International Choir prepares for concerts in China

PLAINVIEW -- The Wayland Baptist University International Choir will represent the state of Texas in a major 2007 international music festival in the People's Republic of China. Chosen upon recommendations of state music officials and past achievements, the choir is directed by Dr. Scott Herrington.

The International Choir will perform in two cities, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, from March 7-15, 2007, in the American Celebration of Music in China, a festival recognized by the state governments.

The choir will participate in a complete program of performances, sightseeing, cultural exchanges and other activities. Students will also have opportunities to see the performances of Chinese musical groups. Activities such as sightseeing in Hong Kong, visiting Aberdeen Harbor and the Kam Tin (Wall City) Tang Clan Village, seeing Shenzhen, visiting the China Folk Culture Village and watching a Cantonese opera are on the slate of events, aimed at exposing the American students to the Eastern culture.

“Our students aren’t exposed to Chinese music hardly at all in their musical training. So this is going to be a great way to expose them to the culture,” Herrington said.

The group will also perform a concert in association with the choir at Hong Kong Baptist University and another university choir during the trip.

“We will each present individual selections, then combine to present Edward Elgar’s ‘Great is the Lord’ in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth,” Herrington said. The choir will lead morning worship and give an evening concert at Kowloon International Baptist Church.

Herrington said the choir will be more restricted when they travel inland to Shenzhen where religious freedom isn’t as well accepted. Herrington said they will perform more pieces focusing on the history of Western and classical music.

According to Music Celebrations International of Tempe, Ariz., the organizers of the event in China, Chinese interest in Western culture is such that an American orchestra, choir or band can captivate a large and enthusiastic audience no matter where it performs. This festival is allied with the most prestigious music conservatories in Beijing, Xi'an and other major cities to provide great musical and cultural interaction between the musicians of both countries.

The goal of the organizers is to include at least one instrumental and one choral group from each of the 50 states to participate in the American Celebration of Music in China.

The trip is open to others to accompany the choir and costs $2,600 per person. Contact Herrington for a payment schedule.

The choir is also welcoming any donations by persons interested in helping offset the cost of the trip for student members. Students are required to raise approximately $1,900 each. Donations of any amount are welcome and may be sent to Herrington at Wayland, 1900 West 7th Street, CMB 399, Plainview, Texas 79072. Or contact Wayland’s development office at 291-3425.

For more information, contact Herrington at (806) 291-1062.