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Jasmine band

By Linda Deng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-05 09:03
Students from Brigham Young University perform songs, dances and basketball stunts at Beijing's Tianqiao Theater in May as part of the Spectacular 2019 tour to commemorate the 40th anniversary of BYU's first tour of China.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A tour of China by US students in 1979 forged many friendships, Linda Deng reports in Provo, Utah.

A group of students from Brigham Young University in the US state of Utah traveled to China in 1979 to present a cultural show. One of the first Western performing arts tours in China back then, the initiative led to regular exchanges between the school and Chinese cultural and educational institutes over the next 40 years.

"Many groups of educators, artists and students are working hard to continue these cooperative visits and opportunities for growth and new development," Randy Boothe, a professor of music at BYU in Provo, Utah, tells China Daily.

As director of the university's Young Ambassadors singing group, Boothe was among the teachers who accompanied the 20-student group that visited China in 1979. He says his first impression was how well they were received. After a trial performance at the National Minority Institute in Beijing, the visiting group performed at the Red Tower Theater.

One of the most exciting moments of the tour was when the group sang the popular Chinese song Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower) at the end of its first performance.

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