Members of the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet received the red-carpet treatment during a May visit to China, the third international concert tour for the quintet-in-residence at Western Carolina. The group performed eight concerts over eight nights, including recitals at WCU’s sister institutions in Xi’an, Guilin and Chongqing. In addition to serving as musical ambassadors promoting a message of cultural exchange, the quintet also helped recruit three Chinese students.

Watch Dan Cherry of SMBQ improvise “Auld Lang Syne” with a Chinese musician in “The English Corner” of Hangzhou.

Below, clockwise from left, SMBQ members (from left) Michael Schallock, Bradley Ulrich, David Ginn, Dan Cherry and Travis Bennett pose at the Great Wall of China; the group enjoys a playful moment at a city park in Ningbo; the musicians visit an ancient wall in Xi’an; quintet co-founder Ulrich allows a young fan an up-close inspection of his trumpet; Will Peebles, director of the WCU School of Music who accompanied the SMBQ on its trip, speaks to a man in “The English Corner” in Hangzhou; and Ginn finds himself feeling like a rock star after being surrounded by autograph-seekers following a concert in Chonqing.