Audition and recruitment tour in Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Here we go again! I am excited to represent the IC School of Music on this year's USA Schools of Music Asian Audition Tour. My fellow travel companions--whom I will reference from time to time--will be Mike Manderin from Oberlin, David Lane from Peabody, Shaun Ramsay from Boston University, and Amy Anderson from Manhattan School of Music. For the mainland China portion of the trip, Matthew Ardizzone from Eastman and Stephanie Bauer from New York University will be joining the group.
After an adventurous taxi ride from my home in Endicott (4:30am pickup, steamy car windows, upstate NY backroads in the pitch dark, no working seatbelts), the rest of the trip went fine. The airplane ride was smooth and I was fortunate to get 6 hours of sleep. Delta has really upgraded their in-flight video selections. There were probably about 100 movies to choose from, and they were good movies.
I am always amazed at how peaceful Incheon airport is. I don't know if it the collective consciousness of the people, or the modern facilities which do not have much extraneous noise -- or maybe a combination of both -- but from the time you leave the plane, the atmosphere is quiet and very peaceful.
From the airport, we took an hour-long shuttle bus into Seoul where we are staying at the Grand Hyatt. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt last year and I would highly recommend it. It It is an amazing hotel and provides a much-needed relief after long days of traveling and listening to auditions.
Today we had a free day to rest and do some sightseeing. We visited the Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Gardens, followed by the Bukshon Folk Village. Both sights were very beautiful, and again, peaceful. While the weather started off foggy, it ended up being 70 and sunny. In between the sights we had an delicious traditional Korean lunch.
After a much-needed 3 hour nap, Amy's friend Jeehyun Kim took us out to an incredible modern Korean dinner. Jeehyun runs a company called Casual Classics, which designs social responsibility programs for major corporations like LG. Jeehyun was accompanied by three assistants, and the meal and conversation were delightful. Jeehyun apparently lives very close to our audition site and has offered to take us out for Korean massages after the auditions conclude. That certainly gives us something to look forward to throughout the day!
Auditions begin tomorrow and then we are off and running for the next four weeks!