OGDEN — Fifty-eight thousand Latter-day Saint teens from the Davis and Weber county areas will commemorate with song, dance, and pageantry the legacy of the restored gospel at Ogden’s Dee Event Center on 16 July 2005.
“It’s like New Year’s Eve, waiting for the ball to drop — I’m counting down!” Katelyn Krum, a participating teen, said. “Some people say that church is so rigid, and I think it’s awesome that we can all get together and celebrate like this. I’m so excited!”
The Ogden Utah-North Day of Celebration spectacular, chaired by Dennis and Barbara Ferrin, is part of a yearlong commemoration of both the 175th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the bicentennial birth of the Church’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith.
NellaDet Allen Stettler, the musical director, collaborated with prominent LDS artists to bring about the jubilee’s overall melodic flow. Sam Cardon arranged all major musical numbers, including the theme song, “A Mighty Change,” written by Cherie Call specifically for the show.
Call will also perform her classic song, “The Ocean in Me,” while the youth swirl and create an ocean of dance.
“I wrote that song while I was going through a tough time, and it was just a song where the words and melody came to my mind one night and it lifted my spirits,” Call said.
Other LDS artists to perform with the youth include Jon Schmidt, Enoch Train, a cappella group T-Minus 5, and all the fulltime Utah-Ogden missionaries. The well-known voices of Bruce Newbold and Spence Kinard provide the live narrations.
“A Mighty Change: The Defining Moments of Our Lives” breaches beyond the pivotal prayer of the 14 year-old Joseph Smith in the sacred grove and encompasses the courageous legacy of modern-day youth.
“We sent out 58,000 defining moment questionnaires to 90 stakes, and from those, we chose three dozen to film and broadcast throughout the show,” Dennis Ferrin said.
Thousands of youth will also beat out the rhythms of service in a gigantic stomp number; in another, light the arena with 24,000 glow sticks, and lastly watch as the finale bursts with pyrotechnics. Other surprises will reveal themselves as the show progresses.
Julie Jenkins and Keri Fawcett, who organized the logistics of the pageant, agreed that it won’t matter in the end if the little details fall into place; the most important aspect is that the youth have a social and testimony building experience.
Elder Charles W. Dahlquist II, Young Men general president, and Sister Susan W. Tanner, Young Women general president, and Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric are all expected to attend the production.
A kick-off fireside for cast members called “The Spirit of Music!” will take place 10 July 2005 at the Ogden LDS Institute at 6 and 8 pm. The youth are encouraged to “tune in their ears, minds, and hearts” to the musical harmonies of T-Minus 5 and Jon Schmidt, as each shares their testimonies of the power of music. Elder Robert H. Garff, the area seventy who organized the celebration, will offer the closing remarks.
Two separate casts of the Ogden Utah-North Day of Celebration show will be broadcast to the surrounding 90 stake meeting houses at 5pm and 8:30pm to accommodate all the youth and parents. Pre-show activities for audience members and those participating through satellite broadcast begin at 4:30pm and 8pm. Tickets will only be distributed to church members through their local stake leaders.