Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bands of America Championship - Indianpolis

I had the privilege of watching over 40 + marching bands that performed at the BOA Championship over the November weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, and it was just AMAZING!  For those who doesn't know what BOA is, it stand for Bands of America.  This event brings the best high school marching band field show from all over America to perform in one stadium, and at the end of the 3 day event it comes down to one finalist.

I have never been in a band before, and never attended extra summer camps to sharpen my skill in marching, but at the end of this performance I was jealous of these performers and actually wanted to go back in time and do all those.  I remember sitting there in the stadium among supporters of varies marching band, it's amazing watching a mothers, fathers, and siblings devotion to their performer.  I sat right next to a father of a performer from Lawrence Township High School, who after a whole day of work came right away to support their child, and he said if their group is selected among the semifinalist they will have to wake up early on Sunday and do it all over again.  He said these kids will be lucky if they get 5 hours of sleep each night during the time they are at BOA, then he went on to describe to me (a novice in marching) all the work that went in to build their "The Green Table" theme and all the areas the judges are looking for in the competition.  He was very knowledgeable and very interested in sharing all this information, and while he is talking to me you could see the joy in his tired eyes and the proud in his voice for his kids achievements....and yes they did enter into the semi finalist and 12 place in the finalist competition.  And I bet it's joy like that that makes been a parent so rewarding, to see your kids making amazing achievements and have goals to get to that point. 

Several times through out the competition I felt like I was at a football or baseball game, with group cheers created by the parents that echo across to the performer during their entrance to the stadium, or collaborated shirt design worn by all the supporting parents, or flags and objects to wave and show their school support.  I saw a lady wore this beautiful jacket full of rhinestones that said "Mother of ..........Marching Band", she said she and a group of other performing mothers one day just decided to make a jacket.  And another group that created a light up torch with Christmas lights to support their child, now they are sitting in the nose bleed section so I'm not sure if their child could see it from the stadium, but the heart and effort these parents devoted to their kids were beautiful to see. 

If you ever have a chance to stop by Indianapolis during the time of BOA Championship, I would encourage you to see it at least once in your life time.  Even if you are like this lady who lived locally in Indianapolis; I meet an older couple in the nose bleed section, and after talking about our instinct to want to jump at that height (it was a joke since we don't want to) she asked me which team I was rooting for, and at which she said "I'm neutral since I don't have any team I'm rooting for". 

My take on all this, when I have kids, I'm signing them up for marching band!!!

Result of 2014 BOA Championship
1st place:  Tarpon Spring High School from Florida "Man vs Machine"
Note: I think they got 3 awards in a row, you should have seen their mini performance for receiving their award, it was so cute.  I personally guessed they were going to win the finals before it was announced...and I was right:)
2nd place: Broken Arrow High School
Note: The clever ways performers maneuver props was shown in this performance, where a person came out from the mouth of an image.  
3rd place: Avon High School
Note: I thought the theme of the moth drawn to the flame was very interesting, I could see the flame all the way up in the stadium so it was beautifully done. 

Below are some pictures I took of the performances, if I didn't take a picture of a particular group doesn't mean I didn't like them, I just didn't have a chance or I was so intoned to the performance I forgot about it. 

 This is a group from Ohio called the Eagle Band from Bellbrook High School "Paris Sketches", I wanted to send a shot out to these guys cause they stayed in a hotel next to me.  They entered into the semi finalist.  Good Job guys!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Youtube clips of China

I recently went to China, and I took some interesting clips along the way.  Hope you will enjoy.

A view inside a Chinese apartment

                  View of the country side from the train in China

                       Chinese Dishes

                           Narrow street in a typical alley in China

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pioneer High School gets a visit from a school they visited in China

Our end goals at CACBC is to create friendship between America and China, even if the only lives we touches are the kids in bands, choirs and orchestras. 

Today I am overwhelmed with happiness knowing one of our past schools (Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor Michigan) have done just that.  Their band traveled to China in 2009 under the direction of David Leach, and on that 10 day tour to Beijing and Tianjin, they visited a Tianjin High School as part of their cultural exchange.  Five years later they have continued that friendship through their cultural exchange, and have brought a student delegate from that school to come and visit Pioneer High School. 

It's moments like this that makes what I do so worth it.  To create friendship across continents, to create endless possibilities for what could be achieved.  It makes me so proud of them, so honored to have brought them together.  I wish these two schools good luck in their networking, and their ventures together. 


