The mother of a singer in the children’s choir wrote a moving and lively report of the UK tour, which I’ve translated into English and accompanied by photographs.  Enjoy!

 

陶妈手记之那年夏天英国行

Mummy Tao (Snow)’s record of our Summer travel in the UK

为了参加Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod(兰戈伦国际音乐节),Holloway Children’s Choir(霍洛韦童声合唱团)师生及家长一行55人,在指挥卢长剑老师和“经济人”周婷婷的带领下,从中国到英国,穿越8266公里,天津-伦敦-兰戈伦-牛津,历时16天,9场演出,2场比赛,2次大师课,3次快闪,21首中外歌曲(7种语言),开启了一次意义非凡的快乐之旅。

The fifty-five members of the Holloway Children’s Choir, including teachers, parents and students, under the guidance of conductor George Holloway and choir manager Zhou Tingting, travelled from China to the UK to take part in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.  It was   a journey of 8266km, taking in Tianjin, London, Llangollen and Oxford, lasting sixteen days, including nine performances, two competitions, three flashmobs, twenty-one Chinese and foreign choral works employing seven languages: thus began an extraordinarily meaningful and happy journey.

Day 1,29th June 2019  Tianjin-London

天津滨海国际机场,乘坐GS7965次航班,经停重庆,历时17小时,抵达伦敦Heathrow机场。

Tianjin Binhai International Airport.  We took flight GS7965, with a stop at Chongqing, journey time 17 hours, arriving at Heathrow airport.

我们在天津机场来了个漂亮的快闪,《大海啊故乡》和《茉莉花》飘荡在候机大厅。机场工作人员手持国旗,打出“祝福党98岁生日快乐”的条幅,与合唱团成员亲切合影。开启了我们“一言不合就快闪”、“一言不合就唱歌”的快乐旅行。

At Tianjin airport we sang a lovely flashmob performance: the sound of The Sea, Ah! My Hometown, and Jasmine Flower drifting through the departures hall.

合唱团经济人周婷婷老师也很不简单,她明明有一份数据分析师的全职工作,却能在业余时间担任合唱团的策划师、外交官、化妆师、翻谱师……当得了翻译,也扛得了乐器……这个甜美柔弱外表下的小女人,有着坚韧的内心和顽强的意志力。而且,周老师可是全程义务为合唱团服务的,不曾拿过一分钱的工资。

[Mummy Tao here included my biography].  The choir manager Zhou Tingting’s task was not easy too: while holding a full-time job as a data analyst, she was still able in her spare time to take on the roles of event planner, diplomat, make-up artist, page-turner…she could also translate, and carry instruments… this sweet delicate girl yet possesses a tenacious spirit and indomitable willpower.  What’s more, Teacher Zhou did not take a penny’s remuneration for being in the choir’s service during the entire trip.

 

Day 2,30th June 2019

同学们今天参观了Natural History Museum(自然历史博物馆),这座精美的新哥特式建筑内陈列着由350多名科学家收集的自然界中8000万份标本。在这里,你可以找到世界上最大的哺乳动物——蓝鲸的骨骼,也可以找寻人类所知的最早的鸟类——始祖鸟,当然,也可以在地震屋亲身体验一下地震发生时的状态……

On day two the students visited the Natural History Museum.  This exquisite neo-Gothic building houses 80 million specimens of the natural world, collected by 350 scientists.  Here you can find the skeleton of the world’s largest mammal, the blue whale, and the earliest known bird, archaeopteryx.  In the Earthquake Room you can also experience for yourself how it feels to be in an earthquake.

下午,孩子们在National Opera Studio进行了抵英以后的第一次排练,见到了传说中的Tom Green 和Sam Cave。

In the afternoon, the children held their first rehearsal since arriving in the UK at the National Opera Studio, and set eyes on the legendary Tom Green and Sam Cave.

 

Day3,1st July 2019  London-Wrexham

路上,我们参观了Chirk Castle(奇尔克城堡),一座位于Wrexham County(雷克瑟姆郡)壮丽的中世纪威尔士城堡,古老而静谧,周围的丘陵地带一片自然风光,牧场中羊群悠闲地吃着草,孩子们一下子被吸引,在绿草中尽情撒欢奔跑。蓝天、白云、绿草,时间一下子静止了……

On route, we visited Chirk Castle in Wrexham county, a majestic medieval Welsh castle, ancient and tranquil.  Hilly country surrounds the castle in a swathe of natural scenery, in the pastures are flocks of leisurely sheep eating grass: the children immediately liked it, frolicked and ran about to their heart’s delight on the green grass.  Blue sky, white clouds, green grass: time suddenly stood still.

