U of L mu­si­cians to per­form in Tai­wan


Af­ter fin­ish­ing their ex­ams, most stu­dents look for­ward to time to un­wind. But not 50-plus mu­sic stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge. They’ll be fly­ing west on Dec. 14 for a se­ries of con­certs in Tai­wan. There, the U of L Wind Orches­tra will per­form in the City of Chi­ayi In­ter­na­tional Band Fes­ti­val, tak­ing part in master classes and sec­tional ses­sions — as well as pre­sent­ing some Cana­dian mu­sic.

“This is an in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence for our stu­dents to play for dif­fer­ent au­di­ences and to in­ter­act with bands from all over the world,” says mu­sic pro­fes­sor Chee Meng Low.

The ex­pe­ri­ence should “open the world to them, and pro­vide them even more chances to per­form.”

Mem­bers of the univer­sity’s Global Drums en­sem­ble will also be part of the event, along with mu­sic de­part­ment per­son­nel Keith Grif­fioen, Adam Ma­son and Yukari Sasada.

The in­vi­ta­tion came af­ter an in­ter­na­tional au­di­tion process. “We sent them a tape two years ago,” he says. The in­vi­ta­tion came last spring, and then staff and stu­dents be­gan work on mu­sic se­lec­tion, re­hearsals — and the lo­gis­tics of mov­ing that many mu­si­cians and bulky in­stru­ments to the other side of the Pa­cific. And rais­ing funds for the flight.

In­door and out­door con­certs will be held at the Na­tional Chi­ayi Univer­sity, Low ex­plains.

“The host will be pay­ing for our ac­com­mo­da­tion.”

A work by Tchaikovsky — “Dance of the Jesters” — is one of the U of L se­lec­tions. But most of their mu­sic is much more mod­ern, in­clud­ing sev­eral com­po­si­tions by Ed­mon­ton mu­si­cian Al­lan Gilliland.

The en­sem­ble will also present a new sym­phonic poem “Tai­wan,” by Ja­panese com­poser Toshio Mashima, and a Gilliland ar­range­ment for “O Canada.”

The stu­dents will be re­turn­ing to Canada on Dec. 20. But af­ter a break, they’ll be pre­par­ing for a re­cip­ro­cal ex­pe­ri­ence — wel­com­ing mu­si­cians from around the world to Leth­bridge.

In Fe­bru­ary the U of L will play host to a four­day re­gional con­fer­ence of the North Amer­i­can Sax­o­phone Al­liance. Pub­lic per­for­mance and par­tic­i­pant de­tails will be re­leased in the new year.

Fol­low @DMa­bel­lHer­ald on Twit­ter

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