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July 12, 2005
Contact: Erin Curtis-Dierks, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-9742.

KU Wind Ensemble performs in China May 25-June 6

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble has returned from a May 25 through June 6 tour of China, where it performed to enthusiastic audiences in Beijing, Chengdu and Kunming. John Lynch, KU director of bands, 59 student ensemble members and three additional KU faculty members made the trip.

The group was invited to China last year after Chinese music conservatory delegates heard the ensemble's performance at the Music Educators National Conference national convention in Minneapolis, Minn. The Chinese government paid half the cost of the trip. In addition, the KU students were invited to perform as the featured ensemble in outdoor celebrations in both Kunming and Chengdu that commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the collaboration between China and the United States.

Students and faculty took advantage of tours throughout China, including visits to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and a panda reserve, plus interaction and cultural exchanges with Chinese music students during master classes and discussions.

" The KU Wind Ensemble's recent tour to China was a remarkable and life-changing experience," Lynch said. "The students and faculty were overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality of the Chinese people."

The KU Marching Jayhawks also have been invited to perform at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Lynch said.

KU faculty members were invited back next year to teach and perform at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu and the Yunan Conservatory in Kunming. Lynch was invited back to conduct the National Army Band of China and the Kunming Symphony Orchestra. Other KU music and dance faculty members on the trip were Vince Gnojek, professor (saxophone); Steve Leisring, assistant professor (trumpet); and David Fedele, assistant professor (flute).

KU Wind Ensemble student members, their hometowns, level in school, major, and parents and high schools (when available) are listed online by county and state at http://www.news.ku.edu/2005/july/12/directory.shtml.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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