In all of its 102-years, Yale University’s Spizzwinks a capella group never had a performance like the one it gave on March 15 at the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB). That’s because the gig was Spizzwinks first to feature Mandarin singing, courtesy of WAB alumni Franklyn Zhu and Dale Zhong, who respectively graduated in 2012 and 2015.
Although Zhu and Zhong have moved on to an Ivy League campus, they’ve by no means forgotten where they’ve come from. In fact, Zhong told an assembled group of the international school’s students that “Yale is a lot like WAB, because they both offer the freedom to explore and pursue your passions. The only difference is that WAB is home.”
Zhong made that highly flattering comment during an interview with the school’s student media outlet. Zhu was equally complimentary, telling the audience during the big performance on March 15 that “WAB is where I discovered music, which has allowed me to travel the world and sing for so many people… It’s a beautiful thing. So thank you, WAB, for preparing me for this opportunity. It’s an honor to be back here with this group.”
Zhu’s praise of his former school was no doubt moving to the audience in WAB’s 500 seat Founders’ Theatre, which was filled past capacity during the March 15 performance. That sentiment was certainly evident in Mark Armstrong’s appraisal of the show. The high school arts director at WAB, and a former teacher of Zhong’s, said: “For current students to see and hear the Spizzwinks, and see two of their own as part of it, is amazing.”
Read more about the Spizzwinks’ WAB performance here.