Finally – the reason we came – to perform! We arrived at our venue around 3:00 p.m. We had the hall from 3-6 to rehearse and we used every second of it! Adjusting to the live hall; rented instruments; different risers; and all through our limited a) number of translators and b) knowledge of Chinese was a bit challenging and took longer than a normal “roadshow.”
However, we pulled through and were ready to put on a show at 7:30pm! With an almost-full house and audience members in every balcony, we performed our standard hour-and-a-half show, plus some additional Chinese songs. Our very own Singing Hoosier alum (and our host and sponsor in China) Ali Tuet, even sang a solo during the traditional Chinese “Western” song “Shanghai Bund.”
We were told that the Chinese usually don’t clap for very long following each number, but the audience exceeded our expectations, especially during the songs in Chinese. At intermission, a few audience members cried out “Encore!!!” But we waited until the end of the show to indulge them with second performances of our Michael Jackson medley and “Half Moon Rising Up,” a Chinese song.
The performance was a hit, and we left the concert hall ready to a) get out of our character shoes as quick as humanly possible and b) go to sleep! But being the under-privileged performers that we are (joke!) we had yet to eat dinner! We ate a delicious meal with Ali Tuet and our other Beijing hosts. We were even treated to the renowned dish “Beijing Duck.” The meal ended with a resounding rendition of the Alma mater, a triumphant fight song, and an inspiring “Happy Birthday” for Singing Hoosier Dan Stinson, who turned 22. We returned to our hotel and crashed. It was awesome.
Love, Laurel Crutchfield