Gospel Singer: ‘I kept my word to myself’ to see Shen Yun

February 1, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga.—Spring comes early to middle Georgia. Daffodils and Carolina Jasmine were already in bloom on Jan. 31 when Shen Yun Touring Company visited. As the crowd left the William Bell Auditorium into a very mild night, one lady lingered, setting her purse on a brick wall in front of the theater to leisurely search for her car keys.

Deborah Thompson smiled delightedly and said, “Oh it was wonderful! Oh my goodness, the colors, it’s just magnificent. The choreography, just beautiful, beautiful. Oh, I loved it!”

Shen Yun, based in New York, travels around the globe bringing classical Chinese dance, world-class singers, and an orchestra boasting both Western and Chinese instruments.

Ms. Thompson works as a patient advocate, and sings gospel. She is an alto in a choir. She said she wanted to see Shen Yun when it visited Augusta once before. “So I said when it comes back again, I’m going. And so it’s here again and here I am; I kept my word to myself and I treated myself and I needed it.”

She was warm and engaging, and seemed to be in a profoundly happy mood. As a singer, she responded intensely to the soloists. “The singing, oh yes! Oh the operatic voices; the young lady that was in the blue dress, (Haolan Geng) she is awesome … awesome, awesome.”

The orchestra, a unique one with classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments, and the palette of the show, inspired her praise. “I love the orchestra, it was beautiful. The colors, oh my goodness the colors were just magnificent.”

Ms. Thomson enjoyed the projected digital backdrop. She said, “I really liked the background, how they go to the back of the stage and … they just fly away up into the scenery, I mean everything is just excellent. I loved it.”

Ms. Thomson said she felt a home town kind of affinity for Shen Yun, because “This is originally out of where I come from, New York, born and raised in New York.” She grew up in the Bronx and Manhattan.

If a person did not know what to expect from seeing Shen Yun, “Oh, you’ve got to come and see for yourself, then you will know what it is,” said Ms. Thompson. According to the program “prepare to enter a magical world where the good and the righteous always prevail, and where beauty and purity have never been lost.”

Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company will perform from Feb. 7-8 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, North Carolina.

For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.