Classes may be on hiatus during spring break next week, but some students and staff are not taking a break. Fresno State students will participate in numerous events during spring break, including two trips and a colloquium.
The Fresno State Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will perform in various locations in China from March 14 to 23 for cultural events before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The group of 23 Fresno State students will travel to Beijing and Shanghai, guided by Director of Choral Activities Anna Hamre, who manages the choral program.
â€œWeâ€™re very excited. It really is the chance of a lifetime,â€ Hamre said. â€œIt expands our horizons and lets us see how people there live.â€
The group will give three performances, with the major one taking place in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, one of the biggest concert halls in the world. It holds up to 1,400 people and is surrounded by the gardens of Zhongshan Park. There will be another performance at the Central Conservatory.
Besides their regular performance, the group will perform two songs in Chinese at an exchange concert with the China Life Finance Philharmonic Chorus. One is called â€œMo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower)â€ and the other is â€œDa Hai a Gu Ziang (The Sea, O My Home).â€
â€œIt was really tough to learn the music, but a local Chinese choir helped us out and we got it down,â€ Hamre said.
Besides performing, the group will also do a little sightseeing, including visiting the Great Wall and the Beijing Opera.
â€œWeâ€™re more excited than nervous,â€ Hamre said. â€œI think we are prepared and it should be a fun trip.â€
Back in California, the Hmong Student Association will be holding an education conference for Hmong high school students in Fresno and Clovis at the Sierra Pine Youth Camp from March 15 to 17. This conference will include workshops about topics such as stress and life after high school.
â€œThe main point of the conference is to gear these students toward higher education,â€ said Xang Xiong, president of the Hmong Student Association.
The association promotes and teaches Hmong culture on the Fresno State campus and serves as a role model for other Hmong students, encouraging higher education.
The conference will be hosting 60 high school students. Roughly 28 Fresno State students will supervise the group and set up activities and workshops.
On campus March 20 and 21, the Henry Madden Library, along with the Office of the Provost and the Printise J. Womack Lecture Fund, will present a panel discussion about the future of books in the digital age. This is the first library colloquium at Fresno State. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on March 20 with a dinner and will be followed with a keynote presentation by Robert Stein, the director of the Institute for the Future of the Book, at 7 p.m.
On March 21, the colloquium will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature panel presentations and discussions from representatives of various schools and organizations, including Stanford University, Pomona College and the University of California Press.
For more events happening on campus, go to the Campus Events Calendar at www.csufresno.edu.