“I don’t sing with my hands behind my back sitting on a chair. I give everything,” said singer Alex Boyé, who was feeling right at home during the annual Pioneer Day concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. “Like a grand homecoming,” said the former choir member, who sang to a large crowd during “Music for a Summer Evening” in the Conference Center on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City Friday night, July 14, 2017.
The concert kicked off with a tribute to the Mormon pioneers who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 170 years ago, July 24, 1847. Songs included “They, the Builders of the Nation” and “Faith in Every Footstep.”
Boyé recalled spending time near Brigham Young’s grave while living near the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City for about eight years. The native of London, England, expressed appreciation for pioneers. “You’re blazing trails that people have not done, and that’s what really encapsulates The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” he explained.
The evening performance included several show tunes such as “Where You Are” from Disney’s “Moana” and a selection of African-American Spiritual songs, including Boyé’s signature rendition of “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me.”
“The music that I do now is pop music with an African twist,” described Boyé, a style perfect for the duo of songs from “The Lion King” that he performed at the end of the concert, including “He Lives in You” and “Circle of Life.”
Boyé has performed with the choir many times on its “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast and on several of its tours, in addition to his performances as a soloist on several choir CD recordings. He also appeared on the television show “America’s Got Talent.”
Known for his dynamic African-infused songs, Boyé has gained more than 400 million views on YouTube and earned the title of YouTube’s Cover Artist of the Year in 2014. He will perform a half-time show for NFL's “Monday Night Football” this December in Miami after winning the 2017 Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Band competition.
Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, conducted the performance.
“The music that I do now is pop music with an African twist,” described Boyé