We arrived in Shanghai in familiar weather - rain! Having had a very early start, most members of the choir spent the rest of Saturday catching up on the sleep left behind in Beijing. On Saturday night our hosts (the wonderful Yang family) treated us to an excellent dinner in Yu Garden at a restaurant previously frequented by Bill Clinton and the Queen. This was followed by some champagne at the most fabulous rooftop bar, where the Director and Choir Manager were treated to flaming Lamborghinis - I think the picture speaks for itself!

Sunday saw us performing at SIVA - Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. A lunchtime concert there, and with an amazing reception from the students - we were treated like rock stars - members of the choir being mugged for their autographs and photos! 

We then performed at Dulwich College, Shanghai on Saturday evening, to a warm reception from friends and students.

Monday - the last day - piling out of the hotel at 0640 to our first stop - Yew Chung School - there we gave a performance and talked about Oxford University and applying there with the very enthusiastic students there. Lunchtime saw us a Shanghai High School, where again we gave a performance, and talked about Oxford University.

A short nap later and we arrived at the Shanghai Concert Hall for our last concert of the tour. This turn-of-the-century hall was moved brick by brick 67m down the road to make was for a motorway, but despite that has an amazing acoustic, and we hugely enjoyed singing there. A sold-out audience raised our game, and we sang an utterly brilliant concert (even if we say so ourselves). What a way to end the tour!


Tuesday was a series of long flights home, via Hong Kong. A passing Typhoon led to a more hair-raising flight into Hong Kong than many would have cared for but we eventually arrived back at Heathrow in one piece, albeit slightly delayed.

The tour in numbers:

Days: 16

Flights: 5

Ferrys: 2

Cities: 4

Suitcases lost: 1 (and only for under 24 hours)

Performances: 20

CDs sold: 180

Flags received: 1

Ornamental Rhinos received: 1


Tuesday saw us fly to Beijing, arriving late, the first thing we all noticed was a temperature drop of about 10 degrees - much more pleasant!

Wednesday morning saw us sightseeing in Tiananmen Square  (vast with a large portrait of Mao) and the Forbidden City (vast with a huge amount of symbolism throughout), both of which were a real eye-opener. 

We then headed to Dulwich College, Beijing, (a UK export!) to sing a lovely concert, the concert was webcast live, and you can view the performance here:

After a tour of the Temple of Heaven, Thursday saw the biggest concert of the tour so far in the Forbidden City Concert Hall. This impressive venue had the most incredible acoustic, we all felt privileged to sing there to a large audience. A special mention must to go Harry, our organ scholar, for playing the Faure Requiem so beautifully on a Hammond Organ.

Friday was a free day for the choir, we headed to the Great Wall of China. Most of us were unprepared for how steep it was, but were truly blown away by its scale and beauty, definitely the most impressive tourist sight we've seen all trip.

Saturday morning, at 4am - we were all up for our next (and final) stop - Shanghai.

Update 2 – Macau

Our second day in Macau began with us being entertained to lunch by a generous group of Oxford alumni at the fantastic restaurant Sky 21 – with amazing views and pasta made right in front of our eyes. 

After the wonderful lunch, we made our way to St Paul’s ruins – the remains of a beautiful 16th Century Portuguese Jesuit church, which forms the centerpiece of Macau.  We sang a lovely (if very very hot) concert to an appreciative audience mainly of tourists.  

Later that evening, we sang the shortest-notice concert of most of our lives.  As a result of our performance at the Mandarin House on Sunday night, we were invited to sing at the MGM casino.  We agreed, and sang a fantastic concert to a wide variety of people.  It was also the strangest venue that we had ever sung in, surrounded by a green lion, mermaids and a 20m tall fish tank.  We were treated to a 5* feast afterwards which everyone enjoyed thoroughly.  Members of the choir then explored Macau’s nightlife, which is mainly centred around the casinos (The Venetian is something to behold, it comes complete with 3rd floor canals!).

We are now on the Ferry to Hong Kong Airport, from where we fly to Beijing.  Our Facebook updates will cease, but we hope to keep getting the word out about our exciting activities whilst there

Hong Kong & Macau

We arrived in Hong Kong bleary eyed to be greeted by the most amazing set of skyscrapers any of us had ever seen – it seems in Hong Kong the streets are effectively vertical instead of horizontal. 

Our first performance, the following day, in the Hong Kong club got the tour off to an excellent start with a lovely concert, followed by a sumptuous dinner with Oxbridge alumni.

Thursday and Friday saw us doing a series of workshops in local schools (in total over 1,400 children!) and two concerts in the Chinese Methodist Church, Wan Chai – a church within a skyscraper – another novelty for us Westerners!

A well-earned day off on Saturday saw members of the choir climb “The Peak” (pretty obvious what that is!), explore the local markets, and visit a temple.  The evening saw a brilliant boat trip around Hong Kong Island at sunset – a never to be forgotten experience for all.  The evening rounded out with some members of the choir going to the bar at the top of the ICC – the sixth largest building in the world.

Sunday morning saw us singing Mozart and Tallis at St John’s Cathedral in a joint service with their choir. It was a beautiful and moving service, and we received a wonderful warm reception there.  Straight from the cathedral we jumped on the Ferry to Macau, our second stop of the tour; we were blown away by the number of casinos here, it makes Las Vegas look like a poor cousin.  Here we sang two concerts on Sunday, in the Mandarin House, and St Joseph’s seminary.  The two venues were totally different, but equally brilliant, the Mandarin house a 18th Century traditional Chinese style house, very different to anything any of us had ever performed in before, and St Joseph’s a beautiful old Portuguese church, of a style that the choir is very familiar with.  We sang our programme of 17th Century Portuguese music in a stunning acoustic to a wonderful reception – and the CDs flew off the shelves afterwards!

We have one more day in Macau, then fly to the mainland on Tuesday.

You can follow our progress in more detail at