Archive for Sharon Stevenson

GSO in China, Days 10, 11 & 12: The Li River, Shanghai and fickle weather

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, dawned gray and chilly in Guilin, but Monday’s freezing rain had abated. The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra checked out of the Guilin Plaza and motored off for a luncheon cruise on the Li River, finalist on the list of world’s most beautiful places. The foggy day enhanced the mystical qualities of dome-shaped […]

GSO in China, Days 8 & 9: Tangshan and Guilin

The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra retraced its steps back up the Jingshen Expressway this Sunday morning, January 27, 2008, to Tangshan. Actually, we visited new Tangshan. Old Tangshan was hit by a massive earthquake in 1976 that destroyed 97% of the buildings and killed more than 250,000 people. Roughly 4,000 children were orphaned, some of whom […]

GSO in China, Days 6 & 7: At the edge of the Bohai Sea

Friday, January 26, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra rolled out of Tianjin and headed to Qinhuangdao. We travelled through a lot of farmland, with the predominant local produce ranging from wheat to corn to rice to bricks. The region nearest Qinhuangdao is corn country, and the locals store livestock-quality ears of corn on their roofs to […]

GSO in China, Day 5: Tianjin

Off to Tianjin! As one of the closest seaports to Beijing, Tianjin is very large and very busy (Beijing: 13 million, Tianjin: 10 million). The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra traveled on this clear and chilly Thursday, January 24, 2008, to a date with the Tianjin Cathay Future Children’s Art Center. The center was established in 1995 […]

GSO in China, Day 4: Summer Palace, silkworms, and pandas

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, dawned bright and clear in Beijing. After joining the throngs on Beijing’s highways, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra enjoyed this sunshiny morning by visiting the Summer Palace, summer residence of emperors and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Summers in Beijing are hot and humid, and while the emperor’s digs in the Forbidden […]

GSO in China, Day 3: The Great Wall

Following last night’s opening concert of the tour, today the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra spent a day taking in a few things that might sound familiar: The Great Wall, Ming Tombs, and Peking duck. We visited the Great Wall at Ju Yong Pass, where the GSO offered a spirited performance of the Gustie Rouser. The weather […]

GSO in China, Day 2: Meeting Mao and The Forbidden City

Xue. That’s Chinese for snow, and that’s what happened in Beijing last night. Oh, not much snow, mind you, especially not by St. Peter’s standards, but enough to make footing a little precarious, whether you’re evading the Beijing police or slithering down steps worn smooth by the feet of emperors. The Gustavus Symphony saw a […]

GSO in China, Day 1: Beijing

Beijing is vast and varied. After arriving at 6 a.m. local time and meeting our hosts from Music Celebrations International, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra & Co. boarded motor coaches for transport to the Beijing Best Western Premier. The trip into the city took us past plenty of new highway construction in preparation for the Olympics […]

Getting ready to go: Multicultural competency

Two hours of practice in the morning. Two hours of class on Chinese history, culture, music, art. Two hours of practice in the afternoon. Plus orchestra section practices, evening class events such as viewing the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and, of course, homework. This is how members of the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra have been […]