Musi­cians from around the world, hoping to fine-​​tune their tal­ents and har­mo­nize on a diplo­matic level with Amer­ican coun­ter­parts, will soon con­clude a six-​​week stay on Northeastern’s campus that leaves them better musi­cians and glob­ally minded cit­i­zens of the world.

Par­tic­i­pants in the Fusion Arts Exchange, ages 18 to 24, came from Mali, India, Brazil, South Africa and Ire­land, to live in West Vil­lage with Amer­ican musi­cians in an inten­sive pro­gram mixing the study of music with a cul­tural exchange. The expe­ri­ence saw many blossom into young diplo­mats, says Anthony De Ritis, pro­fessor and chair of the music depart­ment. He cred­ited fac­ulty men­tors, who include asso­ciate music pro­fessor Trevor Weston, music lec­turer Robert Ward, and music depart­ment con­cert coor­di­nator Arthur Rishi, and others, for making the pro­gram a suc­cess. They worked with inter­na­tional stu­dents and five Amer­ican music stu­dents who applied for the oppor­tu­nity through the State Department.

These stu­dents brought their own per­sonal expe­ri­ences growing up in their own coun­tries to North­eastern,” De Ritis says. “They … rep­re­sented their country while min­gling with U.S. stu­dents, and the U.S. stu­dents took a fresh look at them­selves through an open exchange of ideas.”

The fruits of this musical inter­change will unfold tonight at 7 p.m., in a free con­cert at the Curry Center Ballroom.

Fusion Arts Exchange, spon­sored by a three-​​year State Depart­ment grant, brought stu­dents together through music-​​focused field trips and through a variety of shared musical chal­lenges. For example, stu­dents were assigned a two-​​minute task to com­pose music reflecting the rain.

The chal­lenge invig­o­rated the musi­cians on all levels, and led to a deeper under­standing of one another, DeRitis says. “The whole idea is to create a venue in which tal­ented people from around the world will spend a lot of time together, learn about one another’s cul­ture, and move on from the expe­ri­ence enriched.”

De Ritis says a lot of “bonding” occurred on long bus rides to Tan­gle­wood, Mass­a­chu­setts, New York City, and Wash­ington, D.C., des­ti­na­tions that brought inter­na­tional vis­i­tors to cul­tur­ally impor­tant sites.

Stu­dents vis­ited the Harlem School for the Arts and attended a per­for­mance of the Lion King during a July 10 visit to New York City, and in Tan­gle­wood, they vis­ited the Norman Rock­well Museum, and attended per­for­mances of the Boston Sym­phony Orchestra.

When stu­dents return to their coun­tries of origin, they will have gained a fresh insight into Amer­ican life and cul­ture, made pos­sible through the university’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram, De Ritis says.

We dis­cussed so many things during their visit, topics ranging from music and iden­tity to pol­i­tics and cul­ture,” he says. “In the end, the expe­ri­ence is about peace­making, and opening up a greater avenue of com­mu­ni­ca­tions through music.”