Arizona band bound for China: 25 performances in 24 cities - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Arizona band bound for China: 25 performances in 24 cities

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Some may call it the opportunity of a lifetime. A group of local musicians and dancers are heading to China in less than 24 hours for performance.

The 12-member troupe is taking with them a taste of America.

"It's a mixture of traditional music, traditional country, cowboy music, celtic music, and cajun music," said Peter "Doc" Rolland.

Peter Rolland is the musical director for "Doc Rolland and the American String Ensembles."

Three years ago he accompanied his wife, a member of the Extended Chandler Orchestra to China, unforeseen circumstances led to an impromptu performance then, and last spring an invite to play again.

"We're doing a 90-minute show with two half's," he said.

The troupe will stop in 24 cities and play 25 concerts. Two dancers will accompany them on stage, performing dances such as the lindy hop, country two-step, polka, and the Arizona two-step.

"These are actually the dances that went along with each of these forms of music," said Steve Conrad.

The group started rehearsing as soon as they got an invitation. While they play together individually, they never played together as an ensemble.

"I was writing arrangements for the group starting in November. It was a great deal of work; everyone has invested a lot of time to prepare," said Rolland.

The tour begins in Beijing. Each show is a representation of our musical heritage says Rolland. It's an opportunity for the people who come to see them, to enjoy a piece of American history.

The band members leave Tuesday afternoon, and they return September 3rd.
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