The moment I will never forget

Feb 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Choir Events, Personal Reports, Top Post, World Choir Games

The "8 Seconds" Mixed Chorus (Photo: Kevin Husted)

The “8 Seconds” Mixed Chorus (Photo: Kevin Husted)

By Cai Yuheng (Hangzhou Normal University, China)

I have always pursued equality and independence in life, and was convinced that one should have the opportunity to show talent and ambition and receive an equivalent consideration in return; on the other hand I was truly influenced by exciting American movies and when I was in high school my dream was to study abroad.

Preparing for the World Choir Games was intense and tough for me. I was a junior member new to the choir world so I could not slack off during any rehearsals. I had to concentrate on each word the teacher said in order to keep the pace during rehearsals; I also had to practice over and over again even after the rehearsals to keep the pitch accurate. I changed my lifestyle to ensure I was in best condition during rehearsals: I started to go to sleep early, turned down all invitations and put off any other arrangement that may have interfered with rehearsal times. Six months later my English language skills were getting worse and I failed to realize my dream of studying abroad. When facing the situation that I had little time but extensive choir rehearsals as well as intense exam preparation work to do I decided to put my personal life back and the choir in front. My efforts finally succeeded in July. All the moments of difficulties and hardships turned into tears of happiness. I achieved my dream of studying abroad in a different way.

Glory moment

“Ladies and gentlemen of the World Choir Games: The winner of the Champion’s Competition and World Choir Games Champion is: The ’8 Seconds’ Mixed Choir!”

After the gold medal winners were announced one by one the moderator declared that the victory went to us, the ‘8 Seconds Mixed Choir’ from Hangzhou Normal University, and we burst into tears and just could not control our excitement. This felt like the most special experience of a head-to-head one hundred meter running. It felt like an empty space. I rushed to the stage, holding hands with my friends; feeling as if my arms and legs were not mine anymore, and all I heard were muffled cries.
We raised our national flag under the spotlights and flashlights, and we laughed, cried and shouted ‘8 seconds! 8 seconds!’ I turned around and saw my friends already cheering with our beloved teachers. The familiar melody of the Chinese national anthem silenced us for a second and almost everybody rose. I sang the national anthem with the loudest voice I probably ever had and waved to the audience.

I have to admit the breakfast on the following morning was the best and most comfortable one. Our headmaster, who stayed us the whole time, made a passionate speech congratulating us for winning the medal. I felt that the happiness of the right moment means a lot more than honor and praise. We were so lucky. The experience we shared, what we learned, what we heard and what we saw can never be gained only in lessons. 2012, I left my voices in America and I cried and I laughed. I gazed the Alaska Mountains through the window and thought: I will never forget these moments.

It was an absolute honor to be able to participate in such a competition with such a high standard, but at the same time it was hard and tiring. I had all sorts of feelings in my heart when I was chosen to be part of the choir that went to the World Choir Games and that I was able to attend an international competition. It was as if time had stopped and I still relive every little moment in my head, happy and sad ones.

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