我们的新成员Tom Green,他是我们合唱团委约的两首歌曲《The Owl》和《Who has seen the wind》的作者,此行他将担任我们的钢琴伴奏。这位大学期间的攀岩社团主席和孩子们一起爬树、游戏,又亲切又幽默,吸引了一众小粉丝。Tom Green是南安普敦大学音乐学士、作曲硕士毕业的,马上就要开始在苏格兰皇家音乐学院攻读作曲博士了。

Our new choir member, Tom Green, who was also commissioned to compose two pieces, The Owl and Who has seen the wind?, was our piano accompanist for this tour.  Tom- who was president of the Mountaineering club during his university years- would climb trees with the children and play games. He is cordial and humorous, and attracted a group of young fans.

晚上入住音乐节指定的Premier Inn,一家安静温馨的小酒店,环境和服务都令人满意。

In the evening we checked-in to the Premier Inn [in Gosford], a peaceful and cosy little hotel, with a satisfying environment and service.

 

Day4,2nd July 2019 Llangollen

Holloway Children’s Choir competes and performs at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

今天起,音乐节期间的活动就开始了。卢老师带着孩子们在修建于1897年的St John’s Church(圣约翰教堂)排练。卢老师青少年时期就是教堂唱诗班的成员。

The Eisteddfod’s activities all started today.  Teacher George led the children in a rehearsal in St John’s Church, which dates from 1897.

接下来,此行首秀走起,组委会安排孩子们在音乐节主舞台倾情献唱。

Next came the first show of our trip: the Eisteddfod’s committee arranged for the children to pour out their feelings in song on the Main Stage [in the Children’s Day Concert].

Holloway Children’s Choir: Llangollen TV (competition performances), Oxford and London Concerts

下午,在St Collen’s Parish Church(圣科伦教区教堂)演出。由于上一场演出的时间问题,我们迟到了。但所有观众都静静等候,没有人抱怨,没有人交头接耳。演出过程中,观众文明观看,没有人看手机,没有人拍照录相,掌声总是在适当的时候响起。演出结束后,热情的观众更是起立鼓掌,毫不吝啬地表达欣赏和谢意,并向家长们致意,称赞孩子们唱得好。

Afternoon: a performance in St Collen’s Parish Church.  Owing to the previous performance, we arrived late.  Yet the whole audience were quietly waiting, no one complained or whispered to their neighbor in dissatisfaction.  During the performance, the audience respectfully listened, no one looked at their phones, no one took photos or videos, the applause always sounded at the appropriate time.  At the end of the performance, this very warm audience even stood up to applaud; they were very generous in their expression of appreciation and gratitude, and moreover greeted the parents, praising the great singing of the children.

我们的卢老师将自己作曲的《赤壁》翻译成英文诗句,介绍给当天的观众。音乐与诗,是全人类的共同语言;卢老师和孩子们,成了中华文化的传播者。

Our Teacher George translated the lyrics of his own piece, Red Cliff, into English, and read them out for the audience that day.  Music and poetry is the universal language of humanity: Teacher George and the children took on the role of promoting Chinese culture.

 

 

Day5,3rd July 2019  Llangollen

今天是个重要的日子,孩子们在音乐节主舞台参加了A8(18岁以下组别)和A6(12岁以下组别)的2场比赛,我们是唯一一支参加两个组别比赛的童声合唱团。当地观众观看演出的文明程度之高、热情程度之高令人敬佩,总是抱以友善、赞美和微笑。

Today was an important day.  The children took part in the A8 “Junior Folk” (under 18 years old) and A6 “Children’s Choir” (under 12 years old) competitions classes on the Main Stage.  We were the only children’s choir to take part in two competitions.  Both the civilized manner and the enthusiasm with which the Llangollen audience watched the performances deeply impressed us: and it always came with friendliness, admiration and a smile.

最后的结果是——我们没有赢得比赛,竞争很激烈。但是,能从世界上一百多个合唱团中被选中来参加决赛,已经很幸运了,况且比赛的标准不是评定一个合唱团的唯一标准。能欣赏世界高水平合唱团的精彩表演,既是精神盛宴,也是动力之源。当然,我们也不妄自菲薄,我们合唱团的平均年龄最小,我们能唱的曲目更多,我们委约并首演过新作品,我们能用七个不同的语言唱歌,我们唱过藏族的民歌和英国中世纪的卡农。我们做得更有趣。

The final result was… we didn’t win the competition.  The competition was fierce.  Yet we were already lucky enough to have been chosen out of over one hundred choirs to take part in this stage of the competition, and besides, the competition criteria should not be the only criteria for judging a choir’s quality.  To be able to enjoy watching the superb performances of world-class choirs was like a sumptuous banquet for the soul, as well as a source of inspiration.  We certainly won’t do ourselves down: we were the choir with the lowest average age, yet we [probably!] have a larger repertoire, we have commissioned and premiered new compositions, we can sing in seven different languages and dialects, we’ve sung Tibetan folk songs and medieval English canons.  We do something interesting as a choir.

