Road Stories Blog

Beauty & Melody: Week 4

Teaching the yangqin to Representative Pridemore

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.

From Aberdeen to Alexandria

Retirement community performance

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.

Conducting Workshops

High school chorus with Beauty & Melody

By Cai Lingyun, Interpreter for Beauty & Melody

In her second guest blog, Cai Lingyun talks about the experience of conducting workshops at schools in Valley City, North Dakota.

From September 21-23, we had 10 workshops for students and kids from high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools and kindergartens. Sometimes, 250 students for one workshop.

Week 2: Aberdeen, SD

Band members in red track suits pose with a local man and his pumpkin display.

By Shigeyo Henriquez, Tour Manager

Shigeyo Henriquez is the tour manager for Beauty & Melody’s Arts Midwest World Fest tour. She is also a great photographer, so she has been sending us fantastic photographs along with her updates from the road!

Well, we left Valley City on Sunday, September 27th. Aberdeen was only 130 miles from Valley City and we had plenty time to get there. We stopped at the Sheyenne Valley Arts & Crafts Fall Festival in Ft. Ransom, ND—30 miles south of Valley City.

Workshop in Valley City

Beauty & Melody

By Anne Romens at Arts Midwest

The Beauty & Melody tour is off to a great start! The band just completed their first workshop at Valley City High School in North Dakota.

The workshop opened with some traditional Chinese music. Then, Beauty & Melody members introduced their instruments, and invited some students to the stage for some hands-on instruction! There was a brief question and answer session, and any student to give a correct answer was awarded a little stuffed panda!

After the workshop, Beauty & Melody visited the band and choral rooms and jammed with the high school band.

Guest Blog: Preparing for the Tour

A large group photo

By Cai Lingyun, Interpreter for Beauty & Melody

Cai Lingyun is a project manager with the Cultural Department of Sichuan Province in China. She is currently traveling with Beauty & Melody in the U.S. to act as their interpreter.

Hi, I am Cai (in Chinese pronunciation we call it tsai). I am the interpreter of Beauty and Melody, which is from Sichuan Province of People’s Republic of China.

On September 16, after almost 27 hours long trip of Chengdu—Shanghai—Chicago, we, the 18-member-troupe of Beauty and Melody arrived at Chicago. On September 17, we came to Minneapolis by bus. Yes, everyone was so tired.

Welcome, Beauty & Melody!

Three band members in red and gray track jackets at the airport

By Autumn @ Arts Midwest

Please join us in welcoming Beauty & Melody to the U.S. for their first Midwest tour!

The band traveled over 11,000 miles on Wednesday from Chengdu, China to Chicago, Illinois. Tour manager Shigeyo Henriquez wrote on Wednesday evening, “The plane landed early, but it took over an hour to go through immigration and customs. They are tired after traveling almost 24 hours from Chengdu, but they are safe and happy.”

2007-2009 Tour Highlights

Three children learn to play the spoons from a band member

By Autumn @ Arts Midwest

From Fall 2007 – Spring 2009, Arts Midwest World Fest welcomed four incredible ensembles from all over the world into our Midwest partner communities. Los Utrera (from Mexico), Mauvais Sort (from Canada), An Da Union (from Inner Mongolia), and Esta (from Israel) all had a great time conducting informational workshops and performing for kids and adults in all nine states in our region. Here are just a few highlights from the tour.

All of our contacts reported how great the Israeli band Esta was at working with children and encouraging them to participate in the music.

Workshop Video from the 2007-2009 Tour

Mauvais Sort on stage under red lighting

By Autumn @ Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest World Fest brings incredible musical experiences from around the world to smaller communities across the Midwest. Each community hosts multiple workshops with students of all age levels, and engages adults and families during a week of activities with ensembles from all over the globe.

This video features our musicians from the 2007-2009 tour doing workshops with elementary, middle and high school students. We hope it provides a little taste of what to expect when Arts Midwest World Fest musicians visit your town!

See video