-standing friendship with China and to reflect the significance of what began 40 years ago, BYU will bring performers from not just one but eight of its most popular performing groups to create an unforgettable evening of entertainment, emotion, and spectacle. In a show that has something for everyone, the hall will be filled with popular songs from Broadway musical theater as well as the tight harmonies of male a cappella vocals. Native American tribal dance will take the stage along with traditional American clog, contemporary hip-hop, and elegant ballroom. All of this is woven together with the full sound of a classic chamber orchestra, the lively excitement of a folk music ensemble, and the contemporary styles of an upbeat show band. Finally, the magic of the show will be punctuated by the high-flying basketball acrobatics of a small troupe of uniquely gifted BYU athletes. A remarkably talented cast of 160 young BYU performers will grace the stage with their skill, artistry, and gratitude for BYU’s 40 years of commitment to and friendship with the amazing people of China.”

See the preview videos for each of the performance groups touring China in their 2019 “BYU China Spectacular” preview videos. Watch them here or on BYU’s YouTube channel:


BYU Cougarettes and Chamber Orchestra


BYU Folk Dance


BYU Living Legends


Byu Dunk Team


BYU Young Ambassadors