Westminster choir performs at Cultural Olympics
KSL Ch. 5
August 11, 2008
By Amanda Butterfield
Westminster's Chamber Choir was invited to perform in the Beijing Cultural Olympics that were held one month before the Olympic Games. Before they left, we sent a couple with one of our cameras and asked them to shoot a story for us about their trip.
We picked a married couple, Alex and Eva Morgan, to be our photographer and reporter while they were performing in Beijing.
Their trip got off to a rocky start. Their flight had been canceled. Still, music director Christopher Quinn said his students will never forget their time there. "Trips like this are really life-defining," Quinn said. "You get out of the classroom and experience the culture."
Westminster has two sister schools in China. One is just outside Beijing, where the choir performed one night.
Eva said, "I could not believe how wonderful they received us, how sweet they were [and] how thrilled they were to have us there."
Quinn said they sang four notes, and the entire concert hall went crazy.
After that, the Chinese students performed for them. Alex said the students performed local music and dances.
When the group wasn't singing, they were tourists. Quinn said, "We went to the Temple of Heaven. We saw the Forbidden City. We had foot massages."
They also went to Tiananmen Square. Eva described the touring as "really fun and amazing."
While in Beijing, they feasted on local delicacies. "The soup was a little ... I don't know what was in it!" Alex said.
Quinn said some of the students had horse tongue and dog. "We actually went to KFC and Papa Johns," Alex said.
The group also drew a lot of attention themselves, always being asked to have their pictures taken. Alex explained, "Some of the people thought some of our choir members were celebrities, just like Justin Timberlake or Paris Hilton, 'cause of the blond hair and everything."
That's just one of the many stories these students will always share, besides the pictures. Quinn said, "Each person seemed to make at least 700 photos, and there's 37 of us." That's a lot of photos.