Here is some of their pictures while in China. 
Fun picture shot at the Forbidden City

Performance at the Tianjin Unversity

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


One of the many favorite food eaten during the Chinese New Year is the Chinese Dumpling.  Chinese dumpling is just like anyother dumpling, it has a outside skin that holds in the filling inside.  The fillings consist of meat, vegetable, or a combination. 

Every time I travel to China or goes to Chinatown in the states, I always try to get some sort of dumpling.  I love a home made dumplings, the taste and the feeling of eating it just makes me so happy.  Some of my most cherished memories were of getting together with my family and putting fillings inside dumpling skin.  I remember looking up at my mom putting in the ingredients, then when it's ready for me to put it on the skin, I would be more than happy to help.  Perhaps it's those memories that makes me want to continue this tradition, which I will pass on to my kids. 

Back in the days before restaurants and frozen food were created, dumplings were made only on special occasions such as Chinese New Year.  But today because everyone is busy, most people just buys them from the grocery store or from restaurants. 

Today when I woke up, I knew I had to eat a dumpling.  I had a dream I was eating dumplings, and when I woke up I told myself I have to eat it even if I had to make it from scratch.  Which is exactly what I did.  I made Pork and Chive dumpling, one of my favorites.  I didn't have a recipe with measurement, instead I just throw a pinch of this and a batch of that.  The taste was kind of blend.  I believe I didn't use enough salt, soy sauce and sesame oil, because the taste was dry and blend.  So for my next batch I added more of those along with onion, and it tasted wonderful. 

Here is a photo collage for you to see the process of making my dumplings.  Clockwise from top left:  Ingredients (although I did add onion and sesame oil), mixing everything in a bowl(except for the egg, the egg yoke is useless but the whites is used to stick the dumpling skin together), putting filling inside the dumpling skin and kneeing the edges together, then boil it till it's cooked.  You can mix any number of sauces to dip your dumplings in, it all depends on what your taste buds like.  For example I like the vinegar taste, so i mixed soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil for mine.  

Until next time, I'm going to go eat some more!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Asia Radio

For those who have an Ipad I wanted to share with you an amazing App I just discovered.  It is called "Asia Radio".  Asia Radio broadcast radio stations in Asia, countries such as Korea, China, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore & Malaysia, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.  I have been listening to the China radio stations, and even favorite some of the ones I liked.  I understand Chinese so I don't have any problem listening to any of the radio stations, but for those who don't understand there are still music stations you could listen to.  You just have to play around and see which ones you like. 

I started listening to the follow if you like to check it out.  But if you are listening in the day time just know that you might not get the regular broadcast because China is 14 hours ahead of us, so they are sleeping.

BBCWS: Live News and Information
94.0: Tangshan Music Radio 94.0
94.8: Suzhou Music Radio 94.8
603: Shaanxi Story Radio 603
711: Zhengzhou Economics Radio 711

Have fun listening!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!!

Happy New Year!! I hope 2014 will bring all of you Happiness, love, luck and Health. 

Here is just some of our cherished moments in our past Educational and Performance tours to China
CACBC Guides holding a tour flag with our logo
CACBC Tour guide leading our Retired Educators Tour in China

Our Director being honored with a gift to remember their performance tour by
Mountain View High School Marching Band in 2003
Maryland Youth Orchestra performing in a concert hall in 2002
New Trier High School Orchestra and Jazz Band hanging out with Chinese students at a school cultural exchange in 2000
New Trier High School Orchestra and Jazz Band waving to a whole stadium full of audiences in 2000
Pioneer High School Band performing in 2010

Catalina Foothill High School Marching Band Performing on the Great Wall of China in 2008

Catalina Foothill High School Marching Band Performing on the Great Wall of China in 2008

Catalina Foothill High School Marching Band Performing at the Forbidden City in 2008

Friday, December 27, 2013

Did you know (2)

-       Is the most populous country in the world: 1.3 billion
 -  Geography: World’s fourth largest country
-      Capital: Beijing
-      Has 56 ethnic groups: 5.2 billion population are Han
-    Putonghua, or Mandarin is the official spoken language
-       Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian, Muslim
-       Time Zone: UTC +8
-       Currency: Chinese Yuan (Renminbi).  As of December 2013: One Dollar = 6.07 Yuan
-       China is the 3rmost visited country besides France and USA
-       China GDP Growth is 7.8%.  USA is 2.2%