Big Hunan TV debut 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — OK, so I was only on screen for maybe 10 minutes — tops — sandwiched in between musical acts for a pre-Spring Festival concert extravaganza, but it was still a debut on provincial TV. And, get this, all of my lines were in Chinese! I learned them on the spot, with patient coaching from a Hunan Economic TV director (and of course promptly forgot them all by the following day). Here is the link to the on line version of the telecast last night. You will only be able to watch it if you are using Internet Explorer and only if you download a plugin for IE here. I have had no luck viewing the clip yet. Either it is not yet available, or my antiquated versions of Windows (2K Pro) and IE6 are not up to the task. When you load the first link, this is what you will see. I have labeled the appropriate buttons to click on to see the video. If any clever person can figure out how to capture this video stream and/or make it a YouTube video, let me know. I have people working on the task on this side of ...

The orchestra comes to town

JISHOU, HUNAN — Tonight, my three student guides accompanied me to a concert by the China Philharmonic Orchestra (中国爱乐乐团), which came to Jishou especially for the university’s 50th anniversary celebration. It was terrific. They performed works by Beethoven, Strauss (“Emperor Waltz”), Bizet (“Overture to Carmen“) and other pieces I am ashamed to say I did not recognize, as well as Chinese melodies. The conductor spent some of the concert introducing the instruments to a packed audience. The musicians assisted in the lessons by playing short tunes on their instruments, ranging from Mozart to the theme from the movie Titanic and “If you’re happy and you know it.” The orchestra wants to expose more Chinese to Western orchestral music. From my perspective, they were doing an excellent job. The venue was one of the athletics facilities here, a field house used for both basketball and badminton (did I mention that badminton is big around here?). I expected the acoustics to be awful, but where we were sitting (left front center orchestra), the sound was great. I suspect we were shown to good seats because of me, but I cannot be sure. It was a bit sticky in there, however, since the ...
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