Welcome to Schola’s China Tour blog!

18th July 2018 – DAY 1

We’re here! After months of fundraising and tour preparation, we are thrilled to have all safely arrived in Beijing for what promises to be an incredibly exciting tour. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has made this amazing tour possible.

View from plane
The last blue skies we are likely to see, given Beijing’s fog in the rain season!

The summer season in Beijing means it is both hot (often above 30C) and although it is extremely humid, we have been told that it’s not too badly polluted at the moment! We got off to a busy start, and after landing around lunchtime, we headed with a rehearsal at the Wukesong Gymnasium for tomorrow’s opening ceremony of the 14th China International Choral Festival (CICF). The CICF began in 1992 and has since run biennially. This year’s festival welcomes 308 choirs to Beijing, and over 15,000 singers. The venue for tomorrow’s opening ceremony was originally built as the basketball stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and is certainly one of the largest venues Schola has performed in, with a capacity of 18,000!

As a demonstration choir at the CICF, we have been selected to sing a solo piece in the opening ceremony, as well as in the final group song, performed by representatives from almost all of countries participating in the festival. We are all very excited that the entire ceremony will be broadcast on Chinese television!

A rehearsal in Wukesong Gymnasium
Rehearsal in the Wukesong Gymnasium

Our participation in the CICF over the next five days in Beijing will also include recitals and masterclasses, before we head off the Lanzhou for the second leg of the tour.

After our rehearsal, we went for our first supper together at a traditional Chinese restaurant, before heading back to our hotel for a well-earned rest.

Supper day 1
Some of the choir enjoying their first real Chinese food

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog entry!

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