Arizona Daily Wildcat
Band director, trumpet instructor among the first Americans to play with Chinese police
Recent attempts to close the gap between communist and democratic nations may be politically-driven, but two UA music professors are helping to at least bridge it culturally.
Gregg Hanson, director of University of Arizona bands, and professor of trumpet Edward Reid have been invited to participate in a concert in Beijing on Nov. 3 with the Armed Police Band and the People's Liberation Army Band of China.
This event signifies the first time a non-Chinese musician will play with the band, and only the second-time a non-Chinese conductor will direct the concert.
"This is a great honor for the university, and to be doing this through connection of the arts rather than a political attempt is great as well," said Reid.
Reid has not been to Asia since the 1980s, when he was a student studying abroad, but this is Hanson's second trip to China on a music-related venture.
Hanson made the trip one year ago as a guest clinician, teaching and introducing Western music for three days to music students in teenagers.
"I was then asked to return to do this event," Hanson said.
Hanson has been teaching at the UA for 11 years as a professor of music, director of bands and conductor of wind ensembles. He currently teaches symphony orchestra, summer opera and musical theater as well as conducting in the graduate-level courses.
Reid, who has been at the UA since 1994 and teaches all courses in the trumpet, said that typically when a conductor is asked to do such an event, he or she will choose a soloist, and thus it was Hanson who choose Reid to join him for the trip.
Hanson will conduct both bands, and Reid will perform trumpet.
"The music will be a cross-section of Western music with songs by Leonard Bernstein, as well as European and Russian songs," Hanson said.
"I plan on performing the Hyden Trumpet arrangement for the show," Reid said.
The bands are similar to American military bands, and include wind instruments and percussion sections.
The two-hour concert will take place in a brand-new concert hall in Tiananmen Hall.
"I hear it's pretty swanky," Hanson said.
The two leave on Oct. 29 out of San Francisco for a more than 12 hour flight to Beijing.
Robert Cutietta, director of the School of Music and Dance, said that he is excited about the opportunity for Reid and Hanson.
"We are very proud. As a goal, we (in the music department) are trying to acheive an international scope, and this opportunity reflects the school. We couldn't be more proud," he said.