 

比赛结束后,卢老师和孩子们接受了当地电视台的采访。

After the competition, Teacher George and the children were interviewed by local TV.

下午,我们的Tippett班(挑战班)9位同学,在音乐节Amphitheatre Stage(圆形剧场舞台)进行了表演。

In the afternoon, nine members of our “challenge” class, Tippett class, performed at the Eisteddfod’s Amphitheatre Stage.

让陶妈最深刻的一件事,是主舞台的一支特殊合唱团的演唱。你能想像吗?他们是老年人、残疾人、智障人士、甚至还有聋哑人的组合,他们表演看得陶妈热泪盈眶。此时你能最深刻地感受到合唱的魅力和意义。

Mummy Tao was especially struck by an unusual performance on the Main Stage of a choir consisting of elderly, physically and mentally disabled, and even deaf and dumb people.  As Mummy Tao watched, her eyes filled with tears.  This just showed you the power and meaning of choral singing.

 

音乐节期间负责接待我们团的Alison女士非常敬业,时间观念极强,事无巨细地安排好我们的每一项行程,并在孩子们得知没有拿奖时送上大大的拥抱。

During our time at the Eisteddfod, our minder was a lady called Alison, who took her job extremely seriously.  She kept very strict control on time, and organized every aspect of our travels both big and small.  When the children learnt that they hadn’t won a prize, she gave them big hugs all round.

回到酒店,放下紧张和疲惫,卢老师和周老师带孩子们在旁边的草地踢足球、做游戏,老爸老妈们在大树下喝啤酒。英国的夏天日落很晚,我们疯玩到晚上10点,所有人度过了最放松愉快的一晚。五十几个人,那场面……@“左爸不去”、@“陶爸不去”你们后悔不去吗?

We returned to the hotel and forgot our stress and exhaustion.  Teacher George and Teacher Zhou took the children to a nearby park to play football and play games, while the mums and dads sat under the shade of a large tree and drank beer.  During the English summer the sun sets very late; we played happily until 10pm, and thus everybody passed our most relaxed and happy evening.

 

Day6,4th July 2019  Chester & Llangollen

我们参观了Chester Church(切斯特教堂),在征得工作人员同意的情况下,孩子们临时又来了一把“快闪”,一首《The Lord bless you and keep you》,唱得倒是有点Choir(唱诗班)的味道。

We visited Chester Cathedral, and after our asking permission of a member of staff, the children sang an impromptu “flashmob”, singing Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You.  We got the sense of how a true cathedral choir sounds.

之后,我们在Storyhouse进行一场新歌发布会。“文化大使”卢老师把自己作曲的世界首部儿童歌剧《曹冲称象》介绍给观众。

Next up was our performance of new compositions for choir at the Storyhouse.  Teacher George (our “cultural Maestro”) presented his own unique “opera for children’s choir”, Cao Chong Weighs the Elephant.

Storyhouse是一个集图书馆、咖啡馆、餐厅、小剧场于一体的场所,经常会有各种演出。在英国,无论是偏远的村镇,还是繁华的都市,各类演出是市民最普遍的业余文化生活。

Storyhouse is at once a library, a café, a restaurant, and a small performance space, which often has lots of different performances.  In the UK, no matter whether it be in a remote town or a busy metropolis, attending performances of all kinds is a normal part of the inhabitants’ cultural life and free-time.

晚上,我们回到音乐节,这里进行了一场世界国旗游行,来自44个国家的代表高举国旗步入主舞台,场面热烈,看到五星红旗出场,我们激动得鼓掌欢呼。大会主席呼吁人们用歌声表达爱,呼吁我们不要忘记,这世界还有疾病和战争。

In the evening, we returned to the Eisteddfod, and took part in the Parade of Nations.  Representatives from 44 different countries lifting high their countries’ flags processed onto the stage.  It was an animated spectacle, and when we saw the red flag with the five stars, we excitedly clapped and cheered.  The President of the Eisteddfod [Terry Waite] called upon everyone to use singing to express love, but also called on us not to forget that this world also contains war and suffering.

