Backstage fun at the TV station!
Up-and-at-em! The sun was shining and the early morning air was still and warm as we climbed in the van to make our way to the local TV station for a morning show interview. The local Aktobe network hosts were gracious and sweet, and we performed a song on the air, which is always fun.
In the interview, they asked us to share a couple of things that we’ve learned about Kazakhstan during our time here, and I thought you might find this interesting, too:
-By area, Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world.
-During the Space Race era, cosmonauts took off and landed in Kazakhstan, and I’m told it’s still a significant hub for the current program. The design and engineering is ALSO unique to the U.S. space program because the U.S. design used an ocean splashdown and recovery method, and the former Soviet Union had an on-land retrieval system. I just learned a few basics, but my curiosity is PEAKED I’ll definitely be researching more on this.
When we arrived for our concert, we knew we were in the right place because there was an enormous banner (35 feet tall) with our photos on it to promote the event. Of course, we had to get a picture in front of the huge picture.
A picture in front of a picture! (Poster photos by Alison Weakley)
The concert itself was a great culmination of our time in Aktobe. The beautiful theater was packed with people: students from the music school, friends from the American Corner, and people with MANY different abilities all came to sing AND dance with us.
Meet and greet!
As a perfect backdrop, the symbol of friendship between our two nations was lit up behind us on stage on a bright LED screen.
Local musicians we met in Aktobe
I told the audience, “Our time in Aktobe will be two days we will always remember.”
After the concert we took photos with what seemed like the entire audience, signed autographs, and just had a lot of fun.
Selfie with a new Lucky Fin friend!
When we finally exited the theater, we heard people candidly singing songs we’d played amidst their small groups of friends. One that especially touched me was a group of youth singing part of a song I recently wrote about baby Theo. We heard them clapping and singing, “My Baby, My Baby, My Baby!”
As gifts to a few special friends who joined us to jam on stage, I gave my CD with a special message written to each person. As we loaded our van, the sax and piano player pulled up next to our car, windows down, and our song “We’ll Be On The Radio” bumping from their car stereo. For a songwriter, are there any greater candid moments possible?