SPECIAL GUESTS: West Des Moines Orchestra

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The West Des Moines school orchestra toured the metro Monday playing concerts with some guest performers.

About 55 Chinese students from a sister school finished off a trip to the United States by joining the orchestra on stage for four performances.

Teachers say the students got together over the weekend to practice as one large group before performing in front of crowds at three West Des Moines schools and the capitol building.

“Even though the students may have a language barrier, music is a universal language and they’re able to communicate really well by playing their instruments together,” Orchestra Director Matt Meyer explained.

The teachers said many of the students had met before on previous trips to Iowa and China.