April 11




A Beautiful Journey
(JE Performance Program)

Created at Leland & Gray High School in Townshend, Vermont, supported by the ~Asian Studies Outreach Program (ASOP) at the University of Vermont (UVM), and funded primarily through a grant from the Freeman Foundation,

Journey East, as a whole, consists of the Asian Studies Academy and Sino-American Performing Arts Exchange at Leland and Gray Union High School; the integration of an Asian Studies curriculum throughout the Windham Central Supervisory Union, and the introduction of Chinese language programs into the district.

~Dr. Juefei Wang, Director of the Asian Studies Outreach Program University of Vermont, is a recipient of the prestigious Goldman Sachs Award for Excellence in International education, on behalf of the UVM, Asian Studies Outreach Program.

The Leland and Gray Journey East program is deeply indebted, and extends its heartfelt thanks, to Dr. Juefei Wang, without whose effort and support this program would not even be possible!

Thank you Juefei!

Leland & Gray
Journey East 2007

Tom Connor
Program Director

Ann Landenberger
Artistic Director

Matt Martyn
Music Director


Come see these magnificent performers on Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 pm. They will perform at Leland & Gray High School in Townshend, Vermont.

Click here to find out more about this amazing and fun evening!


Where Are They?




Settling Down in Hohhot

Hey everybody!

group-hohhot-1Can you believe it? We are now more than halfway through the journey. Two weeks to go! You all are doing great so far. I’m proud of you. Get up and stretch, if you like, as we head feet first into the wonders of Hohhot.

The name Hohhot means “blue city” in Mongolian. This capital of Inner Mongolia is now “home” to our Journey East group for the next twelve days. No rest for these guys as they spend the days filled with activities such as:

  • Zhao Jun’s Tomb
  • Dazhao Lamasery
  • Five Pagodas
  • Muslim marketplace
  • Helin County and Mengniu Dairy
  • Cashmere factory
  • Up to six performances
  • Gobi desert
  • Dinner with host families
  • Final Banquet/Party with students and teachers from Arts College

Can’t wait for the Gobi Desert pictures (my favorite). While they’ll continue to do some tourist stuff, they will now engage in collaborative work and studies with their Mongolian counterparts. Together they will share cultures, talents, and knowledge, creating friendships that will last their lifetime.

Okay, we have a ton of photos of the first day in Hohhot, and we have a couple of reports to kick things off. Let’s begin with a report from one of the three amazing chaperones, Louise McDevitt:

On Glittering Friendship
-Louise McDevitt

“Glitter,” says Ms. L. She repeats it slowly as if I didn’t hear the request. But I understand that finding glitter on the Qufu University campus is akin to digging up precious metals in my back yard: therefore the delayed response. “Check in the store next to the China Post.” I run a quarter mile from the new performance center where we’ll later perform. I enter the 10’x12’ space and search the shelves from the floor to the 20 foot ceiling. Pens, chalk, alarm clocks. No glitter in this “art” store. Three female students silently and shyly test their English and assist me in my apparent state of confusion.

“Glitter,” I say to repeat it slowly now pointing to my shiny zipper and making chopping gestures with my hands. They laugh at my charade and take my chopping hands into theirs and off we go in pursuit of semi-precious metals. We walk quickly across the campus under full, blooming trees which create paths of purple, whites and yellow. We enter a keyhole in a wall and emerge into a true Chinese market which is like buying back time to the 1930s in rural China. Our shared goals—my quest and their insatiable interest in practicing their English—intensify our connection. They want American names so I search for a logical phonetic leap. “Mary” becomes the senior college student majoring in travel industries. “Connie” and “Joan” are 15-year-old middle school students. Mary quickly becomes their mentor. I meet their friends in the shops. Finally, we smugly think outside the “wall” and settle for nail polish—gold and silver—for glitter.

I wonder about the rapid development of friendships within a two-hour framework. Is it, perhaps, the give and take, the sense of safety and trust, laughter and shared experience?

The glitter appears on the birds’ wings which are then waved throughout the crowd in the evening performance for over a thousand spectators. Joan appears backstage to greet me after the show with three new friends. Emails are exchanged as cast members are greeted and smiles endure. So, in pursuit of a “semi-precious metal,” I found the real precious metal in my new-found friendships, bonds which will be hard to break. I let go of their hands in our farewell and will now reach out towards my old friends in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, many who have been on shared ventures with me and my family over the past four years. Many who have helped me look for Glitter.

-- Louise

Shakespeare once wrote “all that glitters (glisters) is not gold.” He must have never visited Hohhot. Louise (as well as the others) has found the “glitter” in the people and places on this journey In many ways, they have found the end of the rainbow.

tn_IMG_0314_edited-1Let’s look at some of the first photos from Hohhot. First on the list is food, of course, and then some shots of the kids, and adults, working with other students as they learn music and words for their upcoming collaborative performance. I don’t recognize this guy to the right, but it looks like is there to make sure everyone eats their vegetables!






Getting Right to Work










It’s also time to learn the Chinese musical instruments . . .





A portion of the performances will include dance. During the collaborative work, each group will be learning from each other.









All work and no play . . . it’s time to get outdoors and visit Zhao Jun’s Tomb, Dazhao Lamasery, and the Five Pagodas



Out and About in Hohhot









It looks like everyone is settling right in to a busy week in Hohhot. This is the part Ann looks forward to the most. Taking each of the talents our kids possess and mixing them with the talents of the Mongolian students. She will bring them as one to present a colorful and entertaining unification of East and West.

Each day, when the students think they’ve got things figured out, a new twist is introduced to challenge them. They learn to be confident in their ability to adapt and open to try new things. Just learning to eat all this new food is challenging enough!

Now, let’s read what Johnny Pozzi has to say:

April 10, 2007 -- Johnny Pozzi, Freshman

As you read this, I am probably with the Inner Mongolians at the arts university. If you’re reading this over my shoulder as I write, you’re sitting in a room in the “Pearl Hotel” listening to JD and me argue about the nutrient facts on the back of a water bottle. Sounds exciting, right? Well it is. Chinese has been one of the greatest experiences ever for me. From the crazy vendor who ripped me off to the amazing sights on the Great Wall; from the Temple of Heaven to the hot food in the city of Chongqing; from staying on a college campus for the first time, learning about Confucius and getting in my groove at a dance party to performing and “preaching” [as the preacher in A Beautiful Journey] to audiences all over China. Today I spent my time eating airplane food and sleeping, riding a bus and meeting new Mongolian friends, Big Cat and Ice Cream: That was the highlight of the day.

I’m really tired: Just got out of a heavy karaoke session. Well, I’ll be seeing you.

From the other side of the world…

-- Peace, Johnny

Okay everyone, This is all we have for now.

When you get a chance, take a moment and go back to the beginning of this journey. Read the reports, look at the pictures and see how much the kids and the journey have grown since March 25.

March 25 . . . seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?

We’ll meet back here a little later today.

Enjoy the sunshine!

[JE2007] [April 10] [April 11] [April 12]