 

Day7,5th July 2019  Corwen & Llangollen

上午,组委会安排了合唱团在World Stage(世界音乐舞台)演出。

Morning: the festival organisers scheduled a performance of the choir on the World Stage.

之后,安排了此行的一场公益活动,赶往Corwen的Cysgod Y Gaer老人院进行慰问演出。阳光和煦,老人们在院子里边晒太阳,边欣赏孩子们的表演。演出结束后,贴心的工作人员送上了自制的甜品和饮料。

Afterwards the Eisteddfod organized an “outreach” performance at Corwen’s Cysgod Y Gaer nursing home.  The elderly inhabitants sat on the lawn, taking in the warm sunshine and listening to the children’s performance.  At the end of the performance, the members of staff thoughtfully provided hand-made snacks and drinks.

今天有个小意外,成为后来行程中常被大家欢快地提起,那就是——我们丢“大人”了。在去Cysgod Y Gaer老人院的车上,我们发现少了一位爸爸,而他的儿子很淡定地坐在车上,就像平时在舞台上一样沉稳。这位可爱的老爸,就在音乐节上吃着冰淇淋耐心等我们吧。

Today something unexpected happened, which subsequently everyone often joked about: we lost an adult!  On the coach on the way to Cysgod Y Gaer Nursing Home, we realized that we were short of a father, and yet his son was happily sitting on the coach—as calmly as he always appears on the stage.  This lovely father patiently waited for us at the festival ground, eating ice cream.

下午4:30点,音乐节的高潮来了,来自世界上44个国家的队伍在Llangollen小镇上举行International Parade(国际游行)。各国队伍载歌载舞,场面热烈,当地电视台全程报道。卢老师高举中国国旗,带领孩子们走在游行队伍中,孩子们的红色团服与蓝天白云绿树交相辉映。周老师和妈妈们也穿起民族服装——旗袍。当地居民和周边赶来的群众夹道欢迎,每支队伍经过,都会收到掌声、欢呼声,并互相致意。中国驻英国大使馆参赞于芃先生莅临游行现场,和卢老师亲切交谈。

The climax of the Eisteddfod came at 4:30pm, when groups from 44 different countries participated in the International Parade around the small town of Llangollen.  Each group sang and danced in a lively spectacle which was covered in its entirety by local TV.  Teacher George held aloft the Chinese flag, led the children in the parade, while the red choir costumes worn by the children were set off by the blue sky, white clouds and green trees.  Teacher Zhou and the Mums all wore traditional costume: the qipao.  The local residents and people who came specially from the surrounding area all crowded the streets in welcome, and as each group passed by they would all cheer and applaud; greetings were exchanged all round.  Mr. Yu Peng, cultural attaché to the Chinese embassy in the UK, was in attendance at the Parade; Teacher George had a cordial chat with him.

 

Day8,6th July 2019  North Wales

Snowdon Mountain(斯诺登山),是英格兰和威尔士境内的最高山峰,全英国第二高山峰,海拔1085米,地处Snowdonia National Park(斯诺多尼亚国家公园)内。此次我们选择了一个轻松愉快的登山方式——Snowdon Mountain Railway(登山小火车)。小火车从Gorsaf Llanberis Station出发,全程往返两个半小时(包含山顶停留的半小时),途中是视野比较辽阔的山景,今天赶上我们在英国唯一的一个雨天,细雨霏霏,云雾缭绕,别有一番风味。

At 1085m high, Mount Snowdon is England and Wales’ tallest mountain, and the second tallest peak in the UK.  It is located in the Snowdonia National Park.  This time we chose a cheerful and relaxed method of going up the mountain: we took the Snowdon Mountain Railway.  The small train set off from Gorsaf Llanberis Station.  The whole trip up and down took two and a half hours, including a half-hour stop at the summit.  On the journey up we got to see an extensive mountain landscape, but today it happened to be the one rainy day of our trip: light drizzle, cloud and mist enveloped us.

 

幽默的Tom说,这是全欧洲最“快”的小火车。途中如有羊经过,小火车就会停车礼让。

Tom humorously informed us that this was the fastest train in all of Europe.  Should we encounter a sheep along the way, the train would stop to allow it to cross.

 

卢老师没有乘坐上山的小火车,他选择了徒步登山。平时热爱健身和跳舞的卢老师果然好身手,当我们的小火车到达山顶车站的时候,卢老师已经在那里等我们了。

Teacher George did not take the little mountain railway, but chose to hike up on foot.  Teacher George normally likes to go to the gym and dance, so he proved quite agile enough, and by the time our little train had got to the station at the summit, Teacher George was already waiting for us.

