University Singers to tour through China; First choir performance abroad for Northwestern

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University Singers to tour through China; First choir performance abroad for Northwestern

January 28, 2013

 University Singers
University Singers from Northwestern Oklahoma State University will embark on an eight-day tour to China in March to perform a variety of music as an exchange with other Chinese universities.  This trip will take them to Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou, and is the first trip abroad for any choir group at Northwestern.

An educational and cultural initiative at Northwestern Oklahoma State University will take the University Singers to China for an eight-day tour performing great American choral music for Chinese audiences. At the same time, touring will offer students a first-hand look at the Chinese culture and its rich history.

“This tour will mark the first Northwestern choir performance outside the United States,” said Dr. Irene Messoloras, assistant professor of music and Department of Fine Arts chair.

Twenty-four students from more than 10 different majors will embark on this journey from March 13 to March 22 touring Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The choir will perform a variety of music ranging from traditional American choral to music from other cultures including China, Bulgaria and Africa.

“Our performances will focus on the exchange with other Chinese universities in Shanghai and Beijing – Shanghai Jiatong University, Hangzhou University and the Beijing Music Conservatory,” Messoloras said.

“We have three performances scheduled and anticipate around 1,800-2,000 people per performance.”

The University Singers will be joined by students from different Chinese universities where all the students will interact and grow from performing together. In addition, the University Singers will perform Chinese folksongs, and in the process students will learn about Chinese culture, traditions and history.

“The University Singers maintains the highest level of professional performance discipline, mental focus, and artistic musicality and expression,” Messoloras said.

“They have been praised by music educators across the state as being the ultimate expression of the choral art.”

Messoloras mentioned that it is very difficult for the Chinese to leave their country and experience the United States. Her hope is to to bring American culture, music and Northwestern to China.

Northwestern students will experience great Chinese sites such as the Great Wall, the Jade Museum, the 2008 Olympic Games Stadium, Tiananmen Square and Yuyuan Garden.

Student who will travel to China are listed by their name, hometown and classification:

Maggie Linville, Beaver freshman; Alex Skinner, Burkburnett (Texas) freshman; Riley Wiebener, Alva sophomore; Naicee Gugelmeyer, Kiowa (Kan.) freshman; Dagan James, Boise City freshman; Shayna Hamilton, Arnett freshman; Shanae Joachims, Alva sophomore; Lauren Turner, Woodward sophomore; Rachel Lugendo, Lewisville (Texas) freshman; Latasha Thrash, Alva sophomore; Sara Acosta, Woodward senior; Kenneith McIntosh, Del City freshman; Dalton Lamberth, Sharon junior; Isi Ofiu, Alva freshman; Jorge Romero, Laverne freshman; Drew Faulkner, Hooker freshman; Aaron Ford, Cheyenne sophomore; Josh Faulkner, Hooker junior; Scott Bartley, Enid sophomore; Michael Brown, Watonga freshman, Jordon Little, Greensburg (Kan.) freshman; Keyton Byrd, Alva freshman, Hanson Long, Waynoka sophomore; Dustin Cox, Texhoma sophomore; Morgan Biaggi, Dalhart (Texas) freshman; Tyson Joachims, Alva senior; Erin Hopkins, Fairview freshman; Daniel Cano, Hooker freshman; and Shelby Carpenter, Alva sophomore.

Sponsors attending the trip are Charla and Larry Parker (1987 alumnus); Messoloras, Ryan Wiebener, 2010 alumna; Tara Woodmansee, 2011 alumna; Jeff Sale and Susan Turner.

University Singers are made up of music majors and non-music majors, representing all walks of campus life ranging from nursing, business and education students, to speech theater, English, communications students and more.

Members of the University Singers are continuing fundraising efforts until they leave for the trip. To make a donation to this educational adventure, contact Messoloras at (580) 327-8692 or