CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's Symphonic Band will present a series of concerts this spring in Taiwan as part of a cultural exchange with that country.
The band will tour the country March 22-28, accompanied by representatives from OSU's alumni office, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and International Programs. Lynn Lundquist, Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, will also be part of the delegation.
James Douglass, director of University Bands; Kelvin Koong, associate dean of Agricultural Sciences; and Jack Van de Water, dean of International Programs, collaborated to coordinate the visit and funding. The purpose of the tour, Van de Water said, is to promote cultural understanding, to enhance OSU's visibility, and to promote trade relations between Oregon and Taiwan.
Student band members are taking a course on Taiwan this winter that introduces them to the culture, history, people and language of that country.
The band will perform several formal concerts in concert halls throughout Taiwan, and on occasion split up into smaller, "spirit bands" to perform in less formal settings. The band's schedule in Taiwan includes concerts at Morrison Academy in Taichung, a performance in cooperation with Chinese Culture University, and a visit to National Taiwan Ocean University in Keelung. On March 25, the band is scheduled to perform at Taiwan's prestigious National Concert Hall in Taipei.
The Oregon Trade and Information Center and the OSU Alumni Club have organized an "Oregon Night" in Taipei which will feature a performance by the OSU Symphonic Band. Oregon Night is aimed at local businesses, students, OSU alumni and others with a con nection or interest in Oregon.
In addition to its regular program, the OSU Symphonic Band will feature instrumental soloists, and include Chinese traditional music.
The band will preview its Taiwan program at "The Winter Concert" on Sunday, March 8, at OSU's LaSells Stewart Center. The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will feature several soloists. Lisa Taylor, the band's first chair clarinetist, will play the Theme and Variations by Rossini. Trumpet soloist Jay Chen will play a movement from the Haydn Trumpet concerto. Soprano Michelle Peddersen will team with Richard Poppino to sing a medley of songs from the musical, "Oklahoma."
The band will also perform the Golden Festival Overture by James Barnes, dances from the opera, "The Bartered Bride," by Smetana, "Stars and Stripes Forever" and more.
The March 8 concert will conclude with "spirit band" (basketball band) encores conducted by Lewis Norfleet which will also be played as encores in Taiwan.
The Pacific Culture Foundation in Taipei, along with other Taiwan government agencies and the Taiwan OSU Alumni Club, are assisting the Symphonic Band with local arrangements and expenses. United Airlines, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the OSU Student Foundation also are supporting the trip.
The OSU Symphonic Band visited Taiwan in 1987 as part of a two-week tour that also included performances in Japan. In 1995, the band traveled to Costa Rica.