ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Winthrop/Carolinas Wind Orchestra has cancelled its December trip to China where the 112-member group anticipated performing for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
University officials are concerned that with the increasing number of H1N1 influenza cases worldwide that possible illness of band members may disrupt rehearsals this fall and/or the orchestra’s planned performances in three separate provinces in China. Quarantine rules in China would require that any band member with symptoms of possible flu be quarantined in place for eight days, creating the possibility of band members being separated from the group over multiple localities.
“We hope this current cancellation will not eliminate the possibility of rescheduling a tour in future years,” said Bill Malambri, the group’s conductor and a Winthrop music professor.
The group had accepted an invitation from the United States-China Cultural and Education Foundation to perform on Dec. 31 at the Chengdu Performing Arts Center, as well as in Beijing’s fabled Forbidden City and Renmin University and in the Kunming province. The group would have left Dec. 26 and returned Jan. 7.
Led by conductors Malambri and Stanley Michalski, the concert band is made up of Winthrop music majors, middle and secondary school band directors from the Charlotte, N.C., area, and professional and highly skilled amateur players.
Any donations made to help finance the trip will be returned as soon as possible. For more information on refunds, contact the Department of Music at 803/323-2255.