The BISS Choir has a big performance today. The Beijing Rotary is holding a holiday bazaar in the Conrad Hotel, with lots of booths, etc. The students’ parents are delivering them to the hotel, and taking them home when they’re done.
Judy has to get 8 large IKEA bags full of sacks. Every sack is individually labeled for each kid (around 45 students). The sacks contain a student’s vest, reindeer ears, jingle bells, etc. On stage, the kids have their own sack, pulling out whatever they need for the piece they’re about to sing, and then placing it back in the sack when they’re through. At the end of the performance, they replace their sack into the IKEA bag for their grade level, and they’ll be prepared for the next performance.
The trick is getting all the bags to the hotel. Shannon meets Judy and me at the apartment gate, and we taxi over to BISS. We get the 8 bags and load them into a van (with a driver) chartered by the school for the day. We travel to the hotel, arriving around 12:45 for the 3:00 pm program. The students start showing up around 2:00. Judy gets them organized and they hit the stage right on time. My singular job is to make sure the music is cued up, and then start and stop each piece as needed.
The program is great (of course)! The kids look cute, and perform really well. Judy’s experience putting together programs like this pays off. The transitions from one piece to another are quick and problem-free. There is lots of variety in the music and the props the students are using (sunglasses, jingle bells, antlers, flashlights, etc.) The individual sacks really helped “the flow”, and at the end of the program, back stage, it is all put away into the IKEA bags very easily, ready for the next program.
After all the students are picked up by their parents (just like the US, it takes longer than one would expect) we load up the van and head back to BISS. Back home, we decompress. It was a great day with few problems and many happy parents and Rotary members.