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American student band to perform on tour of China

China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-07-20 10:37

The PAL Team, an American high school band invited to China by the mayor of Beijing, performs at the Harvard Club in New York on Tuesday. ZHANG RUINAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

When Jeremiah Murphy, a senior at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts, was asked by his foreign language teacher whether he would like to take a Mandarin class, Murphy never considered he would be going to China.

"My teacher even told me one day you may need this because you might just want to go to China," Murphy said. "My response to her is I don't think I'm going to China anytime soon, but I'm going now."

In August, Murphy's band - the PAL (Police Athletic League) Team - was invited by the mayor of Beijing to participate in the activity of the Joy Dancing 2017 Cultural and Art Exchange Week of International Youth, representing the United States.

The activity will be held in Beijing and Dalian from Aug 5-15. Teenagers from different provinces in China as well as youth delegations from more than 10 countries will perform high-level music together.

"I hope the PAL program can be pushed more out there through this activity," said Angelina Caraballo, a 15-year-old girl from the Bronx.

She explained that the PAL and the New York Police Department (NYPD) provide various after school programs for students around New York City. She and Murphy are both in the theater and acting program.

"I'm excited to interact with people at our age from China and all over the world," Murphy said. "I plan to pursue a career in performing arts once I leave high school, and for the fact that what I want to pursue is what is taking me out of the country for the first time means a lot to me."

The team performed melodious songs, including Heal the World and The Impossible Dream - music they've prepared to bring to China - at an event held by ShanCha Inc at the Harvard Club in New York on Tuesday.

"I'm glad these brilliant young kids can have the opportunity to go to China for a musical and cultural exchange," said Charles Sullivan, co-producer of the event. "These students will meet with students from every province in China, tell them about American culture and learn about Chinese culture while they are living and performing together."

"I love Chinese history, and I've already done lots of research about Beijing's history and culture," said Caraballo. "I can't wait to visit the Great Wall."

Zhang Ruinan in New York contributed to this story.

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