Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Lazy Sheep and the Boy, plus 55

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I had the most wonderful morning today. I heard 55 five and six year olds singing The Boy and the Sheep, from the marvellous Purple Book. Now one must bear in mind that not only were these very tiny tots, but they were all singing in English. This was still a class called 'Singing in a Foreign Language'.

I was utterly astonished. They were for the most part very confident, very excited about singing in the big hall filled with parents, sisters, cousins and aunts, and to a judge they had obviously never seen before. They all bowed beautifully to me before they began, and then again at the end. This was not forced or drilled singing, it was sheer enjoyment on their's, and my part.

It is easy to tell where each child comes from as they are all wearing ultra smart, and to jaded UK eyes, old fashioned uniforms, which they seem to wear very proudly. There are some fine Primary schools here clearly, who all take music by seriously. Actually I imagine they take all subjects very seriously! However, this edge of 'wanting to do their very best' was a joy to behold. I certainly did not see any pressed men, so to speak!

There were no placings for this class, just a grade A B C Or D. I did not give any D's, and only 3 C's, and those were to little ones who clearly were suffering from the dreaded flu and really tried but genuinely could not make a sound! I gave an even spread of A's and B's, and for 3 little ones an A seemed rather too low!

I heard a small girl sing the most gorgeous, musical, and sensitive performance of this little song, whilst swaying too and fro with the music and hitting the top E flats like they were as easy as falling off a log! NB a top E flat for the vast majority of this age group is almost impossible!

After my comments to the audience I decided a good thing would be to have all the littlies together on stage and sing the song like a choir. Well it was Oriental mayhem, which, you must understand is not like UK mayhem, but still a little on the wild side, but eventually they stood in 3 neat rows, with all school uniforms mixed together like a primary school pudding, and they raised the roof with their performance of ' The Boy and the Sheep' a French folk song, translated into English, and sung by Chinese children!

After the competition was over, I was literally besieged by parents wanting their child to be photographed with the adjudicator! I lost count of the numbe of times I was photographed after I had counted 94.........those of you who know me well, will realise this was like an inevitable torture. I knew it would happen but was Most definitely unprepared for the hefty degree of smiling. Quite apart from my natural physique, I decided there and then modelling was not for me!

I was a free woman after this sizeable morning, and caught the MTR. Are you not impressed that I made my way in rush hour to Chai Wan station, and the back to the hotel with ne'er as much as a wrong turn and it is only my 5th day here ! So here I am at the CafeO where the wifi is free for the price of a coffee.

Actually the coffee is excellent, so the wifi really IS free, before anyone tries to tell me different!

PS I would have loved to post a picture of the tots choir, but it is against Federation rules, so I cannot, take it from me, it was cuteness in profusion!

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