Ben and Bill’s Excellent Adventure comes to Changzhou!

What a great Thanks­giv­ing Day we had at Hohai Uni­ver­sity in Changzhou, China. We spent the morn­ing pop­ping in and out of class­rooms with my uke and gui­tar, singing and talk­ing about the songs and their mean­ings. We took turns play­ing the straight man and the funny guy and the stu­dents really ate it up. At 3:45 in the after­noon, we put on a lecture/concert to an over­flow­ing hall of about 225 stu­dents. We kicked it off with everyone’s favorite, “You Are My Sun­shine”, and pro­ceeded to keep every­one engaged for the next 1–1/2 hours with a mix of tra­di­tional folk songs and my orig­i­nals. I added a cou­ple of new tunes to the set list, includ­ing “Habi­tat” by Bill Oliver: espe­cially appro­pri­ate to this sci­ence uni­ver­sity focused on oceans and rivers. My song to young Ben and his mother, “Because of You”, seemed very mean­ing­ful to many of the stu­dents and “500 Miles Away From Home” was cer­tainly one most of them could relate to. We had another “seventh-inning stretch” singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and fin­ished with “This Land is Your Land” and “Coun­try Roads”. That evening we got together with the MSU Vis­it­ing Inter­na­tional Pro­fes­sional Pro­gram stu­dents for a lav­ish Chi­nese din­ner includ­ing fish heads (which I never did quite fig­ure out how to eat) and lots of red wine. One of the more inter­est­ing Thanks­giv­ings that I have had, for sure!

Today (Fri­day) we are teach­ing a class in the morn­ing, then doing a bit of sight-seeing and shop­ping before we take a 16-hour train ride to Xi’an and the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors Stay tuned for more …

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2 Responses to Ben and Bill’s Excellent Adventure comes to Changzhou!

  1. Michael Hong says:

    Ben, thank you very much for the excel­lent per­for­mance brought by you and Bill. I’m very lucky joined this activ­ity since I have grad­u­ated from Hohai Uni­ver­sity more than 4 years ago. I just came to Changzhou for busi­ness trip and had a chance to back to the cam­pus to have a look. And I saw the poster of your lec­ture. So lucky!

  2. Glad you could come, Michael! I really had a great time at Hohai — what a nice group of teach­ers and students.

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