Our Global Orchestra students' familiarisation with the Big Apple began, where else, but in a burger bar! Having endured a marathon and rather bumpy 16-hour flight from Hong Kong to New York, crossing the International Date Line and some 13 time zones, they certainly earned a treat on their first night in the city. The chosen burger joint on East 53rd street has played host to Cindy Lauper and Sharon Osborne, and now can claim our Global Orchestra students among its guests.
We took a pre-dinner stroll along Lexington, Madison, 5th and Park Avenues with the Arianna, Ji Woo and Joung Jin craning their necks to see the towering skyscrapers that make Manhattan so famous around the world. According to Arianna it was, "Just like being in a movie." Joung Jin said he was struck by how old meets new in the city's architecture, but from the moment we left the airport, his real interest lay in the bright blue sky and fresh air; a welcome relief after such a long flight. When asked about her first impressions of NYC, Ji Woo declared honestly, "I'm just too tired to think anything at all!" Needless to say they were all tucked up in bed early!
Earlier, upon arrival at JFK Airport mid-afternoon, our group consisting of schools from Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Thailand and Cambodia, was ferried by bus to our hotel, right in the heart of Manhattan. A team of Global Orchestra/Global Classroom organisers were on hand to issue information packs, room keys and the Global Orchestra polo shirts in which the students will perform in their final concert.
Also just arrived were students from Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest, all similarly excited at the opportunity to be part of this first Global Orchestra.
There will be a stream of arrivals into the evening, with our schools from America and the Middle East also making their way to the city.
Tomorrow, the real excitement begins as the students get together for morning orientation followed by their first afternoon of rehearsals.