On the march in China

by Tom Lee

During the recent mid-year break, most of us at the Office for the Arts hunkered down at home or braved the mid-Atlantic/New England blizzard to visit family and friends. But not Mark Olson, Assistant Director of the Harvard Bands—he went to China, where he is currently participating in a series of concerts with the New Sousa Band, a wind ensemble comprising professional musicians from throughout the U.S.

As Mark wrote before his departure, "Our concerts are representative of the types of concert John Philip Sousa performed. On December 24, 1910 the John Philip Sousa band left New York via boat to begin a world tour. They spent the first eight days on a ship crossing the Atlantic. After departing on Monday, December 27, we will have our first performance in China Tuesday night. Travel 100 years later is very different. I wonder where we will be in 100 more years?"

Read about Mark's trip—which ends this Thursday, January 6—and view photos and videos, on his blog...which might answer the musical question, "Are the 'Stars and Stripes' truly forever, even in China?"

[Caption: Mark Olson (left) and New Sousa Band director Keith Brion backstage at a concert in Kunming, China.]