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by Crystale L. Lopez, University Relations


The HPU International Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra toured China this summer with a mission of creating cross-cultural awareness through the sharing of music. Performing with the choir and instrumental ensemble from China Agricultural University, IVE and the Orchestra performed two concerts in China’s capital, Beijing.

In addition to IVE and orchestra members, the approximately 50 HPU students and staff who journeyed to China included Kala‘i Stern, director of Choral Activities and music instructor, and Dr. Teresa McCreary, director of Instrumental Music Programs and assistant professor of music. Support staff included Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Dr. Les Correa, vice president of Institutional Research.

“ Performance ensembles, like any team, profit from members getting to know one another well,” said Stern. “This tour allowed students to build strong peer relationships, adhere to a rigorous tour schedule, perform at a professional level, and develop a positive attitude toward the challenges of international travel.”

The concert program featured American and Hawaiian selections as well as pieces from Indonesia, Slovakia, West Africa, and Brazil, illustrating the diversity of the HPU student body. Members also participated in exchanges with students from the Beijing Culinary School, the local Kung Fu School, and sixth graders from a village school on the outskirts of Xi’an.

The HPU delegation visited the Great Wall of China, where students rode cable cars up and then hiked down a four-mile section of the wall.

In Xi’an, they visited the site of the Terracotta Army at the Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor.
Other notable sites included the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City.

“ Our tour guides, from the Honolulu company Seawind Tours and Travel, were savvy and knowledgeable,” said Stern. “Students learned much about the historical sites they visited and gained insight into the daily lives of China’s people. Overall, members of the tour grew academically, socially, and professionally in experiences that can only be accomplished with this kind of travel.”

Tang Dynasty Theatre, Xi’an, organized an acrobatic dinner show for HPU delegates.

Sharky at Tiananmen Square with a portrait of Chairman Mao in the background.

The Beijing Culinary School joins the visiting HPU delegates for a group portrait.

All photos by or courtesy
Abe Gruber


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