Stanford musicians to tour China


Students are getting their sheet music and passports together for a series of 12 concerts in China.

"They don't know what to expect. It will be completely eye opening for them. Broadening their understanding is one of the things we look forward to doing," says Stanford's music department Chair, Stephen Sano.

"This is an opportunity for musicians from both countries to unite together to make music," says symphony orchestra conductor Jindong Cai.

Cai grew up in China and looks forward to the collaborative concerts with Chinese musicians during the tour.

"We're going to have 400 people in the chorus and 200 people in the orchestra."

It could lead to greater understanding and appreciation.

"Music is international language," says Cai.

It's a delicate time in U.S and China relations. There have been negotiations over choice of music and 350 Stanford student-diplomats are preparing by learning Chinese and getting a series of briefings.

"Like, where you can drink the water and cant and to conceptualizing political and social issues," says Sano.

"I mean, I think we're going to be kind of low key because we're obviously representing Stanford University," says Stanford student Eddie Marks.

"That is something we need to keep in the back of our minds with our actions; how we treat people and each other," says Stanford student Deni Ponganis.

Deni says no one has wanted to cancel the trip because of political issues.

It is a musical excursion into diplomacy and a way to understand a culture and its values

"I think the key is to go with respect," says Sano.

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