Arts & Culture

OU Singers invited to China to perform at international festival, the Great Wall

The Oglethorpe University Singers have been invited to China July 16 – 24, 2019 for performances at the Xi’an International Choral Festival and on the Great Wall in Beijing—and the Oglethorpe community has the chance to accompany them on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

This rare invitation was extended by Dr. Tim Sharp, executive director of the American Choral Directors Association and International Choral Music Federation board member, who was the guest artist for the Singers’ spring 2018 bluegrass concert. The government in Beijing has allocated funds to promote choral music throughout China and asked Dr. Sharp to field invites for American groups to travel as demonstration choirs to this international choral festival held each summer. The Oglethorpe Singers are one of only three U.S. groups invited.

“For our students, the opportunity to act as cultural and artistic ambassadors to China from the USA, and to experience cross-cultural opportunities is an essential part of a comprehensive, liberal education,” said Dr. Timothy Powell, senior lecturer in music and director of the Oglethorpe Singers. “It stretches their artistic and aesthetic boundaries, and at the same time serves as confirmation of their talent and hard work. We are proud our accomplishments and this invitation which affords our students the opportunity to represent Oglethorpe, Atlanta, and the USA on the international stage.”

While in China, the Singers will perform a 30-minute set of “American” choral musical several times during the festival, with an expanded performance on the Great Wall. Dr. Powell will conduct, with accompaniment by Dr. Brent Runnels, senior lecturer and director of music.

The students currently slated to perform are: Erica Alexander, Samuel Clements, Alison Curl, Sarah DavidsonMikayla Entrekin,Samantha FosterKennedy HenryRebecca HighsmithAmanda HowieJacob JanesAsim JavedVictoria LeeConor O’TooleJulia PriceAllison RobbinsWynne SalinasEmily Schultz, Tara Taylor, and Max Wagner.

If you are interested in making this journey with the Singers, you must take two steps:

  1. Complete an interest form HERE.
  2. Submit payment. Payment information must be submitted HERE (this site provides payment deadlines, amounts, etc.)

The primary contact for this trip is Dr. Wanda Yang Temko, affiliate artist in voice ([email protected]). Dr. Temko will contact you regarding travel visa requirements and details, and will offer an acculturation class for those travelling. The cost for the trip is $3500, which includes airfare on Delta, all hotels, ground transportation, many sightseeing tours and most meals.

The general trip itinerary is as follows:

7/16: Arrival in Beijing. Transfer to hotel via shuttle and overnight in Hotel.
7/17: Departure to Xi’an via high speed train.
7/18: AM visit Ancient City Wall with Taichi exercise or bicycle riding on top of the Wall/ PM Attend Press Conference, Rehearsal and Opening Celebrations.
7/19: Attend workshops and masterclasses with the choir, or sightseeing tours. Enjoy evening concerts.
7/20: Visit Terra-cotta Warriors & Horses Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Drum Tower Muslin Shopping Street. Enjoy evening concerts.
7/21: AM Leave Xi’an for Beijing via High Speed Train/ PM Visit Temple of Heaven. Welcome dinner: Peking Roast Duck.
7/22: Great Wall excursion. OU Singers Concert performance at Ju Yong Pass on the Wall. Stop by Olympic venues for photo taking, attend Acrobatic Show or Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace with Panda Zoo.
7/23: Morning sightseeing. Afternoon Depart for Atlanta.

The “land” portion of the trip includes the following:

  • Airport/Train Station to hotel round trip transfers
  • Accommodation at Grand Noble Hotel (5 star), double occupancy, in Xi’an
  • Accommodation at a 4 star hotel, double occupancy, in Beijing
  • Tour guides
  • High speed train between Xi’an and Beijing
  • Daily local transportation and guided sightseeing tours and visits
  • Three meals daily: Breakfast in hotel, lunch and dinner in local approved restaurants
  • Registration for attendance at Festival activities and concerts
  • Tipping to tour guide and driver
  • Acrobatic show
  • Concert performance on the Great Wall
  • Official letter of invitation for application for China Visitors Visa

Payment does not include:

  • China Visa fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, phone, room service, etc.

Stay tuned for details about a send-off concert for the Oglethorpe University Singers!

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