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!
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
Tianjin Binhai International Airport. We took flight GS7965, with a stop at Chongqing, journey time 17 hours, arriving at Heathrow airport.
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.
[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.
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
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.
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].
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.
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
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.
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.
After the competition, Teacher George and the children were interviewed by local TV.
In the afternoon, nine members of our “challenge” class, Tippett class, performed at the Eisteddfod’s Amphitheatre Stage.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
We visited Christ Church college, one of the largest of the Oxford colleges, which contains within it an Anglican cathedral.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
The choir arrived at Binhai International Airport in Tianjin at 9:30pm, and so ended our happy travels.
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!