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Colbie Caillat, David Archuleta shine at ‘BYU Spectacular!’

October 12, 2018

The night was dark as Brigham Young University kicked off its “BYU Spectacular! ” homecoming celebration Thursday.

But pop singers Colbie Caillat and David Archuleta brought a little sunshine of their own to the packed Marriott Center, backed by BYU performing groups including Vocal Point, Women’s Chorus, Cougarettes, Living Legends, Young Ambassadors, Synthesis and Syncopation.

The program centered on songs about light and positivity, complementing BYU’s 2018 homecoming theme, “ Be Inspired.”

Caillat and the cast started the night with “Brighter Than the Sun,” followed by a BYU Vocal Point cover of Stevie Wonder ’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing.”

“It is so great to be back in Utah,” Caillat said after the first number. “I’ve had such an amazing week. I have enjoyed rehearsing and performing with all of these BYU groups, and to be honest, I’ve never done anything like this before, and it has been such a cool experience. I’ve just been so impressed with the students here, with their talent and their kindness. Everyone’s just so sweet.”

Ray Beckham was honored at the event as the 2018 BYU Honored Founder in a short documentary by Glenn Anderson. Beckham’s contributions to BYU include serving as a professor and director of various departments for more than 42 years; fundraising for the Marriott Center, LaVell Edwards Stadium and BYU Museum of Art; and bringing about Aspen Grove, BYU Evening School (now Continuing Education ), the Travel Studies Department, the Cougar Club, Education Week and Young Ambassadors.

“Through the years, Ray Beckham received more than a dozen prestigious local and national service awards,” the documentary said. “His life is a testament to the difference a single individual can make in the world around him. His energy and drive, his character, and his achievements plead all of us to be inspired.”

The university’s student groups performed a few solo numbers throughout the night, including BYU Cougarettes’ heartfelt dance to Esmee Denters ’ “Journey,” two Living Legends Polynesian dances titled “Sasa/Lapa Lapa” and “Ku’u Leo Aloha,” Synthesis’ toe-tapping “When You’re Smiling” and Syncopation’s upbeat “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

“It’s so good to be back here at BYU, everyone,” Archuleta said at the concert. “I was here three years ago, and it’s just so nice to be back with all these super talented groups here at BYU.”

BYU Young Ambassadors and Synthesis also performed a cover of Bruno Mars ’ “Marry You” before Caillat took the stage again, leading the cover into a medley with two of her original hits, “I Do” and “Falling for You.”

Archuleta’s originals during the program included “He Showed Me How” and “Shine a Light,” which he said he wrote as “a reminder of the beacon that guides us” when life gets discouraging.

“Maybe you’re feeling down in the dumps and it’s hard to see that beacon. So what can you do? Shine a light,” Archuleta told the crowd. “There’s a light within you, and shine it on your problems and it will help you navigate through those problems.”

BYU Women’s Chorus performed an energetic cover of “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” and joined Caillat onstage to sing a touching rendition of “Try.”

“I wrote this song for myself and for anyone who were to listen to it to remind them to just be exactly who you are,” Caillat said of “Try.” “The world needs us to be different. We were born different, and it’s just really important for us to embrace our imperfections and be exactly who we are, and I’m really honored and excited to be singing with 170 of these powerful women behind me.”

Caillat later picked up a guitar to perform “Bubbly” with her fiancé, Justin Young.

“This was a song that just completely changed my career,” Caillat said of “Bubbly.” “Do you guys remember Myspace? Well, this song helped me make it because of Myspace, and I got to travel the world and now get to come and be here with you amazing people tonight.”

BYU Vocal Point sang Jason Mraz ’s part during Caillat’s performance of Grammy-winning duet “Lucky.”

“I love songwriting because it’s like personal therapy,” Caillat said after the number. “I always like to write songs about positivity, and I like them to be optimistic because we all go through hard times in life, and I think it’s important to remember that it’s temporary and it’s all at how we look at it and how we choose to get ourselves out of those hard times.”

As the concert came to a close, Archuleta’s powerful rendition of Elton John ’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and a fun combined finale of “Walking on Sunshine,” during which beach balls bounced from the back of the audience to the stage, both ended in wild applause and standing ovations.

Spirits were high as the crowd exited the Marriott Center after a spectacular evening, taking a bit of light with them as they returned into the night.

A second performance of “BYU Spectacular!” is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Center, 701 E. University Parkway, Provo.

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