"Hearts & Minds" is an album that reflects the mission of educating both the Heart and Mind through inspiring and uplifting music. The American Heritage Youth Lyceum Philharmonic performs masterworks like Mahler's "Titan" Symphony and Bernstein's Candide Overture alongside original music composed specifically to deepen faith in Jesus Christ and develop a lasting love of God and Country. This album features special guest artists Jenny Oaks Baker, Jordan Bluth, and Dallyn Vail Bayles performing a combination of sacred, patriotic, and classical music.
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This is an AMAZING orchestra. I know because I play a part in it. Who said that reviews have to be unbiased right? First of all, you won't be able to tell that these are students. They sound like pros as evidenced by the professional record label that picked them up last year, the iTunes No. 1 single they had with The Piano Guys, the myriad of concerts with A-list artists like The 5 Browns, David Archuleta, Jenny Oaks Baker, and Jackie Evancho.
Most of what I love about the album isn't the remarkable quality; it's the mission. This album has perhaps the most bold testimony of Joseph Smith I've ever heard set to music in their version of Joseph Smith's First Prayer where Dallyn Vail Bayles reads the account in Joseph's own words then sings the hymn in first person. It's powerful. But they put powerful spiritual music for the heart is right next to serious classical music for the mind like Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and Bernstein's Candide Overture. They include patriotic music, fun music, sacred, and serious literature on one album.
It's the closest thing AHS or the Philharmonic have to a self-portrait. And I can't think of a better example of what education and especially music education should be.