I spent 10 days in Hangzhou this year once again- and this has been possibly one of the most rewarding educational festivals that I have been involved in.
Organized by the Hangzhou Philharmonic Angel Choir, the 5th China International Youth and Children's Choir Festival And Choral Camp saw hundreds of children from different choirs in China coming together for 8 days of rehearsals by clinicians from Venezuela, China, Singapore, Holland, Taiwan and Korea. Local choral conductors also sat in throughout our rehearsals to observe and learn.
While we had festival participants from the bigger city school choirs, we also had participants from the villages and rural areas of China who came together by the generous sponsorship of the Hangzhou Philharmonic to study with the international conductors.
I have never seen more conviction and yearning to learn and sing. It almost seemed like their hopes and dreams in life depended on singing. The singers in the festival cherished every moment with us and upon seeing their dedication, I know we gave it our all for them.
The last day of sharing by the children was the hardest to sit through. I laughed and smiled. But deep down inside, I was so moved beyond tears. I wished the world would see what music meant to these children, and how music affected each and everyone of them. I hope some day, more children will get to experience the power of music, and how it can change lives to empower, inspire, and drive.
I thank Hangzhou Philharmonic for the invitation- from memorable TV appearances, concerts to workshops and masterclasses. I enjoyed every moment - especially all the concerts, the journey through the rural villages and the children!
I thank my Colleagues M Zhou, M. Hong, Luimar, Rita, Rohan, Candy, Zhang, Zhou, Jing, x.Jing, X.Dong and everyone else who have made this such a memorable and meaningful event. I have never seen conductors drive each other so hard to improve and educate children.
I leave Hangzhou with gratitude and renewed hope. Music lives.