Performance Tours

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Performance Tours

Performance Tour was the first tour The Chinese American Cultural Bridge Center’s brought to China since its creation in 1992. Since then we have brought a diverse group of American and Non-American student and adult performing groups to China, including (but not limited to) orchestras, concert bands, wind ensembles, marching bands, jazz bands, choirs and choral groups, folk and square dancers.

CACBC offices have year-round intimate connections with all the prestigious international events, and important local and international festivals. Some of the events are co-sponsored by China business organizations and the CACBC China office to make sure that our American marching bands can participate. Some of these events and ceremonies are held in the most famous historical landmarks such as the ancient Great Wall of China or Forbidden City.

If your band (both concert and marching), orchestra, and choir have achieved substantial recognition in your field and would like to have the opportunity to participate in our more prestigious festivals/performance opportunities in China, please call for current events. Be prepared to give us a link or CD to see a sample of your group’s performance. If chosen to participate, your group will have memories that are sure to last a lifetime, and most likely the first of its kind performance in China.

For more information on Why your Performance Groups should pick us to take you to China, Click here to take you to Why Travel with CACBC


CACBC knows that the selection of the right performance venue is the fundamental to the success of your touring program. Here are a few selections to choose from:

Indoor Venues and Audiences:

Prestigious Indoor Performing Venues
Our range of excellent venue opportunities includes the best small regional auditoriums up to the most prestigious, world-class concert stages of China, such as Shanghai Opera Hall, Beijing People’s Theater, Century Theater, Zhouzhan Concert Hall, and more!

Intimate Venues for cultural exchange
Many music directors prefer smaller, more intimate locations where the students will enjoy more social interaction with the local people and experience a deeper sense of culture. CACBC has an extensive network of contacts that will host our musical groups at schools, colleges and universities, as well as children’s palaces, and other local community venues. CACBC has contacts all over China who are interested in getting together with American Music “Ambassadors.” You may also want to perform atop the great wall or at ancient historical sites.

Shared Concert with Chinese Performers
Many music directors enjoy the opportunity of participating in shared concerts with Chinese students or Chinese performers. CACBC has arranged many successful joint concerts. Both Chinese and American groups learned a great deal from each other and enjoyed the cultural exchange experience.

Outdoor Events & Festivals:

Great Wall of China
Band and Orchestra performing on the Great Wall of China will bring their music alive to the pleasantly surprised on lookers climbing the wall

Marching in festivals
Experience China’s traditional festivals as your marching band adds international flavor and excitement to millions of Chinese onlookers.
Your American music parade will be marching through the main streets together with the Chinese traditional dragon, lion, and other folk dances, in a spectacular meeting between the East and West!

Field Show
We are the only organization that could offer your Marching band the opportunity to perform a field show in China. We will recreate an Americanized green grassy field with yard lines to guide your performance show. People in China have seen very few field shows, so expect to be famous all over the news and media.

Others
We have other outdoors performance opportunities, such as local squares where locals come out to socialize and dance and sing. For smaller group there is also Temple of heaven and other parks.

Churches:

For Choirs and smaller band/orchestra Churches are a great place to perform, as it offers the performer an intimate atmosphere. Most people in China are Buddhist, and for that there are temples erected for worship. But for the selected few there are churches all over China that are Christine and Catholic, these churches welcomes performance groups that are interested in sing or play for their congregation.

Q: A band director who had toured China told me he wished he had selected different pieces to play there. Should we consider selecting a special repertoire for our China tour?

Due to cultural differences, repertoire selection for your China performance tour is very important.

When you tour Europe, you already have a pretty good idea of what music appeals to the audience. In China, it is a different story. You will be performing before high school and college students as well as the general public. Other than students of music, most Chinese people are quite unfamiliar with western music.

However, it may surprise you to learn that, due to movies and television, there is some American music that has become popular in China. It would be a great idea to include some of those pieces in your program.

The right music, well played, will exhilarate the audience and transcend the moment. It will create a magical atmosphere where the spirits of East and West come together in a true cultural exchange experience.

Q. We plan to include several Chinese pieces in our performance. Is there any music that we should avoid?

If you want to delight Chinese audiences, include some popular Chinese pieces. For them it is a novel experience to hear a familiar song played in the American style on western instruments.

