For the past four years, the Chamber Singers at Texas Wesleyan have performed with the Sister Cities International at City Hall.
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between the U.S. and international communities.
According to www.fwsistercities.org, the mission of Sister Cities International is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation by visiting different countries and building global relationships.
To induct a new city staff member in Sister City International, delegates from another country visit City Hall for an induction ceremony. After the induction ceremony, delegates from that country will hold another ceremony in their country inviting the delegates of the previous country.
The Wesleyan Chamber Singers were called for the fifth time in a row to perform at the induction ceremony for the new sister city, Guiyang, China. Dr. Jerome M. Bierschenk, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, said the singers performed the Star-Spangled Banner and a special piece titled One World.
After the performance, Bierschenk said Li Zaiyong, the mayor of Guiyang, was so impressed, he extended an invitation for them to come and perform in Guiyang, China.
Bierschenk said he was stunned when he first heard the news.
Bierschenk said he, along with Dr. John Fischer, department chair and professor of piano theory and composition, and Frederick G. Slabach, university president, will attend the ceremony in China.
“We collectively had an ‘Ah ha’ moment on the stage. We immediately wanted to be excited to go but didn’t know if he was serious,” Bierschenk said. “I had to make sure that this was a sincere invitation.”
Victoria Thornton, freshman psychology major, said she is excited for the choir.
“Wow, I didn’t even know that the choir was that good,” Thornton said. “I am looking forward to the next choir performance.”
The Music Department received funds from a 1942 Wesleyan Alumni. That money along with fundraisers will pay for the airline tickets to China. To assist in costs, Saiyong has offered to pay for the hotel and meals for the choir’s four-day trip.
Meagan Joon, senior music major, said she is very excited about the trip.
“I am very excited to learn about the culture in China and experience it first-hand,” Joon said. “China is different from America in a lot of ways, and that is the beauty of this experience.”