Wrapping up the Beauty & Melody tour
By Shigeyo Henriquez
The last stop, the last week of Beauty & Melody in the U.S., brought us to Knoxville, Iowa. Every day we could feel closer to the day to say “Goodbye.” It’s the toughest day of the tour, the final day.
A week went by as usual, workshops at Northstar Elementary school, West Elementary school and middle school. We visited the 3M factory in town, took a tour of the production area, and gave a mini performance for the workers.
The final workshop in Knoxville was for high school students. Often when we visit elementary schools, we play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and “Do-Re-Mi,” but not normally for high school and college students. Instead, Beauty & Melody play Chinese music as the final song of the workshop. But today, I asked the students to sing along if they recognized the song.
To our amazement, they stood up and started to wave their arms and sing the song with all their might. We didn’t expect high school students to be so involved, interacting with and truly enjoying the show. It was a great workshop, a very fulfilling last workshop.
What I remember the most of the tour with Beauty & Melody this year…
- Such a friendly group of young girls, always willing to work, and share. They are all amazing, well-accomplished musicians.
- Instruments are so incredibly unusual and they all sound beautiful.
- Cooking in the hotel rooms and eating HOT HOT spicy food. I now can eat hot-n-spicy food. I’m back home in Chicago and miss it a lot.
- Faces of children who had a chance to play very unusual instruments.
- Jamming with local musicians in Marquette, Hartford and Alexandria.
I have so many memories filled with fun and beautiful music and not to forget some tiring days! I had incredible and irreplaceable experiences, and now have lifelong friends in China.