登顶后,英国之行的第三次“快闪”,在绵绵细雨中演唱了一首陈怡的《槐花何时开》。

Once on the summit, we held the third “flashmob” of our British journey: in the non-stop drizzle, we sang Chen Yi’s “When will the scholartree blossom?” [appropriately, from the Five Chinese Mountain Songs].

从Snowdon回酒店的路上,卢老师特意让司机师傅走沿海公路,让我们有机会欣赏一下威尔士的海。

On the way back to the hotel from Snowdon, Teacher George specially asked the coach driver to take the ocean road, so we could enjoy the view of the Welsh sea.

 

下午继续回到音乐节,一支来自苏格兰的电音摇滚乐队,让陶妈听到了向往已久的苏格兰风笛。

In the evening we went back to the festival, and a Scottish rock group gave Mummy Tao the chance to hear the Scottish bagpipes which she had longed to hear for so long.

 

晚上是世界之合唱大奖赛的颁奖晚会,以中国南少林的中国功夫开场,掌声欢呼声震天。之后世界各顶级合唱团的精彩演出让人大饱耳福;威尔士人的竖琴组合,将古典乐器加入现代混音元素,配上空灵的人声,优美极了;北爱尔兰的踢踏舞掀起了晚会的高潮。

In the evening was the final of the “Choir of the World”, which started with the South Shaolin Temple’s performance of Chinese Kungfu, which elicited thunderous applause.  Listening to outstanding performances from world-class choirs filled us with joy; Catrin Finch’s combination of classical harp and electronic music and recorded speech was exquisite; a Northern Irish dance group brought the evening to a climax.

 

Day9,7th July 2019  Bicester Village

离开Llangollen,经过三个小时的车程,来到传说中的Bicester Village(比斯特购物村),160余家店铺,Mountain people, mountain sea,你懂的,仿佛全世界人民都跑来血拼了。

We left Llangollen, and after a three-hour coach drive arrived at the legendary Bicester Village: 160 outlets, “Mountain people, mountain sea”, you get the idea [Mummy Tao wrote this unusual phrase in English—in any case we can indeed get the idea].  It looked at as if all the peoples of the world had hurried here to shop.

 

Day10,8th July 2019  Oxford

今天的行程都在牛津,University of Oxford(牛津大学)是英语世界中最古老的大学,其在数学、物理、医学、法学、商学等多个领域拥有崇高的学术地位及广泛的影响力,被公认为是当今世界最顶尖的高等教育机构之一。牛津也是我们的指挥卢老师的母校。

Today’s itinerary centred around Oxford.  The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, where all sorts of subjects such as mathematics, physics, medicine, law and business [and many more- including music, and of course classics, which Teacher George had studied], enjoy an illustrious academic reputation and far-reaching influence.

 

我们参观了Christ Church(牛津大学基督堂学院),它既是牛津大学最大的学院之一,也是英国圣公会的大教堂。

We visited Christ Church college, one of the largest of the Oxford colleges, which contains within it an Anglican cathedral.

接下来参观Bodleian Liabrary(博德利图书馆),该馆位于大学城中心,是牛津大学最主要的公共图书馆,也是仅次于大英图书馆的第二大英国图书馆。

Next we visited the Bodleian Library, right at the heart of this university city, and Oxford University’s principal library, and the second largest library in the UK after the British Library.

晚上,我们在牛津的Wadham College Holywell Music Room——欧洲最古老的有特定用途的音乐厅进行了英国之行最长的一场演出,来自伦敦、牛津等五个城市的忠实朋友和Sam Cave都给了很高的评价。本场演出在牛津官网也有预告。

In the evening, we performed our longest concert of the UK tour, in the oldest purpose-built concert hall in Europe, the Holywell Music Room (administered by Wadham College).  Friends from London, Leeds, Cheltenham, Bristol, and Oxford, including the composer Sam Cave, came to listen, and warmly praised our performance.  The concert was also advertised on the Oxford Daily Info website.

 

Day11,9th July 2019  London

Brunel Museum Thames Tunnel(布鲁内尔博物馆泰晤士河隧道)演出。泰晤士河隧道是第一条采用盾构技术挖掘的隧道,它是一个重要的里程碑。在19世纪早期,泰晤士河隧道绝对算得上是一件新颖的事物,游客必须付费方可通过或进入隧道参观。盾构技术的创始人就是布鲁内尔博物馆所要纪念的著名工程师布鲁内尔,他曾在尚未完工的泰晤士河隧道内举办音乐会和宴会,而彼时的场地正是我们今天这次音乐会的举办场地。演出间隙偶尔听得见地铁经过的声音,说明隧道至今还在使用,这隆隆声也给我们的演出增添了别样的味道。

The Brunel Museum Thames Tunnel concert.  The Thames tunnel was the first tunnel constructed using caisson technology, an important engineering milestone.  In the early 19th century, the Thames tunnel was undoubtedly a novel creation.  Travelers would have to pay a fee to travel through or visit the tunnel.  Caisson technology was invented by the figure commemorated by this very museum, [Isambard Kingdom] Brunel, who in fact once organized a concert and a banquet inside the tunnel before its construction was completed—and so it was the venue for our performance today as well.  During the performance it was possible to hear the sound of the Underground trains passing underneath, proof that the tunnel is used even today.  The rumble added an extra flavour to our performance.

