While we spent our day visiting the Olympic stadiums, the Forbidden City, having massages and so on,
our patrons had a busy day beginning with Tai Chi in Beihai Park and continuing on to a particularly steep part of the Great Wall.
After the ascent and descent of the Great Wall, lunch at a new lodge called The Commune at the Great Wall by Kempinski. It's a collection of beautiful modern buildings by Asian architects, including a restaurant, with a very European revolutionary-chic affect.
Back we went to "the Egg" - this is the spectacular view from the second floor promenade outside the theaters - for our second concert "Sounds of America."
This was a different evening from last night in the National Concert Hall. Our friends in the hall felt that it was sometimes like being at the rodeo with us on the bucking bronco! The house looked good to start with, and after many arrivals all through the first part, it seemed like a sell out. At least half of the audience were children and young adults who were incredibly vociferous even before we started.
We tried not to let the amount of audience activity ( walking around, talking, visiting, lasers zapping the would-be photographers and cell phones, and so on) get in the way. The quiet numbers seemed to work very well, and at those points ( Shenandoah, Summertime, Deep River) we felt as if we had established a musical connection. During the jazz arrangement of Summertime which, in the style of that kind of arrangement includes finger snapping for us, finger snapping broke out in the audience. If they get to clap during the gospel, why not! The yelling after each number got louder and louder, until the final ovation which was absolutely raucus. The Chinese encores got even more deafening applause this time. There are questions to which we may never know the answers - what brought all those kids there and what were they really responding to, does the ambient audience noise level mean anything either way? In any case, kids went out singing in falsetto, it was actually fun and will no doubt join the list of our most memorable evenings.
After this lively evening we left the Egg to discover an almost full moon and a heavenly spring temperature. The day was capped off by dinner with our patrons at Face - a Thai restaurant in a recently restored school house, furnished with very beautiful old Chinese things.