Contributed Article/Courtesy EAC
THATCHER — It has been more than 50 years since BYU’s Young Ambassadors had their first appearance in the international spotlight at Expo ’70, in Osaka, Japan. Since then, 1,700 Young Ambassadors have traveled thousands of miles, visited 68 countries and met millions of new friends who long remember the group’s fast-paced choreography and beloved melodies. Young Ambassadors have captured the hearts of young and old through half a century of tours. Young Ambassadors continue their energetictradition of song and dance as they recall their past travels in their new show — Thank You for the Music.
Young Ambassadors feature 20 of BYU’s best singers and dancers, and four of BYU’s finest instrumentalists in the Young Ambassador Showband. This showband is conducted by Jarom Hansen and features show-stopping pieces, adding dynamic energy and class toThank You for the Music.
About Young Ambassadors
Young Ambassadors is a group filled with members who are excited to share their talents, experiences and love through their show, Thank You for the Music. The world-traveled troupe shares decades of the best in entertainment with music by the iconic Queen, ABBA, Whitey Houston, and a touch of the new Ed Sheeran, BTS, and Disney. The new Young Ambassador show, Thank You for the Music, presents the great musical hits of radio, stage, and screen, celebrating the songs by which we live our lives. The songs fromradio, tv, movies, and the Broadway stage have made us all who we are today and the Young Ambassadors commemorate them through their mesmerizing musical escapade on stage. Thank You for the Music features numbers from Broadway’s “Guys and Dolls”,“Wicked”, “Newsies”, and others round out their lineup for a memorable journey throughsome of your favorite songs over the past 50 years.
Since 1970, Young Ambassadors have been to Africa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Russia, Scandinavia, Tasmania, the 2002 WinterOlympics, and throughout the U.S. Young Ambassadors have also performed for heads ofstate in Britain, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan and the United States. Prominent past members include former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes, Diamond Rio’s Dan Truman and Broadway favorites Christeena Michelle Riggs and Candese Marchese.
Throughout the world, Young Ambassadors are followed by a strong reputation as wholesome, professional entertainers. The group recently traveled to Korea this past summer to share their message and show. This year, they will take their show to cities in Arizona, England, and Scotland.
Young Ambassadors represents the Department of Dance from the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. BYU is one of America’s largest private universities with more than 30,000 students from all over the United States and 100 foreign countries.
Artistic Director | Nathan Balser
Nathan Balser is an associate professor of dance at Brigham Young University andthe new artistic director of the Young Ambassadors. He completed his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and his Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Utah.
Nathan’s professional career includes performing on Broadway in the revival cast of Promises, Promises with Kristen Chenoweth, 9 to 5: The Musical with Allyson Janney, Damn Yankees with Cheyenne Jackson, and Legally Blonde. He also appeared on CBS’sTony Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.Nathan danced professionally with choreographers and groups including Repertory Dance Theatre, Odyssey Dance, Molissa Fenley, John Malashock, Scott Rink, and Utah RegionalBallet.
Prior to his assignment as director of the Young Ambassadors, Nathan had multipleopportunities to set choreography on the group, traveling twice with them to China. Nathan also directed BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre and choreographed at Sundance, Hale Center Theatre Orem, Lagoon Entertainment, Nauvoo, IL, and Utah COPA. He readilyteaches workshops on dance, music, choreography and performance. He is married and has four beautiful children.