We performed our first concert at the Chinese National Music Hall in Beijing, China. The concert hall was full of red seats, balconies, and a red banner that said, “Welcome Wartburg College Wind Ensemble China Tour of 2013.” The band set up the stage as quickly as we could so we could rehearse the music for the concert.
Doc told us that the reverberation was 1.7 seconds long, which is basically how long the sound lasts in the concert hall. It is the optimal time for a choir and not a band, so we had to keep our notes as short as we could. We played “Second Suite on a Dargason” to check that the sound quality was the best it could be.
The Da Hong Men (Big Red Gate), or Beijing Wind Ensemble, performed after intermission of the concert. They played with strength and were a group of amateur musicians that were stoic. After their part of the concert, we performed more songs which included “Near My God to Thee” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Erica Verburg conducted the last two songs of the concert to tell the audience thank you. It was a special concert for all the band because it was our first concert on tour!!
I thought the concert was magnificent and was one to remember. The audience loved our songs and clapped for a long time after each one. I especially thought “Irish Tune from County Derry” was the best we have ever played it. Everything came together so smoothly and I could feel the emotion flowing through the band. I am so glad that we could play our music for the people of China.