In this section Club China explores the latest news on goings on in China. Looking for something different? Get the latest news on Chinese culture and society here
China, come hear our music!
Student orchestra plans the biggest tour in its history
The student ‘concert band’ of Wageningen University (The Netherlands) wants the world to know about their music and takes big steps to achieve their goal. After tours in The Netherlands and Germany, the orchestra named ‘De Ontzetting’ will travel beyond: to China! In December 2012 they will introduce Chinese audiences in and around Shanghai to the sounds of their orchestra.
The ‘China Trip’ is going to be the biggest event in the 25-year history of the orchestra, that is known for its enthusiastic play and its adventurous, even daring repertoire. The students were approached by a Chinese cultural organisation that organises cultural exchanges. Introducing this type of 50+ head ‘concert band’ to a new audience is a great challenge to the students. “Our orchestra”, says Lucie Vermeulen of ‘De Ontzetting’, is quite traditional for The Netherlands and exists of wind instruments as well as percussion instruments. Unlike the fanfare, a concert band like this not only consists of brass, percussion and woodwinds and saxophones, but also clarinet, flute, oboe and bassoon.”
The tour includes five performances in the Shanghai region, for audiences of 3,000 people. To the Chinese public, a typical ‘concert band’ is virtually unknown. “We are excited to go, but we are not there yet. We are still looking for sponsors to help get us to China. Every musician will contribute about €800 per person for the overall cost of the trip, like airfare, transportation of instruments etcetera. But it still is a very costly adventure. We developed different sponsoring packages, which offer good value for money. One of our offers is to give concerts to the employees of sponsors. Furthermore, we believe that sponsoring signs, programmes and having your company name or logo on posters and websites can have a positive impact on a company’s image”, says Lucie.
Benefit from exposure
She also insists that companies with an interest in China can benefit from the exposure that ‘De Ontzetting’ will get. “As we understand it, people in Shanghai, one of the most important business metropolis of China, are very curious about cultural expression that are new to them. We are currently working on adapting Chinese music to our concert band style. I am sure the crowd will recognise and appreciate our ode to China!”
The trip to China is a great way to broaden the horizon of the students of environmental, agricultural, social and other studies. The visit is likely to become a real exchange trip, as Lucie and her fellow orchestra are looking for ways to include an introduction to Nanjing Agricultural University into the program. The student orchestra may take the opportunity to strengthen the ties between the university’s hometown of Wageningen and its Chinese sister city of Zhangzhou, not far from Xiamen. “Wageningen will be 750 years old in 2013, which may be a good reason to invite the mayor to come with us to China”, Lucie ponders. And a great way to attract some more sponsors…
Which orchestra is the best you have ever seen perform live?
Would you like to comment on this article? Please log in on the right hand side of this page or: