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Music and Theatre New Zealand 2012- Singapore and Hong Kong

The Big Band at HortPark, Singapore by Joe Watts and Duncan Geer.

Waking up early on the morning of the concert, it didn’t look like we’d be doing much that day. It had been tipping it down, thunder, lightning and all since about 3 o’clock in the morning and the concert was meant to be outdoors.
Getting on the coach to the park everyone was similarly optimistic about the occurrence of the gig, and when we got there we were greeted by the news that the ‘sound guy’ had broken down, and we had no amps, keyboard or drums. It wasn’t looking particularly hopeful. But the weather cleared up slightly, instruments were retrieved (mostly) undamaged from their flight cases and we were given a covered space to perform, the sound guy arriving later in a different van.
The gig went well with the non-musicians providing enthusiastic dancing and cheering against the backdrop of a non-plussed domestic audience. Mr Barber probably had the worst time of it, stuck with a keyboard that made only one (very poor) sound, although Tom Stakes lost some music to the Singapore winds. It was a gig played very much in the face of adversity, but it was a fantastic experience to add to the already burgeoning list form the tour so far.

Raffles-Singapore- Luke Isherwood

A slightly unappreciated early start off 6am was what we were in for today, as we went dreary-eyed to HortPark for first big band gig, at a gardeners fair. It went extremely well, despite the bad weather, a broken down van full of equipment and even a broken piano! After a quick nip to the hotel to change into our formal attire, and we set of for Raffles, which was simply colonialism at its best! Despite getting of the bus 3 stops early, Raffles filled up everyone with a spread of sandwiches, cakes, scones and English tea; yum! Then went out to the Night Safari, which was also amazing! So many animals up SO close; deer, rhinos, tigers, lions, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, bears, goats and bison. Had my first Singapore Sling…YUM! Bought a little souvenir, then came home and didn’t get to bed until 2.30 am…fighting and banter kept us awake.

Singapore night Safari- Dan Powell

Following todays exploits doing a concert and going to Raffles, in the evening we went to the ‘Night Safari’. An experience non of us had experienced before.
It was the closest you can get to wild animals in their natural habitat, taking you through a variety of different habitats and countries: The Himalayas, where we saw billy goats, mountain goats and deer. Africa where we saw striped hyena, gazelle and lions (to name a few). In Asia where we saw tigers, spotted hyenas and more unusual animals such as the bearded pig!
The whole trip lasted about 45 minutes and was possibly the best safari and zoo I have been to. You could hop on and off enabling you to get a closer look.
The whole experience was made more theatrical with the zoo staff dressed as explorers and a show featuring dancing, fire eating and gymnastic tribesmen.
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Singapore and goes down as one of the best experiences I have had.
My favorite animals include: bear sloth, lions, hyenas flying squirrels and the elephant.

Hong Kong- Alistair Drummond, Christopher Lambert.

Four members of the tour, including John and Jane Lonsdale and students Alistair Drummond and Christopher Lambert left from Sandbach early to embark to New Zealand via Hong Kong. This involved visiting Fukien secondary School, a link established back in 2006, to renew formal contacts and see the new theatre facilities that the previous contingent had inspired. The group were able to fit in some sightseeing including: the
Po-Lin monastery, the worlds fourth tallest building, and the famous American Peking restaurant who have the ‘finest Peking duck in the world’.
The HK party have now joined the main group to resume the rest of the tour.

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