Woodwind Ensemble to Perform in China

Sixteen members of the Georgia Tech band will travel to Shanghai and Beijing

While international experience is nothing new for Georgia Tech students, playing at the Shanghai International Arts Festival goes far beyond the usual study abroad trip.

Sixteen students from the Woodwind Ensemble will travel to Shanghai and Beijing during fall break to participate in several collaborative concerts. Dr. Andrea Strauss says she and the students are excited about the trip. "Beijing is the largest city in China and has the most history to it. We'll be able to take in the sights such as Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall."

The trip is more than just a sight-seeing tour as Strauss has filled the itinerary with several opportunities for the students to perform while they are in China. These include the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, The Sino-U.S. Logistics Summit, Beijing Music Conservatory and Concord College.

"I think the performances are what make this trip different and unique for the students," said Strauss. "These students are going to have the chance to be ambassadors for their country and for Georgia Tech, but they are also going to be able to collaborate with a different culture in a real, unique musical interaction."

The students aren't music majors and are well aware of the fact that they will be missing three days of classes for the trip, but the opportunity was too much to pass up.

"I think it is an incredible opportunity to do something outside of what I normally do," said Adam Wilson. "I'm a computer science major, and when someone comes to me and says would you like to spend a week touring through China and playing musicÂ… you can't say no. It is something you have to do."

"For me this trip is a bonus," said Michael Abraham an aerospace engineering major. "I would have gone to play my clarinet in Wichita, Kansas. But the fact that it is China and a travel opportunity I may very well never have again makes the whole trip irresistible."

Strauss began putting together the nine-day trip this summer and saw an opportunity to give students a chance to be ambassadors at another Georgia Tech event. The Sino - U.S. Logistics Summit will be held in Shanghai while the ensemble is there, and the event's organizers welcomed the opportunity to have the ensemble perform.

"We are going to play at the opening ceremonies for the summit," said Strauss. "It was just an ironic coincidence that the summit was taking place at the same time we were going over for the Shanghai International Arts Festival."

The woodwind ensembles will be traveling for nine days through China during fall break and will be returning on October 22.

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