While traveling in China with The Concordia Band in May, Sarah Olson '15 was eager to interact with Chinese students.
While traveling in China with The Concordia Band in May, Sarah Olson '15, Eagan, Minn., was eager to interact with Chinese students.
So when Olson heard that some high school students wanted to try playing band instruments, she immediately volunteered to teach a clarinet lesson.
"I wanted to speak with them, get to know them and share my love of music with them," says Olson, a music education major.
The band was the featured ensemble at an annual celebration of the arts festival at Chongqing's Number 30 high school, considered to be one of the best schools in China.
"The students gave us such an awesome reception, we felt like rock stars," Olson says. "The festival was a pretty big deal. The student singers and dancers wore a lot of colorful costumes."
After the concert, some band members worked one-on-one with curious students who came up on stage. One girl made a beeline for Olson.
"It was very clear right away that she wanted to try playing my clarinet," Olson says. "She was so surprised by how difficult it was to make a sound come out of it, but I think she really enjoyed our little lesson. We could understand each other fairly well, and she did OK for her first time with a clarinet."
Olson says the girl was proud of her country and was curious to hear what impressions Cobbers had of China.
"She thought we were really cool, good musicians, and she was so happy that we had come to her school to play for them," Olson says. "One of my favorite memories of China is remembering how interested those students were in us. I really enjoyed our opportunities to interact with them."