Departing from Cedar City via Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the SUU party arrived in Wuhan and promptly began rehearsals with the Hubei Symphony Orchestra for a performance of “Canyon Concerto, for Percussion and Orchestra,” which was composed by Dr. Bradshaw for soloist Dr. Vartan. The concerto had its world premiere with the Orchestra of Southern Utah in November 2013. For the Chinese concerts, SUU percussion students Darin Hunsinger, Austin Julian, Marshall Miller and Tylor Williams performed the extensive orchestral percussion parts under the direction of Dr. Sun. The concerto made its Chinese debut at a performance in Wuhan’s Qintai Concert Hall on May 10th. In addition to the concert, the SUU percussion students gave their own outreach concert at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, performing a variety of western music.
The SUU group then journeyed to Changsha City for a joint performance with the Hunan Normal University Orchestra as well as outreach programs with the American Studies Center of Changsha. Then it was on to Beijing for a series of performances. At Beijing University (Peking University), in conjunction with the Peking University Chinese Music Institute, there was a joint concert with Peking University and Southern Utah University that was part of the Yuanpei Festival and was entitled “Music and Joy for Yuanpei.” The performance was a rousing success.
According to Dean Mendini, “the performances further cemented Southern Utah University’s strong ties with numerous Chinese universities and cultural institutions. As for our students who performed, their genuine artistry and professionalism broke down language and cultural barriers and demonstrated that music bridges all differences as it engages and enlightens. I look forward to more creative partnerships and performances in the future throughout China.”
Though the Dean and faculty have traveled to China previously, the music students had not. Yet even with a full and crowded itinerary they managed to do some sight-seeing of some of the major attractions as well as sample exquisite Chinese cuisine throughout their stay abroad.