April 16




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?




Hats Not All, Folks!

Hi everyone,

Here, we are experiencing one messy Nor’Easter on the East coast and it is going to be extremely rough running (to say the least!) in the 111th running of the Boston Marathon today.

We are engaged in a marathon of sorts ourselves. If you are a parent or spouse of one of the Journey East group members, you know this has been a long haul to this point. This week is like Heartbreak Hill at the Boston Marathon. Once we get past it, we’ll be able to see the finish line ahead.

The good news (for us) is today marks the halfway point in the Hohhot portion of the journey. This coming Sunday will be the final day in Hohhot.

Even with the end drawing near, the group still has lots to do and see. They have a number of performances on tap and the amazing (my favorite) Gobi Desert trip is yet to come.

tn_April 15 Zhao Jun plus collab 090In Hohhot, we celebrate another journey birthday (How many does this make now? One more and I think we’ll have a record!)

Let’s start the day with Emily’s birthday.

    Emily Brown's birthday - an exciting event. Cake, with candles, delivered on a cart that would be delivering mutton at a banquet. Got to love it. [Tom]

Happy Birthday to you! Everybody now . . .

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Look at that cake. Wowee. So my guess is these birthday kids are just not going to be satisfied with a regular angel food cake with icing anymore! So here’s a Fortune Cookie Cake recipe to be different. Did you know foods in China have symbolic meanings? Check it out.

The cast of Journey East 2002 started it all with cowboy hats in their performance. Then during the 2004 journey, Jon was caught on camera with his tall, furry hat. Not to be outrdone, Journey East 2005 was represented by Ripley, Travis, and Jonathan when they donned their famous hats (and uniforms) for a special “hat moment.” And now, this year’s group isn’t about to let that tradition end! Hats Off, or, er Hats On to Journey East 2007!

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Hey, is that Indiana Jones? Nice hats everybody.

Okay, so let’s continue with Tom giving us an intro to the next batch of photos.

    tn_April 15 Zhao Jun plus collab 009One photo taken from the bus on our way to Zhao Jun's Tomb. Zhao Jun was one of four Chinese beauties in antiquity. (There sure are a lot more than four.) She married a leader from north of the Great Wall (Mongol) and helped preserve the peace between the Han and the Mongols. [Tom]

APRIL 15, 2007 -- Ian Straus, Sophomore

Today was our sixth day in Inner Mongolia. In the morning we braved the rainy weather to visit the tomb of a Chinese princess, [Zhaojun, who is famous for bringing peace to early China through a marriage of political advantage]. The monument was very beautiful, and we were able to climb the giant hill that houses her grave: The view from the top was stunning.

However, my favorite part of the day came when our group met up with students from the arts college to collaborate on dance and music. This was the fourth collaboration session with the Chinese students: The time we’ve spent working with them has been my favorite activity in Hohhot, and possibly my favorite activity in China thus far. I especially enjoy playing music with the Mongolian students. I was lucky enough to have a chance to play with a traditional Mongolian ensemble a few times in the past week and today Devan, Dylan, Kyle, Mr. Martyn and I played some songs with a group of Mongolian musicians. I had a great time, not only because the students were really nice and the music was fun, but also because they taught me to play a traditional Mongolian instrument called a tovshuur.. It was like a miniature guitar but with only two strings. While playing the songs was really fun, the thing that impressed me most about playing with the Mongolian kids was how we, the Americans, were able to connect with the Mongolian musicians without using any spoken language. It was really incredible to see music working as a universal language first hand. I think that this kind of experience ties in with Journey East’s mission, i.e., to bring people of different cultures together. Using arts such as music, dance and singing is definitely an effective way to achieve the goal.

I look forward to working with more Mongolian students and to our future collaborations.

-- Ian

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Together Again

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    tn_April 15 Zhao Jun plus collab 108Some collaborative photos, plus some of our dinner with Vice President Yi Li, his wife Surina and their daugher. Yi Li is an old friend who has been to Vermont twice. He has been a vital link between Vermont and the Arts College. One of his daughterstn_April 15 Zhao Jun plus collab 105 is shown singing at the dinner to which Ann, Matt and I were invited. His other daughter is at the University of Maine in Orono, majoring in music education. We hope that she will visit Vermont soon. [Tom]

One of the amazing things about this journey is that each day is a journey unto itself. Each day the students engage in new relationships, new challenges, and new places to visit. When they return, everyone is going ask the classic question, “How was your trip?”

Warning to any of you contemplating asking that question: Prepare to spend the next several hours (more likely even days!) as the student begins to scratch the surface of a response.

We leave you today with a special moment. This photo is reminiscent of a moment from one of the journeys past (can you find that moment?). Listen carefully and you can hear the theme music for the movie “Titanic.”

[JE2007] [April 15] [April 16] [April 17]