Beauty & Melody: Week 4

By Shigeyo Henriquez, Tour Manager

We are into the fourth week of the tour. We arrived in Hartford, Wisconsin on Sunday evening, October 11th. It was a long drive from Alexandria. Thanks to Joel, our bus driver, for his safe driving.

The first day in Hartford started with a visit to Erin and Neosho elementary schools. The students always amaze me with how well they behave and pay attention to the workshop.

Usually the workshop starts with a slideshow which shows the city of Chengdu, the location of Chengdu within China, its history, culture, and a picture of a panda. Chengdu is the home of the panda. Young students yell, “WOW!! Panda!!” with such excitement. Cai, the interpreter, continues the explanation of each slide with a smile. The ensemble then plays a few traditional Chinese songs, and then “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to the young audiences.

At the end of the Neosho elementary school workshop, one of the students yelled “Tsai Xian”—good bye in Chinese. What a surprise! The ensemble wasn’t expecting to hear this from a young student. The students have been studying Chinese music and a few words. This is truly a cultural exchange. The ensemble learns from the students and the students learn from them. This workshop will leave everlasting memories.

At the reception we received a warm welcome by state representative, Donald Pridemore; Mayor of Hartford, Scott Henke; and the presidents of the local Rotary Club and the Schauer Arts and Activities Center. State representative, Donald Pridemore, and mayor, Scott Henke, had a little lesson on Yangqin.

Here are some photos from our first day in Hartford.

Teaching the yangqin to Representative Pridemore
Wisconsin State Representative Donald Pridemore learns to play the yangqin. Photo by Shigeyo Henriquez.
Teaching the yangqin to Hartford Mayor, Scott Yenke.
Hartford Mayor, Scott Yenke, also had a short lesson on the yangqin. Photo by Shigeyo Henriquez.


Beauty & Melody,

I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for your stop in Hartford, Wisconsin. I enjoyed the performance you did for our Rotary Club, and it was nice to get know you all better during your tour of our police department. I hope you all had a great time in Hartford, and I wish you every success as you continue your American tour.

Chief Groves
Hartford Police Department

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