Farewell to the Year of the Rooster and Welcome the Year of the Dog---Confucius Institute at University of Hull Holds Chinese Whispers Concert to Celebrate Spring Festival

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Hull [Time]    2018-03-20 13:13:10 

On March 12th local time, in celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival, the Confucius Institute at the University of Hull (CIUH) launched the Chinese Whispers Concert in the university’s Middleton Hall. The concert attracted an audience of approximately 400, including staff and students from the school, international students from China, and local residents. Among those distinguished guests were Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor of the University, Glenn Burgess, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for academic affairs of the University, Alan Speight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for education of the University, and Sun Dali, Chinese Consul General in Manchester.

In her welcoming speech, Marina Mozzon-McPherson, Foreign Director of CIUH, indicated that the concert brings a satisfactory conclusion to the series of celebration activities of the Confucius Institute. The University of Hull has a deep and comprehensive collaboration with Tianjin Normal University in China and the Chinese Whispers project is a very effective and innovative teaching attempt in the UK carried out by both universities through the Confucius Institute. At present, three Chinese Whispers Choirs have been established and two other middle schools in Humber respectively.

Chinese Whispers Choir from Hymers College giving singing “Jasmine Flower”

The performance was brilliant feat with a perfectly integrated array of Chinese and western cultures. Three Chinese Whispers Choirs respectively from Hymers College, Houghton Academy, and the University of Hull sang classic Chinese songs including “Jasmine Flower”, “Flowers, Yet Not Flowers”, “Flying Fireflies”, “Singing and Smiles”, “Back to Her Maternal Home”, and “Horses Bar”. The students’ accurate Chinese pronunciation and beautiful voices won rounds of applause from the audience.

Chinese Whispers Choir from the University of Hull singing “Back to Her Maternal Home”

The Herdsman’s Song”, performed by volunteer teachers of the Confucius Institute with the accordion, brought extraordinary pleasure to the audience by right of its sweet and agreeable melody. With the graceful accompaniment of string music, staff and students from the School of Arts of the university performed a ballad, “The Luckiest Sailor”. Furthermore, international students from China performed two pieces of music, “Clouds Chasing the Moon”, a gentle and lingering piano music, and “Liuyang River”, a music played with guzheng. Their performance delivered the unique charm of Chinese traditional music.

Chinese Whispers Choir from Howden School singing “Singing and Smiles”

It is worth mentioning that Sun Dali sang the song “My Motherland and I” at the scene. Through this song, he expressed his deep love for his motherland, China, winning thunderous applause from the audience.

Sun Dali singing “My Motherland and I”

Sun Dali spoke highly of the concert. He said that the brilliant performance not only presents what British students have achieved in Chinese language learning, but also reflects the dedication of the staff of the Confucius Institute. The China-UK relations is now in a “golden era”, with bilateral cooperation in fields such as politics, economy, science and technology, and culture and arts further deepening. He also extended his best wishes to students in both countries in achieving academic success as well as to the continual development of China-UK friendship.

Prior to the performance, Sun Dali discussed with Susan Lea on the development of the Confucius Institute, the cooperation between the University of Hull and Tianjin Normal University, and China-UK relations. Sun Dali said that with a steady economic growth, China has developed into the second largest economy in the world. The year of 2017 witnessed the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK ambassadorial-level diplomatic relations. The two countries will carry out further cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, culture, and education. Moreover, Sun gave a high appraisal to the achievements of the Confucius Institute as well as the cooperation between the University of Hull and Tianjin Normal University.

Susan Lea (forth from the right) meeting Sun Dali (middle) and his delegation

Susan Lea said that she had visited the Confucius Institute right after she took office and that she was deeply impressed by its achievements. The Confucius Institute not only connects two universities, but also links two port cities. She also expressed her gratitude to the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester for their support.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Hull was established in January, 2016. Its renowned Chinese teaching project, the Chinese Whispers, won the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Story by Yu Hongshan