News Email - BYU Singers China Tour
Performing Arts Management
Encore on Tour

Fifty-four excited members of this years’ BYU Singers tour to China boarded their bus to the Salt Lake City airport and headed north…actually west, as they boarded a plane and flew to Seattle. In Seattle the group rehearsed in the airport to keep their finely tuned voices ready, and then flew on over the Pacific bound for Beijing, China. Ahead of the group lay 10 Chinese cities to be visited and 15 major choral concerts to be given, intermixed with musical workshops, meeting new friends in numerous Chinese choirs, and seeing for themselves the rich history and heritage of China. To say the group is excited, is clearly an understatement.  


Just about to board the bus to the airport!

China - Week One

The BYU Singers this past week were in China’s capital city, Beijing. Three public concerts and a music workshop were intermixed with culturally educational experiences designed to add to the student performers’ classroom preparations for the tour. The highlight concert was held April 30th at Beihang University’s Sunrise Concert Hall. There 850 people filled the hall for an excellent evening of music. Almost 80 special guests were greeted that night by BYU’s Academic Vice President, Brent Webb, Associate International Vice President, Erlend Peterson, Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communications, Stephen Jones, and by China LDS representative, Steven Toronto. <h6>The group has already won many friends and supporters in China</h6> April 29th’s concert was held at the beautiful Tsinghua University Concert Hall, and on May 2 the choir collaborated with two other Chinese choirs for a concert in the China Children’s Center Theatre. A delightful musical workshop took place between BYU and the Beihang University Choir, as the first of five such interactions to occur in this three-week tour of China. Educationally, the group visited the Forbidden City, sang at, as well as climbed, the Great Wall of China, ate a traditional Peking duck lunch, viewed the spacious Summer Palace, and sampled the various cuisine options of the Night Market (including scorpions and sea horses!). The group has already won many friends and supporters in China and looks forward to new cities in the coming weeks.  


BYU Singers with new friends at Beihang University following their workshop

Entering the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Performing in the Sunrise Concert Hall, Beihang University

China - Week Two

The second week on tour for the BYU Singers was one of performance and close association with university based choirs in the cities of Tianjin, Jinan, and Kaifeng, and with a community chorus in Xi'an. This collaborative work included time spent with some of the best educational-based choirs in China. Friendships were built at the same time that vocal abilities and harmony were enhanced by working together. The Pei Yang Chorus at Tianjin University shared their stage at the beautiful Tianjin Concert Hall; the Shandong University of Arts Chorus in Jinan hosted an enthusiastic joint concert on their campus; and the Henan University Art College Choir (in Kaifeng, China) enjoyed several hours of workshop training and interaction with the BYU Singers before their joint concert took place. The choir member to choir member interactions were significant and the workshops and concerts were very well received. In Xi'an the interactions took a turn toward the community, with workshop and concert held with the Xi'an Chorus Association. <h6>Friendships were built at the same time that vocal abilities and harmony were enhanced by working together.</h6> To increase their understanding of China the Singers were treated to a Cantonese Opera performance in Tianjin, two Chinese high speed train trips between cities, a visit to the Iron Pagoda and other historic sights in Kaifeng, and learned Chinese calligraphy in Xi'an. Tour members are doing well and are realizing what an amazing place China and her people are!  


An intense choral workshop at Tianjin University with the talented Pei Yang Chorus

BYU Singers visit the Cantonese Opera House in Tianjin, where they were treated to a short performance

Dr. Ron Staheli leads a choral workshop at Henan Art College by mixing his performers in with the local choir and worked on specific choral techniques

Prof Li Qiang of Jinan, China was one of many friends of BYU involved in this week's events

China - Week Three

During their third week on tour the BYU Singers visited Xi'an, Hangzhou, Jinhua, Shanghai and Wuxi, China and enjoyed collaborations with several local choirs, participation in a major music festival, and also experienced some amazing educational opportunities. <h6>The performance highlight of the week was representing the USA in the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, where 12 international and 11 Chinese choirs will be participating in the coming 3 weeks.</h6> The performance highlight of the week was representing the USA in the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, where 12 international and 11 Chinese choirs will be participating in the coming 3 weeks. BYU performed in the Festival's opening concert to over 1,200 people, along with 11 other choirs that night. The Singers shared the concert stage in Hangzhou with the Zhejiang Conservatory Concert Choir, in Shanghai with the Songjian Teacher's Choir, and in Wuxi with the Wuxi Shanhe Chorus - in each case the concerts were preceded with a stimulating choral workshop guided by Director Ronald Staheli. The highlight educational experience had to be the visit to the Teracotta Soldiers Museum near Xi'an as well as the Chinese calligraphy lesson and Tang Dynasty dinner show presentation that night. In Shanghai the choir visited the Yuyuan Gardens - an amazing collection of stone, water pools, Chinese traditional buildings, and architecture which was in sharp contrast to the modern and creative high rise buildings in the Shanghai skyline. The pace of Chinese traffic, size of crowds in the areas visited, and infrastructure literally growing on every side has helped the tour members appreciate and admire the people of China today.  


Professor Yan Bao Lin of the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music celebrates with BYU Director Ronald Staheli following a successful joint concert in Hangzhou, China involving their respective choirs.

The Wuxi Shanhe Chorus, a community choir, worked with Ronald Staheli 3 years ago when he visited their city. On May 16 they combined with the BYU Singers in a joint concert in the spacious Wuxi Grand Theatre Concert Hall. Here Dr. Staheli directs a special number prepared that day for the choirs to sing together.

In Shanghai’s Songjian district, the BYU Singers concert was very well received just 3 hours after a choral workshop was held with music teachers from the local school district.