The Council of Asian Pacific Americans held their 17th annual Splendor of the East on Saturday night at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. President Angela Wang Beasinger and the CAPA organization orchestrated a special evening bringing together groups of all different racial backgrounds to celebrate tradition, diversity and culture. The event was an extraordinary collaboration of cultural depictions through dance and music from China, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Polynesia, Taiwan and other non-Asian Pacific countries.
Along with the Scholarship Award presentation was the ongoing celebration of food, entertainment,
The Emcee of the evening for the first time was 2014 Miss Teen Michigan and Duke University Political Science Sophomore, Rose Wong. Her amiable candor provided the audience with anecdotes about the different groups that were in attendance.
Dinner 9 course dinner was served family style with an array of appetizers that included shrimp, sushi, during rolls and dumplings with main courses of Lo Mein, Korean Bulgogoi Beef, Thai Pad Pal Chicken and Tofu with vegetables. while talented youth performers entertained, finishing with a display of cultural fashion. The guests were gifted with their printed water glasses in vibrant boxes to take home as souvenirs of the evening.
All of the volunteers that provided help during dinner before the performance were school-aged children. One volunteer, Jenny, stated information regarding volunteering for Splendor of the East was posted on CAPA’s website in the weeks leading up to the event.
Guests were enchanted by the second part of the evening – the first ever “Battle of the Stars” talent show celebrated Asian Pacific Culture Heritage month. With 14 competing and 6 non-competing performances, the participants ranged from a Chinese dance troupe from the Metro-Detroit Oriental Art School to Mike Lee, who gave a performance beatboxing. As a tribute to Mother’s Day, all of the performers made a special mention of their mothers during the performances.
Judges consisted of Cultural Chair and Production Manager for Battle of the Stars, Toni Martinez, seasoned performer, instructor and Michelle’s Academy of Dance And Performing Arts Center Owner Michelle Marzejon, International Performer, Choreographer and Producer Joori Jung, vocal music award winner, Professor of operatic vocal music in Xinghai and Director for the Michigan Philharmonic Choir, Shuping Ma, professional and award winning performer and Choir Director, Jie Wnag, Vocal Coach, performer, and television program director Shilpa Oak.
Their duties to determine the winners of the battle were made difficult by the wondrous line up of talent, including an outstanding performance delivered by Alyson Podwoiski, who danced to Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” She won over the crowd of more than 300 people were obviously very moved by her interpretation.
The top 3 winners included Mike Lee in third place, Aubrianna Lance took second place, with Angela Chao taking first place and the prize of $1,000.00.
Visit the Council of Asian Pacific Americans Facebook Page for more pictures of this amazing extravaganza and the people who made it happen and Save The Date for next years event!