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Band members plan trip abroad

Liz Harter | Thursday, November 8, 2007

A group of students in the Notre Dame marching band will have the chance to experience other cultures this summer on a two-week trip to China and Japan.

Every other year, members of the band’s concert ensembles travel internationally to represent the University and play concerts in nationally acclaimed concert halls. Past destinations have included Scandinavia, Australia, Austria and the Czech Republic.

“The students will perform at several universities and have time to interact with local students,” said Tina Durski, the senior administrative assistant for the marching band.

Durski estimated that 60 to 70 students will go, but said that number is not yet determined.

The tour begins in Beijing with concerts at the Beijing Concert Hall and the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts. The band will then travel to Xi’an, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The band has also arranged for participants to tour historical sites and experience cultural activities in both countries. Band members will be able to attend an aerobatic show and tour the factory that manufactures terracotta warriors and horses in China. They will also try meals like dumpling and traditional duck banquet.

Band fundraising will finance the trip, though students will be asked to help pay, Durski said.

Prospective participants are going through an application process. They find out this month if they are accepted to the program, Durski said.

Band members said they were interested in making the trip.

“I applied because it seems like such a fun trip,” said junior Katie Putz, who plays the saxophone.

Fellow saxophone player and junior Matt Meinig called the trip a “remarkable, once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“Not only would I get to travel, but I would get to chance to play at some amazing venues,” he said.

While the overall experience is what attracts Meinig the most, if selected for the trip, he would like to see historical sites in the countries.

“If I had to pick one site, it would probably have to be the Great Wall because it is so iconic of China,” he said.