“The A Team,” a touring ensemble formed of members of the Augustana Chamber Singers, will perform in an international music festival in China this month.
In addition to four concerts, two in Shanghai and two in Nanjing, the group will have opportunities for more informal, impromptu cultural exchanges, including singing and interacting with choirs from China and other countries.
Director, Dr. Jon Hurty is the director of choral activities at Augustana College. He also leads the Augustana Choir and the Augustana Chamber Singers.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and for Augustana — to be invited to be a part of a prestigious international choral festival,” he said. “It is taking a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the group, but the exposure for our program and the impact on the students will definitely be worth the effort.”
The A Team is known for traditional choral music as well as popular music and jazz. Just last week, the group worked with the Pleasant Valley Chamber Choir in Bettendorf, Iowa. During their time with the high school students, Augustana students performed a few of the pieces they will sing in China, including an arrangement of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and “Seasons of Love” from the musical "Rent."
One of the singers, Amber Mraz '19, sees her experience with The A Team influencing her future as a music teacher. “I am excited to be able to correctly teach my future students how to accurately sing this style of music,” she said.
She is excited about the trip to China. “I am mostly looking forward to being introduced to a completely different culture, and embracing everything that comes with their culture — such as food, behavior and environment. I think we often forget that music is universal and includes all types of culture.”
Connor Kealey, manager of performance tours and arts promotion, 309-794-7323