(FROM LEFT) Greg Bowers photographs Clement Reid in a historical part of Chengdu, China in March, 2007. Looking on is a local interpretor and Greg Youtz. The three PLU composers (along with David Robbins) were in China for an exchange concert. (PHOTO BY KAREN ROBBINS)
A group of local musicians, dancers, students and teachers are off to China for two weeks as part of an annual Pacific Lutheran University program. PLU has been sending students to Sichuan Conservatory in Chengu to study language and culture for 27 years now, and the program has also allowed Chinese composers to visit and premiere works in Tacoma.
Who’s on the tour this year? PLU’s wind and jazz ensembles, who will visit Beijing, Shanghai & Xi’an, perform on the Great Wall, give a goodwill concert in the earthquake-damaged village of Dujjangyan, and give a jazz clinic in Chengdu. They will premier a work by PLU composer Greg Youtz, who will accompany the group, and a recent composition by PLU jazz director David Joyner.
Also going to China is dancer and choreographer Robin Jaecklein, who teaches dance at the School of the Arts. Jaecklein is excited about the tour, saying she’ll come back with lots of extra ideas for her curriculum at SOTA.
The group is spending the next few days in Beijing. Stay tuned for update emails from Greg Youtz.