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Voice to the World

Voice to the World

The dictionary definition of synergy is rather boring: “the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together.” However, the audience defined “Synergy,” the song-and-dance group who performed at the Johannesburg Stake Center on July 19, as “amazing,” “talented,” and “charming!”

synergy
audience

The group of 20 young men and women, all members of the Church, were from Clayton Productions based in Salt Lake City. Introduced by Johannesburg Stake President Andrew W. De Kock, the group was directed by D. Kim Clayton, who has seen over 4000 young singers and dancers come through his performance studio. Some of his performers have found their way to major TV shows and even Broadway.

This select group, all between the ages of 17 and 30, have traveled and performed throughout the world in  places like Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Venezuela.  This was their first trip to South Africa, and they told the audience right away,“We have fallen in love with the people of South Africa!”

Their program, “A Voice to the World” was organized by the Friendship Ambassador Foundation.  The high-energy dancing and clear, strong singing began with an exuberant medley of rock n' roll numbers to music like “Dancing in the Streets.”

The stamina of the performers never weakened throughout the 90-minute, non-stop performance. With no interval or intermission, the performers managed four seamless costume changes. A few performers at a time slipped off stage for a few moments to change and then returned to the stage in small groups until all were costumed and dancing in the next segment.

A number of different performers made brief announcements when transitioning from one medley to another. When the audience heard the first part of the announcements in carefully-spoken Zulu, they cheered and applauded in delight. The audience also responded positively as the group transitioned from the “Hairspray Medley” of 50's and 60's Rock n' Roll to a “Disney Medley” including “Hakuna Matata,” from The Lion King .
Synergy youth group - audience - PS.jpg

The real crowd-pleaser, though, was the “Michael Jackson Medley,' which brought down the house with well-known favorites like “Billie Jean,” “Man in the Mirror,” and of, course, “Thriller,” complete with expert moon-walking.

After the troupe had completed their “ Broadway Medley” with songs from “The Phantom of the Opera, “Les Miz,” and “Cats,” they  proved they could sing equally well without accompaniment.  They sang a' capella versions of “The Auctioneer,” “The African Song,” and “The Prayer of the Children,” a song written by by LDS musician Kurt Bestor.

When the performance concluded, the pleased audience members went away more than uplifted and energized; they were downright “Synergized!”