Just before Christmas 2003, I was in Malaysia as the North American jurist for the 21 Century Choral Festival in the Genting Highlands south of Kuala Lumpur.
The other jurists chose me to give a farewell speech to the choir members at the closing festival concert.
I was cleaning recently, and found items from that trip, including my handwritten notes for that speech —
After commenting on the high standard of singing, and thanking the festival organizers, I said
This has been a wonderful opportunity for international cooperation. Thank you for sharing with us many new works of music, and for moving us with song.
The essence of this experience is friendship. Our lives are richer for having spent these last three days with you. We look forward to this evening’s finals, and to all of us leaving a great wealth of music and memory.
My page about this trip is linked here.