Augustana Band Set to Tour China

Soon, the Augustana Band, led by Dr. Paul Schilf, will embark on a 23-day tour of China. Sixty students will make the journey to perform and participate in a course about Chinese culture and history designed and taught by Dr. John Pennington, professor and co-chair of the music department.

The tour will take Augustana students to prestigious venues, including the Hangzhou Grand Theatre, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and the Beijing Concert Hall, and journeying to beautiful sites such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall and Museum of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses.

Today the Augustana Band is recognized as one of the finest collegiate concert organizations in the Midwest. The Band has performed in the finest concert halls including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. and appeared before state, regional and national music educators' gatherings.

The Band typically tours during the January Interim break, and beginning with the 2002-03 academic year, has made it a practice to travel overseas during the January term once every four years. Their previous tours to China were in 1999, 2003 and 2007. In 2015, the Band returns to the fascinating People's Republic of China for the fourth time.

During its 2007 tour, the Band performed to sold-out audiences in China's most significant concert and music halls. More recently, the Band explored the culture and history of Egypt while on a 22-day tour in January of 2011.

Under the direction of Dr. Paul Schilf, the Band will perform a blend of musical styles in both American concert band music and Chinese selections including “Instinctive Travels” by Michael Markowski, “Dragon Boat Festival” by Michael Boo and the “Star Wars Trilogy” by John Williams and arranged by Donald Hunsberger.

Dr. Schilf is in his 13th year at Augustana. He's a member of the National Music Educator's Board and the executive director for the South Dakota National Association of Music Educators.

He previously conducted the College & Community Concert Band, the Northlanders Jazz Ensemble, the Jazz Lab Band, and the Augustana Brass Choir. Additionally, he teaches classes in brass pedagogy, music education and supervises the instrumental student teachers. Prior to his appointment at Augustana, Schilf was on the faculty at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.