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Giving is Helping the College of Fine Arts and Communications

June 2022

The orchestra, seated on a darkened stage that is lit from above with blue light, waits for a cue from conductor Rob Gardner.

Lamb of God Concert Movie Features BYU Talent

Last year, composer Rob Gardner assembled an impressive cast of musicians to create a film of his oratorio, Lamb of God. Filming took place on a socially distanced sound stage in Park City, Utah, and required a choir, an orchestra, and 15 vocal and instrumental soloists. BYU musicians were deeply involved: the choir was composed entirely of BYU students, and faculty members Monte Belknap, Brian Blanchard, Daron Bradford, and Matt Coleman also added their talents. The movie was released in time for Easter 2021. Student vocalists auditioned to participate. Courtney Lawson was among the 30 students selected. “The film was a reminder of what good can come from music and the arts,” she says. “After seeing the results of this performance, I don’t think anyone can deny its worth. That’s really comforting for me. I need music in my life. Other people need it.”

BYU grad Audrey Hancock designed a cobalt-blue billboard for Zoom that reads “You’re still driving to work?”

Recent Design Grad Wins Prestigious Competition

Recent BFA grad Audrey Hancock won the 2021 AIGA Command X competition. According to the AIGA website, Command X is a live design reality show that gives up-and-coming designers the chance to be in front of their design peers, industry heroes, and potential employers. The 2021 competition was held on Zoom. Six designers from across the country were invited to compete. They were given a week to design a logo for Zoom reflecting its increased presence in our lives, and they had 24 hours to design a campaign to help people distinguish truthful narratives from disinformation regarding climate change. Hancock’s mix of creativity, strategy, execution, and presence led to her winning both parts of the competition. She is the second BYU student to win the contest in its 14-year history. When Hancock was first invited to compete, she was still a BYU student, but she graduated before the competition because it was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Finding Strength in Artistic Expression

This BYU grad Madyson Ysasaga art features a mannequin of blue patterned fabric wearing a hospital gown of the same fabric.

Madyson Ysasaga graduated with a degree in art in 2021. She started at BYU in 2010, but her studies were slowed by chronic illness. A double lung transplant led to a four-year gap in her education, and her senior year in the program was completely remote because of her physical vulnerabilities during the pandemic.

Ysasaga’s art frequently explores themes of chronic illness, mortality, and spirituality. “I have always viewed my education as a critical factor in becoming self-reliant, something that I have always wanted for myself,” she says. “My disease and disability have always made me feel very self-conscious about how dependent I am on other people. I believe art should express what it means and how it feels to be human. Art should make us feel less alone. No matter who you are and what you are going through, art is a way of saying ‘You belong.’”

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