We can only assume that “band nerd” is considered unacceptable hate speech in China because members of the Auburn University symphonic band didn’t just receive a standing ovation during their performance at the Shandong Arts University—they’re in the Middle Kingdom on a musical mission of cultural exchange—they were hounded for autographs, photos, hugs.
It was the sort of treatment that back home is typically only afforded to stars of the game, not halftime, and it didn’t go unappreciated.
“I felt like LeBron James after winning his first championship,” said one young musician. “And he hasn’t even done that yet.”
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