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University of Central Oklahoma professor teaches in China

UCO music professor Brian Lamb said the Edmond-China cultural exchange is a good thing.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Published: March 11, 2014

UCO music professor Brian Lamb thinks an ongoing cultural exchange between China and Edmond can enhance music programs in both places and should be explored.

He’s convinced of this after a recent trip to Guangzhou, China, where he was an ambassador for the University of Central Oklahoma. He’s still trying to comprehend everything he experienced half a world away.

He was in the urban city in southeast China for an international conference at South China Normal University. It was also the 80th anniversary for South China Normal University, an anniversary with great significance.

“In the Asian culture, 80 is as significant as 100 is with us,” he said.

“It was like an opening ceremonies for an Olympics,” he said. “There were thousands of people in this stadium, cheering.”

Lamb has been at UCO for 13 years. He conducts the wind symphony and teaches conducting and instrumental music education courses. None of that could quite prepare him for the China trip.

“For one thing, Guangzhou is a city of 20 million people, the third-largest city in China,” he said. “They have people living in a 70-story tower, while at the same time, there are cranes above them trying to add even more stories.”

But life goes on under the cranes, and few give them much notice.

“If a crane fell, it might kill a few hundred people,” he said.

Daily life is different from the United States in other ways.

“There are a lot of informal meetings during the day where everyone will sip green tea and talk about how the day is going,” Lamb said. “In China, it’s all about building relationships.”

Lamb was provided translators and transportation.

“They were very accommodating and very gracious,” he said.

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