Performance Time


Grace under pressure.

I wrote yesterday’s entry sitting outside watching our soloist practice with the professional Chinese orchestra.  Our kids impressed the conductors they worked with and the conditions were tough.  First there weren’t enough cellos.  Second it was very hot and humid – humidity affects reeds and string instruments – they go out of tune.  The stage set up was interesting as well.  The percussion players were on a separate stage as was one of the choirs.  There were video cameras and cameras filming them constantly and a conductor who needed translating for them to understand him.

The kids spent the afternoon wandering around the botanical gardens and playing cards.  One of the buildings had an artic and tundra theme- that’s where you found the Coloradoans.  Not that they miss home but it was COOL.  They have figured out how to bargain and gravitated toward ice cream in yesterday’s purchases.

The choirs were college students.  The professional musicians were young and old.  Some traded email addresses with our kids and they enjoyed hanging out together as long as the conversation was limited!

Some of the students attract lots of stares.  Of course it isn’t everyday here a large group of American teenagers come thru.  The kids get stares and people ask to take their photos – or at least I think that is what they are saying.

After dinner, the kids took the stage at 7.  The neon and spot lights were going and they sat.  And sat.  They had to wait for the government officials to arrive.  Then the speeches began.  There were several government officials that spoke.  For us it was a dress rehearsal.  For the locals, it was a performance in the park – with an admission.   The seats were mostly full and there were lots more outside the ropes sitting on the lawns.

At about 7:45 the Chinese conductor took the stage and the kids accompanied a choir.  Also on the program was another choir, a guitar/bass guitar/accordian act and finally a few more of our pieces with and without the choirs.  Greg, our senior member, as well as the 4 10 year olds on the trip were recognized on stage.  Greg mentioned that when the neon would change colors he couldn’t see the music – another challenge.

Given the buses were loaded at 8:10 in the morning and we didn’t return to the hotel until 10, the kids were terrific. They played well and Keynes was very proud of them.

Today is the performance at 3.  Then the pressure will be off!  The venue today is indoors and it’s located on the Pearl River.  Air conditioning and limited neon will make it a snap.

Posted in China Trip 2010.