Saturday in Chengdu
Today is Saturday. Brent and I had breakfast at an “expat” restaurant, Peter’s. We then walked in the city a bit and met Qi Wenjun (Chi Chi) and Gao Xin for lunch. I first met Gao Xin as a high school student before he went to Duquesne to study saxophone with James Houlik. He finished his bachelor’s degree last month and returned home to Chengdu just before the earthquake. Now he is preparing to do his Master’s at Tennessee with Connie Frigo. Gao Xin has been very successful obtaining a US student visa so I wanted Wenjun to meet him. He talked her through the process and thought she seemed very prepared. Wenjun’s appointment is June 12 and Gao Xin’s appointment is June 19.
After lunch Gao Xin and Brent relaxed and listened to Gao Xin’s senior recital. Gao Xin is playing very well. We discussed his recital and many other saxophone topics.
My original plan was to meet another SOU prospective student He Jing-shan in Beijing at the Central Conservatory. She unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a visa four times at $130 each. Consequently we advised her to go to Shanghai, enter the ELS center there and attempt to get a visa in Shanghai. Since He Jing-shan is now in Shanghai I won’t be able to meet her but we were able to talk on the phone yesterday and she is still optimistic about studying conducting at SOU perhaps as early as spring quarter.