今天的音乐会卢老师又采用了新的尝试,让孩子们从隧道上面的楼梯边走边唱走下来,声音和光的效果都特别好。而《嘎达梅林》的蒙古族长调部分依然由卢老师演唱,这是英国之行卢老师第三次献声,唱出了蒙古草原的高远悠长。

In today’s concert, Teacher George tried out something new, getting the children to sing while walking down the spiral staircase into the tunnel, the effect of both the sound and the light was great.  During the Mongolian mountain song Gada Meilin Teacher George once again performed the Long Song solo [a traditional Mongolian folk singing style, also called Urtiin duu ].  This was Teacher George’s third solo of the tour, capturing in his singing the lofty expanses of the Mongolian Steppe.

 

Day12,10th July 2019  London

今天在Studios of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art(皇家戏剧艺术学院工作室)有两场精彩的大师课。

Today we participated in two outstanding masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

 

第一场由Sam Cave授课,他是南安普敦音乐学士,皇家音乐专科学院吉他、作曲双专业毕业,现任布鲁内尔大学吉他教师、以及音乐理论基础课和艺术中心音乐会系列的组织者。Sam一边教书一边兼职读博士,即将完成布鲁内尔大学的作曲博士。Sam也是我们合唱团委约的《Who has seen the wind》的曲作者。

The first masterclass was led by Sam Cave.  He studied his Bachelors at Southampton, and his Masters at the Royal College of Music (majoring jointly in guitar and composition).  He is currently teaches guitar and music theory at Brunel University, and curator of the concert series at the university arts centre. He is juggling teaching and part-time study, and is soon to complete a PhD in composition at Brunel University.

Sam向同学们展示、讲解了吉它的特点和弹奏技巧,还介绍了不同时期、不同国家的吉它曲目。

Sam demonstrated and explained the characteristics of the guitar and its performance techniques, and shared two guitar pieces from two different time periods and countries.

 

Sam解开了陶妈心中的疑惑:为什么选用英国著名诗人Thomas Hardy的诗作为歌词?为什么“When I came back from Lyonesse with magic in my eyes”( 当我从莱恩内斯回来时,眼中充满了魔法)?因为Sam认为这是一首一下能让人联想到英国的诗,有一种英格兰的民族感、神秘感。Lyonesse是King Arthur(亚瑟王)的家乡,就在Sam的家乡康沃尔郡旁边,相比伦敦的繁华与繁忙,莱恩内斯的美景和宁静,更能让人放松。他也解答了孩子们的问题,让大家了解了伴奏中除了钢琴,还使用了镜音铃和响板的原因,是为了增加乐曲的神秘感和仪式感。而采用念白的原因是想表达从Lyonesse回来的路上,诗人内心的变化。

Sam solved one of Mummy Tao’s perplexities: why did he use a poem by the distinguished English poet Thomas Hardy as the text for his composition?  Why choose [When I set out for Lyonesse]?  Because this is a poem that can instantly make people think of Britain, it has a sort English folkloric feel and a sense of mystery.  Lyonesse was King Arthur’s native county, located [according to myth] off the South-West coast of Cornwall, Sam’s own birthplace.  Compared to the hustle and bustle of London, Lyonesse [and Cornwall!] embodies a beautiful and peaceful landscape where people can seek freedom from care.  Sam also answered the children’s question as to why he chose to use crotales and rin accompaniment along with the piano: it is to increase the music’s sense of mystery and ritual.  Moreover, he used recitation to express the change in the poet’s mental state that occurred after his return from Lyonesse.

 

之后, Sam吉它伴奏,卢老师倾情演唱了两首1597年出版的歌曲,《Can she excuse my wrongs》、《Come again sweet love》。卢老师,你是想表达对周老师的爱吗?还是想表达对牛津那场演出前排练惹周老师生气的歉意?

