A couple weeks ago we had a meeting with Irene Chase about the final details of our upcoming trip to Guiyang, China. We learned at this meeting that we needed to prepare to sing the Chinese national anthem at the signing ceremony. Not wishing to cause an international incident I volunteered to find an arrangement we could use.
It turns out there is not an edition of the Chinese national anthem written phonetically for us westerners to attempt. Perhaps we should have taken this as a hint. However, I was able to find a phonetic version of the lyrics and with the help of a mandarin speaking friend of mine, I assembled both a four part choral arrangement and a simple melody version for us to use. I play piano for the Weatherford college jazz band and they have a trumpet player who is actually from China and is a native mandarin speaker. He was kind enough to record a video for us to use as a guide while learning to pronounce the mandarin necessary for singing the Chinese anthem.
His own modesty prevents me from sharing these videos publicly, but they were of huge help to us all as we learned this piece.
Tomorrow evening we perform our farewell concert at Texas Wesleyan’s Martin Hall in which we will attempt to sing one piece in Mandarin as well as another which is written by a mandarin speaker in a very eastern style. I have a loud and ridiculous solo in this piece which I accidently auditioned for. You see when we first sang through this piece , I didn’t see the word solo printed above these few measures and I sang it at the top of my lungs. I became the default singer of this rather flamboyant solo. Video will follow.
I also learned about a month ago that I would have the privilege of conducting a piece for this concert as well as the concert in Guiyang. I selected a piece I recently performed on my senior concert. (VIDEO HERE) The opportunity to conduct this beautiful piece overseas in an exotic Chinese theatre makes me so excited I can’t even put it into words.
The concert is tomorrow evening, Tuesday 4/10 at 7:30 at Texas Wesleyan’s Martin Hall. If you can make it, it should be full of excitement as we showcase music we’ll be performing in China as well as featuring a guest chorus from Nolan HS.
More blogging soon to come from the plane!