The genesis for this odyssey lies of course with our talented Anna Grace, who successfully auditioned for this year’s international schools honor orchestra. The competition is intense; more than 500 students vie for 150 chairs. The event rotates between European, Asian, and Middle Eastern schools for the concert location; this year the host was the Singapore American School, and the performance piece was Dvorak’s entire Symphony No. 8.
Only after Anna Grace received the exciting news could the flurry of travel planning commence, naturally. At first the holiday was to be only Singapore. Then friends in Tokyo messaged, “Our guest room is always open—we’d love to see you!” and I was further inspired to check in with a Vienna friend who now lives in Seoul to see if they would be around. Tony muttered something about “the office,” but suggested I carry on to visit our friends since, after all, we would be practically next door. He is practical like that. And that is how five days in Singapore grew into sixteen days across Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
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