Sam then provided guitar accompaniment to Teacher George, who poured heart and soul into two pieces [by John Dowland] published in 1597, Can she excuse my wrongs, and Come again, sweet Love.  Teacher George, are you expressing your love for Teacher Zhou? Or expressing regret for making her angry during our rehearsal for the Oxford concert?

 

第二场大师课Ruth Hopkins带着她的四重唱(由Ruth组建的Highfield Ensemble合唱团的四个声部代表)授课,Ruth是牛津大学萨默维尔学院音乐学士,皇家霍洛韦大学民族音乐学硕士,伯明翰皇家音乐学院声乐硕士。现在是自由演奏者、声乐老师,也是国民托管组织的推动作曲家埃尔加的代表,同时也是一位音乐治疗师。Ruth的大师课全程互动,现场又唱又跳,孩子们在极高的参与度中学到了音乐知识,简直high翻了。

In the second masterclass, Ruth Hopkins led her quartet (formed from members of the Highfield Ensemble, with one singer on each part).  Ruth studied her Bachelors in music at Somerville College, Oxford, her Masters in ethnomusicology at the University of Royal Holloway, and Masters in vocal performance at Birmingham Conservatory of Music.  She is now a free-lance singer and singing teacher, and also the National Trust’s Elgar Ambassador, as well as a music therapist.  Ruth’s masterclass was interactive all the way through, with games involving singing and dancing.  The children got deeply involved in the activities and learnt much about music in the process—they were in extremely high spirits.

 

下午的大师课结束后,我们与Ruth到旁边的Russell Square(罗素广场)拍合影。接下来画风突变,卢老师突然宣布他下学期要去台湾工作,不能再担任合唱团的指挥了,但他说以后的寒假和暑假,可以给孩子们举办合唱的冬令营和夏令营。消息太突然,现场一片沉默,接下来孩子都哭了。陶妈提示孩子们,“快去拥抱一下卢老师吧!”孩子们一拥而上,将卢老师团团围住,紧紧拥抱在中间,久久不肯松开。场面让卢老师这个工作中的硬汉也不禁泪目,旁边的周老师和妈妈们也纷纷落泪。

At the end of the masterclass, the choir and Ruth went to the nearby Russell Square to take group photos.  And then, an abrupt change of mood: Teacher George suddenly announced that next term he was moving to Taiwan for work, and would not be able to continue conducting the choir.  He said in future he would be able to teach Winter and Summer courses.  The news was too sudden; a sombre scene ensued; and then the children all started to cry.  Mummy Tao encouraged the children, “Quickly go and give Teacher George a hug!”  The children rushed forward in a crowd and completely enveloped Teacher George, holding him in a tight embrace, and for a long time wouldn’t let go.  In this situation, Teacher George, who usually in his work is so self-disciplined, could not help from crying, while Teacher Zhou and the mothers stood nearby, one-by-one letting the tears fall.

在回酒店的大巴上,孩子们提前商量好了,卢老师一上车他们就唱歌,将《The Lord bless you and keep you》和《Devotion》送给卢老师作为告别歌曲。硬汉卢老师再次红了眼眶。

The children made a plan that on the journey back to the hotel, as soon as Teacher George got on the coach, they would sing two songs for him in farewell, The Lord Bless You and Keep You [by John Rutter], and Devotion [by Richard Strauss].  Once again, the usually self-disciplined Teacher George had moist eyes.

 

Day13,11th July 2019  London

今天开始的行程,卢老师周老师就不再跟着大家了。早餐后卢老师来大巴车和大家道别,孩子们哭声一片,贴心的司机Steve忙给孩子们递纸巾。Steve平时话不多,但开车技术平稳,不辞辛苦帮我们搬行礼箱,也从不抱怨。

From the start of today’s itinerary, Teacher George and Teacher Zhou wouldn’t be traveling with us.  After breakfast, Teacher George came on the coach and said farewell to everyone, and the children all wept.  The coach driver Steve thoughtfully busied about handing the children tissues.

 

British Museum(大英博物馆)成立于1753年,1759年1月15日起正式对公众开放,是世界上历史最悠久、规模最宏伟的综合性博物馆,也是世界上规模最大、最著名的世界四大博物馆之一。博物馆收藏了世界各地的许多文物、珍品,还有很多伟大科学家的手稿,藏品之丰富、种类之繁多,为全世界博物馆所罕见。我们请了讲解,三个小时仍意犹未尽。

The British Museum was established in 1753, and open its doors to the public on January 15th 1759.  It is the world’s oldest and grandest museum, and numbers among the four largest and most famous museums in the world.

 

下午安排了Oxford Street购物时间,世界上大城市的购物街都是一样一样一样的啊。

The afternoon was reserved for shopping time on Oxford Street.  The shopping streets of the world’s large cities are all alike really.

