Over the summer, more than 60 student musicians and several Music Department professors packed their bags, jumped on a plane, and walked into a whirlwind that carried them through three Chinese cities in ten days. Performing in Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing, the group introduced sounds, voices, and instruments to audiences that, in many cases, had never experienced American music.
The Chamber Singers, Orchestra, Bluegrass Ensemble, Singer’s Theater Workshop, and Jazz Ensemble all took part, performing in five unique venues along the way. From a 1,250-seat, brand new concert hall in Xi’an to the Central Conservatory in Beijing, they crossed more than 1,500 miles of China’s vast landscape. Their performance on the Badaling Section of the Great Wall, situated in the Juyongguan Mountain Pass, was a highlight for many, as their music reverberated up the mountains from the top of the Wall.
Despite an ambitious performance schedule, they also found time for plenty of sightseeing. Hopping from city to city, students and professors paid their respects to Shanghai’s Old Town, the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, and Beijing’s Forbidden City. As an added bonus, the 2010 World Expo was in full swing while the group was in Shanghai, and the Chamber Singers obliged with an impromptu performance.