April 6




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?




A Bunch of Characters

Hello Everyone,

group-calligraphyWe are going to start the day with photos from yesterday’s calligraphy class (photo to the right), a student report from Eliza (Ellie) Gunther-Mohr (opening night), and the program (outline) for the Journey East performance, “A Beautiful Journey.”

Today’s events:

    Friday: Lecture and workshop on Chinese painting and calligraphy and a visit to Confucius Forest (cemetery) in the afternoon

Let’s start with some of the photos. Tom describes the following:

    These photos show the long line of students waiting outside to greet us on our arrival. The handsome Chinese gentleman with me is President Sidney Liu, an old friend. His daughter just graduated from San Jose State College. The greeting by a few hundred students and teachers is the norm at this and other schools that we will perform at.

    This is a good place to visit and perform. The kids and teachers could not be more gracious or welcoming to our students. I brought studtn_Far Eastern Vocational and Technology College 005ents here two years ago but did not perform. The teacher group from the WCSU came here last April and there is a large color photo of that group on the fence outside of the front gate. The students were asking about Jason Gragen. Where's Jason? [Tom]

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Pretty cool. Can you imagine having that kind of reception? Wow.

Now, let’s hear from Ellie and get her impressions of their first performance:

April 5, 2007-- Eliza Gunther-Mohr, Sophomore

This morning I awoke and forgot where I was. I could hear children laughing and playing outside the window, the gray morning streaming in. For a second, I forgot that I was in China; for a second I forgot that I was on the wrong side of the world. And then, it all came back. The endless days, the incredible food, the wonderful people. There have already been so many unforgettable experiences and it has not even been half a month.

Today was our first performance. When we had rehearsal this morning, everything was lackluster; no one was excited or motivated and the show looked like it may bomb. But, later that night, with all the lights and clapping and everyone in their costumes, a certain happiness seemed to descend and it then reflected in our performance. We did wonderfully, considering our lack of recent practice, sleep and energy. We pulled it off. The absence of unity, (that everyone felt) was pushed aside and as a group, we performed the play we had worked so hard on. And, (I think) we felt like the group we really are. Of course we were graciously and warmly welcomed to the college. Our play was met with huge, exuberant applause. This, too, made us feel more comfortable performing. Breathe a sigh of relief: We made it past our first show.


And here is Ann reflecting on all of that, and more . . .

    Ellie said it all. She captured it. All I'd add is that we were immensely proud of our kids. They are a different group today than they were yesterday. They're an ensemble now--they know what it is to produce under pressure, in funky circumstances, against odds. (Unfortunately our Emily was ill and had to miss opening night, but she'll be scooped into the loop when we rehearse to prepare for a big show here on campus tomorrow night. And Emily's already snapped back!) Last night, the kids crystalized the show, officially titled "A Beautiful Journey." As I watched I thought: "This really is cool; different; very American; very innovative." It's a handsome reflection of who are kids are and what they can do. So -- we have LOTS of fine tuning and shirt-tucking-in to tend to, but we're well on the way and the kids are already saying that they can't wait to perform for you all when we get back. Other notable quotes from post-show euphoria:

    Chauncey: "I don't have stage fright any more!"
    Dylan: "I like acting! They laughed and applauded for me. I like that!"
    Jenny: "They loved us!" [Ann]

Aaaaah, it has happened. At some point along the way, the group becomes a “group.” Their first performance, apparently one which the collection of students felt apprehensive and disconnected, resulted in the students coming together as one and doing what they have worked so hard to do.

With their confidence and energy riding high now, this next performance (and each one they will do along the journey) should be an incredible show. We are all goingto have that pleasure when they return at the end of the month and perform for us all (see schedule of area performances on the Leland & Gray Journey East site.

Okay, let’s turn our attention now to the calligraphy class where everyone learned and watched as Chinese students created some incredible Chinese paintings. Tom explains:

    [These] are photos of a painting class that we all attended. Students demonstrated their calligraphy and gave artwork to our students and teachers. The photo of the teachers with artwork is with the head of the art department in his studio. We were given those paintings as gifts. Additionally, the photos of the folk art were pieces by the elder professor. I tried to buy them but they were not for sale.

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Beautiful Calligraphy

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Another fantastic day in Qufu. If you haven’t taken the time yet to learn about Qufu, here are a couple more links to help.

This is a place our kids remember quite fondly. As we have said before, they will remember the sights and sounds, but most importantly, they will remember their new friends . . .

Here is the performance program:

A Beautiful Journey

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