Saturday, April 12, 2014

Singing for Royalty

Days like yesterday remind me of what an incredible opportunity living overseas is, and how it is bound to bring once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

I sang for the Crowned Princess of Brunei!

The Brunei Ladies Golf Association held a luncheon in celebration of Her Royal Highness' birthday. My lovely friend, Vangi, knows women involved in the association who asked her to perform. Vangi, being the sweet person she is, asked me if I would like to perform as well! Vangi played the piano while I focused on my singing. Moments like this are best experienced with a friend, that's for sure. 

This is the first Royal function I've attended since being in Brunei, or since being alive. Let's be real. The closest I've come to meeting royalty was that time I took a picture with the fifth Cinderella I saw at Disney World. Ceremonial speeches were given highlighting the success of the BLGA and wishing the Princess a happy birthday. Vangi and I lead the women in singing Happy Birthday, but with amended lyrics as it is too informal and disrespectful to use the words, "too you". (During rehearsal I messed up a couple times! I sang it the right way in the car the whole way to the event). Traditional, honorary customs were happening everywhere I looked - how to shake hands, when and where and how to bow, do not walk in front of the Royal table, etc. It was a lot to take in and I'm thankful for the women who answered my questions about how to do all of these things! 

Photo from the Brunei Times
Her Royal Highness is very beautiful and has a poised demeanor. She walked in a self assured manner, in high heels no less, and was pleasant to everyone. As I "shook her hand" she stopped me and said, "nice singing" which was a huge honor. I was told that she really enjoyed my and Vangi's performance, and I'm so glad she did. I hope she had a very nice birthday. I believe she is around my age with two children also! 

The women in attendance were members of the BLGA and wives of Ambassadors to Brunei. I absolutely loved seeing the beautiful dresses and women from around the world in one room. My favorite dresses were very unique and gorgeous looks from Jakarta and the one pictured below, from the Philippines. It was a great place to connect with people about potentially teaching music privately and in educational centers!

After the Princess left, music started blaring and women started squealing and shouting, "pacho pacho!" (I think) which is an Indonesian dance. I watched for a minute or two, then realized it was basically the Electric Slide, and of course jumped right in! My favorite part was when a friend of Vangi's who was on the microphone started yelling, "COME ON VANGI! COME ON VANGI!" during the dance. These ladies know how to have good, clean, crazy fun. They were so nice and welcoming to me and made me feel comfortable enough to get out on the dance floor. 

That night I got a text from my sweet friend Apple with a picture of me on the news! I found the clip online - Vangi and I are featured for a fleeting second. Make that four times in the news for the Adertons! I wish I had put some of these things on a bucket list. 
"Sing for Royalty" CHECK. 
"Be on TV in another country" CHECK. 
"Dance the Electric Slide to an Indonesian song with women from around the world" CHECK. 

I must say, I feel so blessed and thankful for this experience. It was an honor to perform for Her Royal Highness and the BLGA ladies were so fun and welcoming.

This will be a good one for the game, "two truths and a lie" someday!

Also, for those wondering, I sang two pop songs. "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson and "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. The music and the lyrics were very appropriate for the setting and I loved belting out some 1980s goodness. 

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