Winton Woods choir in China
Other local musicians are being represented in China during the Olympics, besides the Cincinnati Pops, which will performing during the opening weekend.
In March, the Winton Woods High School Choir, led by David Bell, participated in a festival called "Perform in Harmony with Olympic Spirit" and were one of five choirs from the U.S. invited to perform.
The Festival was organized in cooperation with the Musician's Association of China. The kids performed in the Oriental Art Center in Shanghai and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.
Says Bell: "It was truly the trip of a lifetime. The food was excellent, the accommodations great and the concert halls superb. We were well received by the Chinese people and had a ball with the other choirs as well as haggling over prices in the retail settings. We really enjoyed the exchange concert with the Beijing High School. Walking on and performing at the Great Wall literally sent chills up and down my spine. My personal favorite place was shopping at the street markets near the Yuan Garden in Shanghai. Everywhere our students went, they were stopped for photos with the Chinese, as African-Americans are not frequently seen in China."
The only snafu was the censorship of sacred music in concerts, he says, due to the incident with Bjork in Shanghai.
"In Beijing several pieces, including "Elijah Rock" were removed from the concert by the Chinese authorities and we had to perform secular pieces that they selected from our repertoire in its place," he says. "The authorities would not even allow the printed programs to be handed out so that people might see that the music had been changed."
To see a photo gallery of the Winton Woods trip, click here.