Jody and I both woke up feeling a little sick this morning. I think the pollution is getting to us. We decided to have breakfast at Grandma’s–an expat restaurant I frequent when I need coffee and pancakes. I love the food in Sichuan but breakfast is the one western meal I miss.
After breakfast we met Mr. Li and his students. We left for the train station and boarded the train to Chongqing. Traveling by train in China was a new experience for me. Aside from seeing the country side the best part of the train travel was the company. We enjoyed hanging out with the students especially Chen Wen and Tang Di.
Upon arrival we checked into Yu Du hotel near the city center of Chongqing. We then had a incredible banquet thrown my the family of Mr. Li’s incoming saxophone student.
Jody and I taught again this morning from 9:30-11:30AM. I worked with Han Xiao playing Lantier. I first met him and heard him play at the World Saxophone Congress in Slovenia in 2006. He was only 14 and already demonstrated a lot of talent. This is a student that is going somewhere and I will keep my eyes on him.
We had lunch with Tang at the hotel and waited for Alexander Tutunov to arrive. Alex arrived and went right off to teach at the piano institute. Jody and I went to the historic district Wuhouxu and the city center. In the evening I rehearsed Mr. Li’s saxophone ensemble in preparation for our tour next week. We leave tomorrow for the tour. We had a banquet dinner with Han Xiao’s family. His English is very good and speaks with an Australian sounding accent.
Still incredibly jet-lagged we woke up this morning and taught at the Sichuan Conservatory of Classical Music. From 9AM to 12PM I taught saxophone students in a master class format while Jody did the same with the horn studio in another room. This was the first time we’d done something outside of piano and saxophone. They were very excited to have Jody teach and she was very well received. When I finished teaching her class was still going. Then everyone wanted their picture with her.
My master class also went well. This is my third trip to teaching SCCM and I’m getting to know the students well. They are very dedicated and I enjoy teaching there.
Jody, Tang Di and I left for China on Monday, May 21st. We flew into Hong Kong and then got a flight to Chengdu. Tang’s parents and Mr. Li picked us up at the airport at 1:45PM. We went straight to his parent’s second home, an apartment in Chengdu. We relaxed at their beautiful high rise close to Sichuan Conservatory and the canal. Although very jet-lagged we took a walk to the canal park. We returned to the apartment for an incredible Sichuan dinner cooked by Tang’s father and mother. I’ve had a lot of great food in Sichuan and this was one of the best meals ever. They then took us to the hotel Philharmonic on campus and we slept like rocks.