Between performances, the PSU Chamber Singers enjoyed sightseeing excursions including boating in Ha Long Bay. Charles Pendleton photo.
The 18 members of the PSU Chamber Singers joined Dan Perkins, director of choral activities and professor of music, over Winterim for an unforgettable tour of Vietnam, where they made new friends and enjoyed a wide range of cultural experiences in their roles as international musical ambassadors.
Perkins, who was honored last fall with the University’s first professorship, the Stevens-Bristow Endowed Professorship, is principal guest conductor of the Vietnam National Opera. Fulfilling one of the requirements of the Stevens-Bristow Professorship, Perkins gave a presentation with the Chamber Singers at the Silver Center for the Arts to discuss the educational and cultural experiences they had during their visit. The Chamber Singers, who were dressed in traditional Vietnamese clothes that had been made for them while in Vietnam, opened the presentation with a Vietnamese folk song.
“I’m grateful to be at a university where creativity and innovation are encouraged and supported,” said Perkins during the presentation, adding that after his previous trips to Vietnam as principal guest conductor of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, he was “eager to share his love for the country” with his students.
During their trip, Perkins and his students visited areas including Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Ha Long Bay, and performed in Vietnamese concert halls and educational institutions. They also enjoyed meeting Vietnamese singers, sampling exotic local delicacies, and enjoying the country’s scenery and historic sites.
“It will certainly influence our music,” said Perkins. “We will build off the experience and the time we were together.”