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SCIS Dragon Band Tours Southeast Asia

September, 2012
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Twenty-one students from Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) had quite an exciting and unique start to their summer vacation this year. The Dragon Band, under the direction of Mindy Ruskovich, went on an unforgettable tour.

After an entire year of fundraising, early morning rehearsals, and the support from SCIS and the Shanghai community, they set off on their South East Asia Dragon Band Tour. Their travels first took them to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There, they performed a public concert in the city, hiked mountains covered with monkeys, ventured into Mosques, and of course indulged in the fabulous Malaysian culture and cuisine. In addition to performing on this tour, one of the main missions was to donate musical instruments to a school with a budding music program. After a bit of research, St. John’s School was selected as the beneficiary, and the instrument donation was a delight for both their students and the Dragon Band. SCIS students had the opportunity to meet the kids from the other band, perform for them, and really see first-hand the payoff of all of their hard work in fundraising for such a cause. 

scis-dragon-bandThe second stop on the tour was Bali. The long anticipated beach days and jungle hike trough rice fields finally came true. Students were faced with one of their most unique performance situations in the mountains high above the city of Kuta. As it became clear that the scheduled stage was in a tiny village, and the concert wasn’t very well advertised, the band was quick to find a solution. With years of marching experience behind them, they had a quick review of a few tunes on the bus, rigged up the drums with rope, and set off to march through the little dirt village to drum up some excitement. They soon had what seemed to be the entire village following them to the stage, where they put on a show for the town, complete with one of the local children joining as the guest director. The Bali adventure was definitely one of the highlights for the students, and the water park with super slides didn’t disappoint either.  

On June 24th, the students had finally reached the final leg of their tour in Tokyo, Japan. In Tokyo, students had a chance to study Taiko at the world famous Myamoto Taiko Studio and Factory, visit shrines, scale to the top of Tokyo Tower, and of course shop their hearts out. Last but not least came the long awaited performance at Tokyo Disneyland, where they were escorted backstage, treated like true professionals, and performed beautifully on the Lucky Nugget Stage. 

The young musicians in the Dragon Band are really starting to get an idea about what can be possible as a performing musician. In their early teens, they have begun to travel the globe, share their love of music, connect with different cultures, and experience life in a way that is truly unique to musicians. Plans are already in the works for another great tour next spring. 

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