John’s Xi’an

posted on March 24

Today the camera was in the hands of Jonathan Speiser ‘06, this is Xi’an through his eyes.


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Zai Jian

by Lem Thornton on March 24

Our trip to China is almost over - which is sad. I’ve had a really amazing experience and have been warmly welcomed more times than I can actually count.  

Our tour guides Judy, Brian and Jennifer have showed us so much. Judy taught us some Chinese symbols and driving around Xi’an and Beijing recognizing some symbols has been very cool. Our concerts, both planned and unexpected, have been pretty incredible. I think the most amazing was doing Messiah with the Normal University students. All in all just hearing other talented musicians has been pretty amazing. 

I don’t think words can really express how much I and the rest of this group has enjoyed this trip. We’ve truly been blessed to have had this opportunity.  Zai Jian (Goodbye) Beijing, Xi’an, Brian, Judy and Jennifer. 

Lem Thornton

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Big Wild Goose Pagoda

posted on March 24


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So Many Stories

by Brandy Eyers on March 24

Hey all! This is Brandy reporting back at the end of this trip. It’s been amazing here and I almost do not want to leave but schoolwork calls. This last day was nice, we all got to go shopping and my group went to a music store. There were so many Chinese music instruments there. A few people bought some of the most interesting things I have seen yet, some I can’t even begin to explain. Overall this trip has been quiet an experience I will never forget. It feels like the choir had grown together much throughout the entire trip. I one day hope to come back and see some more of China, in much warmer weather. There are so many stories to tell when everyone returns

Brandy

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Tang Dynasty

by Ashley Fenner on March 24

The most memorable part of the Tang Dynasty cultural music and dance show for me was the music. Particularly the man who played horns that sounded like ducks and other wild birds. After playing the horns he suddenly began singing like the horns. It was amazing. It took a little while for me to realize he was actually making that noise himself. He continued to go between the horns and his own voice for the rest of the performance. It was especially impressive when he would play a few notes and then sing one quickly before playing more. His ability to go between instrument and his own voice was astounding. I’ve never seen or heard anything quite like it. All the musicians and dancers were amazing, but none shocked me as much as he did. 

Ashley

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Xi’an Performance

posted on March 23

The last performance in China at the College of Music in Xi’an.

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Martial Arts School

posted on March 23

Students watch a martial arts demonstration and learn a few moves at the martial arts school.

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Xi’an Performance

posted on March 23


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Xi’an Rehearsal

posted on March 23


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Sara

by Chris Wilkinson on March 23

After rehearsing our songs the Tianjin students were very eager to become fast friends, and exchange emails.  I was much more focused on the ping-pong tables that I had seen on the way to the auditorium.  After using Joel’s connections, his new Tianjin friends, I got them to let us go and try to play.  I would like to pretend that I was able to hold my own against them, but I have the feeling that they might have been holding back…

Dinner came too soon as we were rushed to the largest cafeteria I had ever seen.  As I stood scanning to find a table I was surprised to hear a beautiful voice cry out, “Come, sit here,” and without hesitation I accepted the invitation. We exchanged pleasantries and then became enveloped in a whirlwind of questions each wanting to know as much about the other.

Her name was Sara, an English major and a soprano.  We talked about everything from Chinese culture to how big and pointy my nose is.  While I was getting to know Sara, Joel and Carlos were trying to learn Chinese from the President of their choir.  They decided to try and help out my game by feeding me a couple of lines until they went a little too far. 

Fortunately, Sara put a stop to it before anything bad was said, well almost.  I learned about her vast vocabulary as she called me, “homosexual” when she found out that I was single - apparently single men are also not to be trusted.

As soon as dinner began too soon did it come to an end.  I know we were probably allotted the same amount of time for dinner as normal, but I would swear we were only there for five minutes.  On the way back to the bus Sara asked if I knew how to ride a bike - I thought of course I do, who doesn’t?  With Jennifer’s permission I set out to prove myself.  Unfortunately, the task became harder than what I had originally imagined - don’t ever take for granted that shinny huffy again!  With her sitting behind me we set out trying to avoid almost certain death with such obstacles as by-standers, other bikers, and left turns.  Amazingly we arrived to the concert hall unscathed, but not without embarrassment, as the entire choir had become witness to my special bike ride.

What was once an intimate affair had become a very public, even the kids in the Tianjin choir were calling my name and giggling.  After being amazed by the vocal display of the Tianjin University choir, also feeling a little bit inadequate.  Sara and I said our good-byes, and promised to keep in touch; it was a short and sad farewell - an anticlimactic ending to such a great night.  Feeling a sudden rush of regret I rushed downstairs in hopes of seeing once more.  As I ran to grab my bells I saw her in the corner of my eyes and stop.  We locked eyes, and in my haste I held up my hand to signal wait as I ran to grab my bells.  When I got back she was already gone.  In my ignorance she probably mistook holding up my hand for waving good-bye.  It was a very disappointing, but not as much as the next night when I learned that her name was most likely not Sara, but that she probably did that for my benefit.  She left my world as quickly as she entered it with the worst being that I didn’t even know her name, but I will always keep the memory of our bike ride together.  

Chris

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