AUBURN – Seventy-nine Auburn University students and 16 faculty and staff will spend 10 days in China on a musical performance tour taking them to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.
The tour begins Sunday, March 11, in Beijing at the China National PLA Army Band Hall. The Symphonic Band will give seven performances throughout China, while also visiting such sites as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. They were invited by the United States-China Cultural and Educational Foundation to the People’s Republic of China for the musical tour to promote cultural and educational exchange between the two countries.
“Cultural exchange is our focus and primary mission,” the invitation from the foundation stated. “We continually strive to build bridges of understanding between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China and hope that foundation activities resulting in performances from wonderful musical ensembles like the Auburn University Wind Ensemble will enhance the unification of our great countries.”
“I think this will be a life-changing and awe-inspiring trip for our students,” said Rick Good, director of bands. “Most of these students have never been to Asia; I’ve traveled to a number of places, but haven’t been to Asia myself, so I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us.”
The students will be guests of Shanghai University, closing out the tour with a concert at Shanghai University Theater on Sunday, March 18.
“The students have worked hard to prepare for the trip and will perform some challenging musical pieces,” Good said. “I think that, though there is a language barrier, the students will have the opportunity to see how we can communicate through music and through a mutual appreciation of the arts.”
Some of the students will blog from China, sharing their experiences and impressions throughout the tour. To follow the students on their journey, go to http://ocm.auburn.edu/abroad/china2012/.
To view the itinerary, go to http://band.auburn.edu/forms/sym11/china_final_itinerary.pdf.
(Written by Carol Nelson.)