iU IN CHINA 中国 // BEGINNINGS
Since 2006, iU has been traveling to the Yunnan Province with Inter-United Foundation.
8 years later, our goal remains the same: to bring friendship to the nations through our love of music.
iU Band is a proud subsidiary of the non-profit organization: Inter-United Foundation.
Since its beginning in 1997, Inter-United Soccer Club (now Inter-United Foundation) had the vision of taking the love of soccer around the world. In 2006, 20 IUS club members – including trainers and players – traveled to China during their Christmas break and did just this. iU Band founder, James Powell, was among this team of 20 and traveled to the Yunnan Province and visited 4 cities: Funing, Wenshan, Mengzi, and Kunming.
During the first trip, James Powell and iU Band put on a Christmas concert for the city of Funing & its local schools. Thousands of locals showed up to celebrate and share their own performances. Two cultures came together to celebrate new friendships that night - a dream for come true for the Inter-United community.
Later, the Band (iU) and IUS Club members traveled to the city of Wenshan. On Christmas day, the Inter-Unite crew hiked up to a minority village where the whole village came out to greet them in the local school yard. The day was filled with music and basketball games to entertain one and all.
The first tour's final stop was at Honghe University in Mengzi. When Inter-United arrived at the university, they were received with a warm welcome. Huge banners welcomed IU across the campus and the University provided a seven course meal - an overwhelming reception for IU as new friends. Later in the day, Inter-United played the Honghe University soccer team in their brand-new stadium. Thousands of students and teachers came out to watch as Inter-United won 7 : 5. The atmosphere for this game was one of friendship, excitement, and wonder. The game between Inter-United and Honghe was a historic event; it was the first game to be played in the University’s new stadium and the first international match held at Honghe University.
That night, Honghe University and Inter-United celebrated Christmas together with a huge concert put on by iU and incredible performances by Honghe University faculty & students.
Before leaving, Inter-United and Honghe University signed an agreement to continue their relationship by bringing over 10 of the University’s teachers and players for a 3 week exchange in the United States during the summer of 2007. Since this first exchange, Inter-United and the iU Band have continued to facilitate cultural exchange programs with Honghe University and our friends at local schools & colleges throughout the Yunnan Province.
Following the first tour in 2006, iU has to carried out 4 tours in the Yunnan Province, bringing music filled with hope and encouragement. Band founder, James Powell, has become fluent in Mandarin and takes every opportunity to introduce his dynamic performances to new schools across the Province.