However, not every Chinese song is appropriate for you to perform. Here is why:

In recent years, the political environment in China has changed. Today, western guests and western culture are very welcome in China.

Recently, an American band unwittingly performed a Chinese song that was made popular in a fifty year old anti-American movie about when the Chinese fought Americans on the Korean battlefield. The band did not understand the song’s historical background, and were not aware that it brought back uncomfortable feelings among some of the older audience.

If you plan to play a Chinese song, it’s a good idea to consult with CACBC’s Chinese born musicologist to check out the song’s background and social appropriateness. We will be happy to suggest music that is sure to be enthusiastically received.

Q. We are planning to play both the American & Chinese national anthems. Are there any special cultural considerations we should be aware of?

Performing the national anthems is a great idea; many of our groups have done so with wonderful success. However, there is something you need to pay attention to: the rhythm and mood of China anthem. In America it is common for musicians to creatively stylize the national anthem. In China the national anthem is considered a living part of Chinese history; it would be culturally offensive to alter the rhythm or spirit of the music in any way. Also it depends where you are performing the Chinese national anthem, so it is best to consult CACBC before you put that in your repertoire.

Q. Our band went to China with a travel agent who had previously toured us all over America and Europe. He promised we would play for the China Festival, but we did not. Also, our performance on Great Wall was stopped and we were asked to leave. Is this an indication that Chinese do not like American bands?

I’m sorry you had an unpleasant experience. American bands are very welcome in China. The problems you experienced were most likely the result of a communications breakdown long before you went to China.

I’m sure your travel agent did a great job for you in the US and Europe; but, apparently he has little or no experience in China.

As China travel develops, almost every international travel agency claims to be able to take you there to tour. However, American travel companies rarely understand the rules and regulations regarding performance in China, they do not know the language or the culture and they lack hands-on experience.

Invariably, they “job out” your tour to a Chinese tour company. This often leads to trouble. The American company naively assumes the in-country tour operator has expertise and connections in the performing arts arena. Not so. Chinese tour companies are good at booking tickets and running regular tours, but they know next to nothing about the official regulations regarding performance, concert production, events planning or media promotion.

It’s possible the Chinese tour company didn’t know that they needed to apply for permission to perform on Great Wall. Since you never talked directly with the person who arranged your project, it could be that the China tour company did not clearly understand that your agent wanted to book you into the festival. Unlike in US, performance opportunities in music festivals are limited. It’s likely they had no previous experience with festivals and didn’t know how to get you in. Perhaps, rather than disappoint you completely, the tour company set you up to perform in a local gymnasium, thinking or hoping it would be an acceptable alternate solution.

Needless to say, there was a major problem with communication. Clear, direct communication with the tour arranger is vital. That is why it is so important to work with someone who speaks the language, knows both American and Chinese culture and is expert at dealing in performing arts system in China.

Q. I recently received a very low bid for our upcoming tour. The venues and the itinerary look great. Is it too good to be true?

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. A bid proposal may look good on paper, but it is not a guarantee of a successful tour. There is a big difference between a promise and a promise delivered!

Price is important, but not the only consideration. A low bid very often results in a disappointing tour. You need to know who is behind the scenes working on your behalf. If that person is not a proven expert in China concert tours and performance arrangement, you can be sure that your tour is “jobbed out” to a Chinese tour vendor you may never communicate with directly!

To find out if a potential tour vendor is really qualified to take you to China, ask these questions:

1. Do they have verifiable credentials and a track record of successful performance tours in China?

2. Do they have a professional bi-lingual concert production manager on staff who will accompany the group?

3. Can they provide you with several referrals so you can speak directly with group leaders who really had touring experience with them?

4. Can they tell you what are the most common problems and dangers encountered in China when touring? How do they prepare to avoid them?

In Addition, you want to know if they are knowledgeable about the official permission procedures and most current government requirements and regulations to perform in public venues; How will they manage the advertising and publicity and where will the audience come from; If they are ready and able to solve unexpected problems or emergencies. For example: A) One box with multi-percussion instruments didn’t arrive in China with the passengers; you are scheduled to perform tomorrow evening; B) Due to the differences between Western and Eastern concepts, the rental instrument you requested arrived and was totally different than you expected, even though it was the same brand of the instrument…and your performance is to start soon.