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Passionate Student Singlehandedly Revives and Revamps a Lost Tradition

March 2018

Rebecca Devonas

As a BYU freshman, Rebecca Devonas attended an event called Night at the HFAC that showcased performing arts from the College of Fine Arts and Communications - and she loved it. She was disappointed when, later, the event ceased to exist. Whereas most students would shrug their shoulders and find something else to do with their Friday night, Rebecca didn’t let it go. Instead, she took charge and brought the event back to life, this time making it even bigger.

“I felt so passionate about it,” says Rebecca, who majored in oboe performance. “I envisioned Night at the HFAC on steroids, bringing in every performing group that I could and inviting the student body at BYU.”

Her Night at the HFAC included more than just performing groups, with Divine Comedy, photography, art, animation, recitals, film, Folk and Jazz Ensembles, BYU Ballroom, Music Dance Theatre, and many other groups - and over 3,000 students attended. It was, in her words, “students for students” sharing their talents.

“It deters students when they have to pay to enter,” she says. “With the Night at the HFAC, students have a venue to share and a venue to go participate and see it. It was so exciting to see that you can have an effect on thousands of people.”

That’s just one of the ways Rebecca’s scholarship allowed her to grow during her BYU experience. Ultimately, it made it possible for her to pursue her ambitions and bring her dreams to life.

“Without the help of the scholarship, I would not have had time to put focus and effort into Night at the HFAC on top of studying for school, being on the School of Music Student Advisory Council, practicing my oboe in preparation for a recital, and flying across the country to audition for music conservatories,” she says. “Being an events manager in the arts was such a profoundly positive experience for me that it propelled my interest in the business of music and facilitated a post-graduation internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and the hope of pursuing an MBA program someday.”

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