From Aberdeen to Alexandria

By Autumn Patterson, Arts Midwest

What an incredibly busy two weeks it has been! In Aberdeen, the group visited not only the local elementary, middle, and high schools, but also the Parkside Retirement Community, and the 3M factory there.

Today, we have two reports from the road—one from Shigeyo, the tour manager, and another from Cai Lingyun, the band’s interpreter.

Shigeyo writes:

Our stay in Aberdeen ended with the final concert at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Aberdeen on Saturday, October 3rd. The doors opened at 7 p.m., and by 7:20 the theater was filled and no empty seats were to be seen. The concert was another great success. Applause, requesting an encore, continued until two more songs were played.

We left Aberdeen late morning of Sunday, October 4th. We took the county roads to get to Alexandria, Minnesota. Our first two weeks in the Midwest, the weather has been warm and comfortable, many days were bright and sunny, but the fall is finally here. As we arrived in Alexandria a chilly wind greeted us and made us shiver.

n the evening we were invited to a reception by the community representatives and received a warm welcome. The members of Beauty & Melody were split into 4-5 groups and sat with the community people. Many of Beauty & Melody can speak English and are able to communicate with the attendees. Their ability to speak English always amazes everyone. English is a mandatory subject in China and it starts at junior high school level.

Cai reports that both Shigeyo, the tour manager, and Joel, the bus driver have been a great help in keeping the band organized and getting them where they need to go. They have become quite the team over these past couple of weeks.

Surely this would not happen without everyone working together, and that includes all of the great people in our World Fest communities. Cai sent a very heartfelt thanks last week and asked that we pass it along to all of you.

She writes:

We recently received an e-mail from Tom, the music teacher of Valley City High School. He thanked Beauty and Melody for bringing the beautiful Chinese music and the music cultural exchange workshops to his students. He thanked the local Arts Council and Arts Midwest for bringing us to him, to his students and to the local people.

Actually, we—Beauty and Melody—want to say THANKS to everybody. To the teachers and students of Valley City, ND and Aberdeen, SD, for your active involvement; to the staff of the 3M plant; the people of the nursing home and the retirement apartment, your applause gives us so much energy; to the audience of our concerts for your appreciation! And, of course, THANKS to local communities and local people, you treat us so well!

The band conducted workshops all day yesterday in Alexandria, Minnesota and will perform a public concert there on Saturday evening at the Discovery Middle School Auditorium. For more information about that event, visit our events page.

Retirement community performance
Parkside Retirement Community in Aberdeen, SD. Photo by Shigeyo Henriquez.
Costumed musicians on stage
Public performance at the Capitol Theatre. Photo by Shigeyo Henriquez.

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