April 5




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?




Powerful Stuff

Hey Everybody. Welcome back!

group-4-5Well, what do you think about all this snow here in Vermont? Just when we thought we were sailing into Spring, wham! We get hit with a few inches of wet, power-outage snow. Let’s hope this is it!

We’ve got some great stuff for you today. In addition to the first performance photos and student reports, we have a wonderful report from one of the chaperones, Susan Daigneault.

Before we start, let’s take a look at what the gang is up to today:

    Thursday: Visit to the far East Vocational College at Shimen Hill outside of Qufu. Afternoon rehearsal and joint performance with college students in the evening

Let’s get the day started with Susan’s report.

Susan Daigneault, Chaperone

First of all, to every parent at home, I am thoroughly enjoying your children – every single one of them! They are such a talented group with individual strengths that allow them to shine in many different situations. I am so very proud of them, wherever we go.

The amount of history we have seen and information we have been given is absolutely overwhelming! I take notes as fast as my hand can write so that I can go back and digest it all later. I don’t think I can pick a favorite place, however, “The Great Wall,” “Three Gorges Dam Museum” and “Dazu” (the Buddhist sculpture carvings) stand out the most. The babies and children are beautiful and their families are very proud of them. They are very eager for them to interact with us. My most amazing exchange, so far, was with a large, extended, family who own a small restaurant at the waterfront market we went to in Chongqing. I went in to buy a juice but when I came out, the family wanted to visit with me. They had a beautiful baby girl about 8 months old and they kept looking at her and saying the same thing over and over, but I didn’t understand what they were saying. Finally, when they held her out to me, I realized they were asking me to hold her. What an honor! When I took her, she had no fear of me and laid her head on my shoulder and held me with both hands! It put such a lump in my throat that they would share their most precious possession with me. When her family tried to take her back, though, she wouldn’t go! They all started laughing and carrying on loudly as more family members came to try. When her mother came over, she went right away, but the family was quick to point and say “Ma Ma” so that I would know it was her mother. I will treasure that moment forever!

The time is passing so quickly here, although I am not sure that’s the case back home. This experience is life changing and I am loving everything about it. Conversing with the kids and hearing very mature observations and comments, shows me that they are really “getting it” and it’s wonderful to see. Thank you for sharing YOUR most precious possessions with me; they are truly a pleasure.

-- Susan

We talk and read every day about the life-changing moments the kids are having, but we forget that this journey has an effect on everyone, student and adult alike, whether it is their first or tenth trip. Susan shares a special moment with us and how neatly it blends into her role as a chaperone. Good stuff. Thank you Susan.

And now, ladies and gentlemen! . . . let the show begin!






















Wow! These guys look great! You can almost hear Karlie wailing away on that sax! And it looks like Ryan has grown a moustache.

Tom says:

    Our first performance went really well in front of a great, appreciative audience. Parents, family and friends would be extremely proud of the way the kids performed. [Tom]

We are Tom, we are!

Here are a few photos of the Chinese performance . . .








Their costumes are so dynamic and colorful. Wish we were there!

Kyle is next and is going to tell us about his day. He reinforces what most students say is their favorite activity on the journey -- spending time with their new Chinese friends.

April 4, 2007 -- Kyle Francois, Senior

Today was simply amazing. We started off with a visit to a nearby high school where we learned from the principal about many different aspects of the Chinese educational system. He gave us his view on the differences between American and Chinese students. It was very interesting to hear the strengths and weaknesses of both American and Chinese systems.

We then continued to explore the rest of the high school starting with the library and, although they lacked the watchful eye of Ms. Marchant, it was a very strict setting in comparison to our more laid-back atmosphere.

After the tour, we joined an English class with kids ranging in age from 16 to 18. I think I can safely say this is everyone’s favorite part of the trip: Interacting with kids our age from the other side of the world is one thing I will never forget (if I had to pick one thing). We are different in some ways but we are so alike for the most part. From free time activities to favorite subjects in school, we found common ground; we were all friends from the start. We even got a chance to join other students outside to play soccer, basketball and even ping pong. I feel many of us made friends that will last for a long time.

From there we went to Confucius’ temple and mansion and the Confucius forest. We visited where one of the greatest Chinese minds ever was buried along with all his descendants. Although there are those of us who are craving a juicy cheeseburger, we are all having the time of our lives and it hasn’t even been two weeks. The group misses everyone back home, but not too, too much because this is such a unique experience—one that can never fully be addressed in words.

-- Kyle

I know Kyle must have had a great time playing basketball in China. He was an outstanding player on the Leland & Gray basketball team.

After the show . . .





tn_FAREAS~1And so, another great day of reports and photos. As the sun sets in Qufu, we must get out and shovel some snow!

See you all tomorrow!

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