Patriotism flamed again as members of the former singing group of college-age Church members, Grand Land Singers, reunited for meetings here and a performance at nearby Zion National Park on July 5.
The Grand Land Singers, which was organized from 1967-85, won particular acclaim in the late 1960s and early 1970s as they stood up for patriotism during a troubled era when many young people were doing just the opposite.A highlight of their experiences came in 1970 when they performed to standing ovations at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
At a reunion here July 2-5, the performers - now middle-aged and 23 years older - repeated the 1970 Cherry Blossom program, and again won a standing ovation, this time from the 1,200 residents and tourists in attendance. During one number, the children of the performers joined them on stage. They performed in the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater near Zion National Park.
The reunion was for the group conducted by Dr. Calvin Greer from 1967-73. About 270 people from this group gathered for the reunion, including 120 children. The children presented a religious number for their parents during a sacrament meeting on July 4.
Emotional moments during rehearsals and in a testimony meeting indicated the strength of the bonds formed by the singers, said Wayne Haws, former director of the institute-sponsored group. Some expressed gratitude for being introduced to the Church through the group.
"The group represented the Church in a positive way and literally hundreds of individuals were converted to the gospel through the direct efforts of the Grand Land Singers," said Brother Haws.
He said the singers won numerous citations from patriotic organizations before the group was disbanded. The group existed under priesthood leadership and guidelines of the time. Since that time, Church-sponsored local or regional choirs are organized only for special events, and not continued beyond the event for which they are organized.