Brenda Tremblay's blog

Old rivals

After two days in Shanghai, I asked members of the Rochester Oratorio Society and their family members,

"What's the difference between Beijing and Shanghai?"

"[Shanghai] is a little more sophisticated and a little more grungy, altogether." - Jackie
"First, Shanghai's more cosmopolitan, don't you think? People dress in a more stylish way. And the other thing is this: it's WAY hotter. It feels like a sauna and a steam bath in the sun."
- Maryellen


Night train to Shanghai

"If China is a dragon, Shanghai is its head."
- Deng Xiaping

The Rochester Oratorio Society caught an overnight train from Beijing to Shanghai on Monday. After much merriment and a fitful sleep, I woke before dawn to watch the Chinese countryside. Low, brown houses, lush green fields, and white egrets stood in the early morning mist.


Closing Ceremony

On Monday morning, the Rochester Oratorio Society served as the greeting choir for the closing ceremony of the China International Chorus Festival. During the rehearsal, held backstage about ten minutes before we performed, conductor Eric Townell learned ROS had won third place, among 47 choirs. He seemed quite pleased.


Market Day

Members of the Rochester Oratorio Society and their families spent a morning at the Panjiayuan Market, the largest flea market in China.

I asked some of the singers and their relatives, "What did you buy?"

"I bought a teapot in the shape of a lotus flower. It's green. The feet are little fish and the lid is the seedpod. All the little things move." -Sue


Clash of the Choirs

Last night the Rochester Oratorio Society sang in the Ninth China International Chorus Festival contest at the Military Concert Hall, a new venue with decent acoustics. Out of forty-seven groups, ROS was one of seven selected to advance to this level.


Night at the Forbidden City Concert Hall

The Rochester Oratorio Society passed through the Empress's Gate to the Forbidden City in white diesel buses. Carrying black concert clothes and folders, members walked through a tunnel of ancient cypress trees and rock formations. Cicadas buzzed. Dragonflies hovered over the grass. Lilies lowered their heads, giving off a heady fragrance. Dreamlike. After passing through an ancient courtyard, we stepped over a beam that protects the Hall from evil spirits.


Micky and Carl's Most Excellent Blog

Click here for more about the Rochester Oratorio Society's trip to China. Carl Pultz is a former Music Director of WXXI-FM and is now the sound recording engineer for many top classical groups in Rochester, including the Rochester Oratorio Society.


Observation tower

Between exploring the Forbidden City and climbing the Great Wall of China, I've hardly had time to write. Wow! There's a sentence I'd never imagined typing. I'll try to fill you in after our performance at the Forbidden City Concert Hall tonight. In the meantime, my friends Carl and Mickey have a wonderfully detailed and funny blog about the trip you can read. (A reader put a link in another post.)

Here are more postcards from the Rochester Oratorio Society singers and family members.

"After six days in Beijing, what's the most unusual thing you've seen?"


Interview with Eric Townell

Click on the attachment to hear an interview with conductor Eric Townell about last night's opening ceremony of the 9th China International Chorus Festival. In these pictures, you see the Inner Mongolia Hohhot Children's Palace Children's Palace, the Rochester Oratorio Society, the grand finale, and members of ROS posing with other singers.



After three days in China, members of the Rochester Oratorio Society talk about their strongest impressions.

"I can't get over seeing the children's faces and how beautiful they are and the thought of peace. I grew up thinking Communism was bad. Look at how happy these people are!" "I'm still processing." - Michelle

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