The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 21, 2000


Beijing musicians come to CCHS and the Carlisle School

The universal language of music will soon nurture friendships between Chinese and American students. The Symphonic Band of the Middle School of Beijing University (MSBU), China, will participate in an exchange program with the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) from January 31 to February 6. MSBU is, in American terminology, a combined middle school and high school, so the visiting students will be between twelve and eighteen years old.

The highlight of the exchange will be a Chinese New Year's Day concert at the Berklee Performance Center at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 5. The concert will include the MSBU Symphonic Band and the CCHS Concert Choir, Jazz Band, and Concert Band. Sheng soloist Wang Zhen Rong, well known in China, will be featured in a concerto for sheng composed for the MSBU Symphonic Band. The sheng is a Chinese free-reed instrument believed to be the predecessor of the reed organ, accordion, and concertina. The last numbers in the concert will be played jointly by members from the MSBU and CCHS bands.

MSBU is an important part of Peking University. Since its founding in 1960, MSBU has been a cradle of talent for the university and its students have met with success in academic contests in Beijing and nationally. The symphonic band has recently placed first in an all-city music festival, solidifying its position as the best band in Beijing and one of the top bands in China.

While in Concord, the 54 students and six teachers from MSBU will have homestays with Concord and Carlisle families. The Symphonic Band of MSBU will attend classes at CCHS and perform concerts at the Concord and Carlisle Middle Schools and CCHS. The students will tour the North Bridge, the Concord Museum, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. They will have a special visit to Harvard University and end the week with a potluck supper for host families and members of the Concord Carlisle China Club (C4). Members of C4 are filling a vital role hosting students, translating, and chaperoning events.

As a special treat to students in Carlisle's grades five through eight, the MSBU will perform in the Corey Auditorium on Wednesday, February 2, at 10:30 a.m. Afterwards, the Chinese students will share lunch with Carlisle students, courtesy of the Carlisle Cultural Enrichment Committee. Because of student demand, this concert will not be open to the public, but music-lovers are encouraged to attend the February 5 performance.

Tickets can be purchased at the Berklee Performance Center at 617-747-2261 and Ticketmaster at 617-931-2000. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Tom Curtin is the CCHS guidance counselor.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito