The tour exceeded our expectations in every way. The staff at Music Celebrations were terrific to work with – quick to answers questions, gave helpful advice, and met every expectation. The highlight for all was playing for the First Lady. Second was the experience of playing on and exploring the Great Wall at Ju Yong Pass – some of the group climbed 1200 steps each way – to the top of the wall. We all really enjoyed the beach party with outdoor barbeque. Sheldon was terrific! We wish we could have kept him all through our tour. Lehi, Christina, Carol and the others were easy to work with and worked hard to facilitate the details of the tour. It was obvious that they aimed to please. Christina and Carol, who were on our bus, were excellent tour guides. The group on bus 2 also really liked their tour guides, Nicholas and Jean. The Joint concert at the Central Conservatory of Music was a once in a lifetime experience with Madame Peng (China’s First Lady) in attendance. It was not what we were expecting, but we are not complaining. Having our students hear a concert by orchestra students from the top conservatory in China was an excellent experience for them, but having to play after them was a bit unnerving. Fortunately our students rose to the occasion and played really well. Our performance on the Great Wall was also wonderful.
Concert at the Beidaihe Workers’ Theatre - The concert was great. A large audience was waiting when the doors opened. The hosts of the concert were very gracious, joining us for dinner and attending the concert. Afterward, audience members came up to get autographs. Joint concert at the University Arts Performing Hall of Tianjin University - This was a lovely site and wonderful experience. The audience was large and enthusiastic. Having University students join us for dinner provided warm interaction. A little 3-yr-old played Twinkle for some of the students after the concert and many from the audience interacted with our group after the concert.
Sonja Zeithamel, Director Preucil School of Music String Orchestra Iowa City, IA