 

Day14,12th July 2019  London

今天,途经The Buckingham Palace(白金汉宫)时偶遇皇家卫队换岗,今天王宫挂的是英国国旗,说明女王不在此处。

Today we passed Buckingham Palace and managed to catch the changing of the guard.  Today the palace was flying the UK flag, which indicates that the Queen was not in residence.

 

之后,我们乘坐Thames River Cruises(泰晤士河游船),Thames River是英国著名的“母亲”河,全长346公里,横贯英国首都伦敦与沿河的10多座城市。40分钟的船程,一位大叔全程讲解,介绍泰晤士河两岸的建筑和历史,The House of Parliament(国会大厦)、Big Ben(大本钟)、St Paul’s Cathedral(圣保罗大教堂)、Tate Modern Gallery(泰特现代艺术馆)、The Tower of London(伦敦塔)、Shakespeare’s Globe(莎士比亚环球剧院)、Tower Bridge(塔桥)等尽收眼底。

We then boarded the Thames River Cruise.  The River Thames is the UK’s famous “mother river”, 346km in length, traversing the UK’s capital city London, and also passing ten other riverside cities.  A man provided commentary for the 40-minute journey, pointing out the buildings and history on the two banks, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern Gallery, The Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Tower Bridge and everything the eye could see.

 

下午用两个小时参观了The National Gallery(国家美术馆)。The National Gallery成立于1824年,目前收藏了从13世纪至19世纪的2300幅作品。扬·凡·埃克的《阿尔诺非尼夫妇像》、桑德罗·波提切利的《维纳斯与战神》、达芬奇的《岩间圣母》、蒂埃哥·委拉士开兹的《镜前的维纳斯》等名画在此展出,但梵高的只看到了《两只螃蟹》,很遗憾《向日葵》出去巡展,今日不在馆内。

In the afternoon we set aside two hours to visit the National Gallery. It was built in 1824, and it contains 2300 paintings dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries.  Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Alessandro Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks, Diego Velasquez’s Rockeby Venus and other famous paintings were all on display, but among Van Gogh’s works we could only see Two Crabs, sadly his Sunflowers was on tour, and so today is was not in the museum.

 

Day15,13th July 2019  London

Windsor Castle(温莎城堡)位于英格兰东南部,目前是英国王室温莎王朝的家族城堡,也是现今世界上有人居住的城堡中最大的一个。现任的英国女王伊丽莎白二世每年有相当多的时间在温莎城堡度过,在这里进行国家或是私人的娱乐活动。今天Windsor Castle挂着金色的皇室旗帜,我们判断,女王今天在城堡内。今天也很幸运,赶上了上午11:30的皇家卫队换岗。

Windsor Castle is situated in the South East of England, and is currently the home of the Windsors, the Royal Family.  It is one of the largest inhabited castles in the world.  The current Queen Elizabeth II spends a large amount of time at Windsor Castle each year, and conducts state business or enjoys personal time here.  Today Windsor Castle was flying the golden-coloured Royal standard, from which we surmised that the Queen was in the castle today.  We were very lucky to catch the 11:30am changing of the royal guard.

 

午饭后,我们徜徉温莎小镇的河岸边,欣赏白天鹅优雅的姿态,据说泰晤士河里的天鹅都归女王大人所有。

After lunch we roamed leisurely along the small town of Windsor’s river bank, and admired the swans elegantly swimming—it is said that all the swans on the Thames belong to the Queen.

 

晚上,卢老师来Heathrow机场与孩子们依依惜别。再见了卢老师,我们期待着冬令营和夏令营。

In the evening, Teacher George came to Heathrow airport, and bid a sad farewell to the children.  Goodbye Teacher George, we look forward to the Winter and Summer courses.

 

Day16,14th July 2019 Tianjin

北京时间21:30,合唱团抵达天津滨海国际机场,结束本次愉快旅程。

The choir arrived at Binhai International Airport in Tianjin at 9:30pm, and so ended our happy travels.

天下没有不散的宴席,就算有再多不舍,仍要依依惜别。一趟旅行,让孩子们增长了见识,提高了水平,也让老师们、孩子们、家长们成了相亲相爱的一家人。有歌声相伴的人生是快乐的。期待我们的合唱团有更美好的明天!

There are no endless feasts under heaven: no matter how much you wish it otherwise, there will still be reluctant farewells.  It was a tour that enriched the children’s knowledge, raised their level, and also allowed the teachers, children and parents to become a loving and intimate family.  Life is happy when accompanied by singing.  I look forward to an even lovelier future for our choir!