March 27




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?




Not just another brick in the “Great” Wall!


tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 016


The Journey has officially begun! Above is our first group photo and a chance for parents and spouses to see that their children and spouses are really in China! We have a load of photos of the gang exploring the Great Wall of China. Do you know the length of the Great Wall?

Tom shares the following with us:

    Great day, by the way. Blue sky and we could see forever. Many kids and adults walked a great distance up and down some very steep inclines. They were fairly floored, especially those students who had studied it with their grade school teachers. The shopping at the bottom of the wall was a novel experience for all, a bit difficult for some. The vendors are quite aggressive and some of our kids were a little intimidated. They will learn. Maddy is an awesome negotiator and many of the others are quickly picking it up. Another great lunch. Cooper says that he does not believe he will get tired of this food after a month. [Tom]

Even after many trips to Beijing, Tom still is in awe of the Great Wall. Okay, so let’s get right to the photos.

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 002

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 003

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 004

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 009

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 010

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 012

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 013

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 017

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 018


tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 021

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 019

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 020

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 040

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 044

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 046

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 034

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 061

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 054

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 059

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 049

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 050

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 041

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 024

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 032

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 022

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 043

Simply amazing. Here’s a little historical information from

    The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was enlisted in the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus stretching approximately 6,700 kilometers (4,163 miles ) from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the section of the great wall are now in ruins or even entirely disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.

Everyone looks like they are having a fantastic time. And here’s a note from Ann:

    The weather’s beautiful; the kids are great; the chaperones have all stepped effortlessly into Beijing time and we’re off. We don’t perform for over a week, so we’ll start snatching a little rehearsal time when we’re not exploring. Right now, acclamation is the priority. It’s great to be back!

    We’ve been able to spend some time with Callie Sopper these first evenings here. Callie, an alumna of JE 2004, is studying in Beijing this year on Andover’s School Year Abroad program, the same program that Johnny Redmond, also JE 2004, did two years ago. Callie looks great—is great. What a rich and wonderful year she’s had! She’ll return to the US May 30 and will be at L&G soon thereafter. [Ann]

The students will be keeping a journal of this journey. Each student will be assigned a day where their report will be shared on this web site. These students will be our daily reporters giving us a chance to see China through their eyes, mind, and heart. It is through these reports that we experience China in a very special way. 

Here is our first student report. This is from Katie:

March 25-26 -- Katie Barnum, sophomore

Today was probably the most exhausting day of my existence. Between waking up at 3:30 on Sunday morning in the US, a 13-hour plane ride to China, and going to bed at 9:30 Beijing time (on Monday night), I can confidently say that everyone else is spent, as well. Even so, I think it is safe to say that the trip over wasn’t too bad for any of us.

To begin our journey, everyone was to rise at 3:30 and be prepared to roll over to the airport at 4:15. Our first flight was to Chicago, and that plane left at 7:10. everything went smoothly in Hartford; no trouble with check-ins. There was one overweight bag, but considering all that we had, that’s not bad. Also, while we were still in the US, we encountered two men who, after checking their bags, pulled out a cardboard box full of beer. They took out eight beers (more or less) and downed them just before they went through security. It amused many of us while at the same time leaving the question: “What are they thinking?! An airport? Five AM? Beer?” [We adults were not happy with this picture. Andi informed an airport staffer who said he couldn’t do anything about it. Hmm…]

The next benchmark for the journey was the flight to Beijing. The plane we boarded was incredibly HUGE [a 747]. The seating included three seats on the right and left sides of the plane and four seats in the middle. There were around 60 rows, and if you do the math, that’s a lot of people. Among them was a group of 30-40 elderly people who were also in for a long stay in China, beginning in Beijing. For the first three hours or so, I sat next to a couple who was part of this group. They were from Florida and very kind. Their names were Kathy and David, and we exchanged information about each others’ programs. We were all equally excited about the journeys we were about to embark on.

The first thing that struck everyone about the plane was that there were no movies. The aircraft was experiencing technical difficulties with a circuit fuse, so there was no form of entertainment other than i-Pods/mp3 players—for those who’d brought one. Nobody let that ruin the trip, though: We all made due and entertained ourselves. We even went as far entertaining those around us. At one point a number of us grouped together and sang a few songs from the a cappella list as well as “Jasmine Flower,” from our performance. Everyone in economy class found the mini-performance quite enjoyable. One of the passengers even knew Jasmine Flower and was able to give us last-minute pronunciation tips.

Currently I am sitting out in the makeshift, under-construction lobby of our hotel. I haven’t quite pulled together exactly in words what my impression is, or what my feelings are. I’ve just barely begun to regain my consciousness after sleepwalking into the hotel, through dinner and back into my room last night. A majority of the group, I’m sure, is in the same place and awaiting the incredible realization that we are actually in China. I am so psyched: I’m having trouble containing my excitement to climb the Great Wall today. I can’t wait until the group finishes gathering so we can be off and out to begin the day.


Well, before we leave for the day, we have one more photo surprise for you. Apparently, Chauncey was really taken by the great wall and simply “flipped” when she saw it!




How does she do that?!!?

At the top of each page there is a “Where are they now?” link. This will show you where the group is in China as well as where they have been.

Okay, everybody. We don’t know where they’ll be going next, but we do know they will be visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City before they leave Beijing. Nothing like a visit to the Great wall to get us off on a great start to the journey!

Oh, and one more . . .


tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 053


[JE2007] [March 26] [March 27] [March 28]