Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University Holds Friendship Lasts Forever & 11th Great Lakes Music Festival

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, the US [Time]    2018-10-04 09:24:34 
 

On September 16th, local time, the Friendship Lasts Forever & 11th Great Lakes Music Festival was held at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in Chicago, the US. The event was co-organized by Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago (CAAGC), Dongfang Chinese Performing Arts Association, Symphony Orchestra of Valparaiso University and the “New Silk Road Explorers” band. A total of 1,000 Chinese and American performers from 30 art groups of 6 states of the US took the stage, presenting programmes including Chinese folk songs and dances, cheongsam shows, bel canto songs and symphonies. More than 5,000 audience enjoyed the feast of Chinese and American culture and arts.


The concert

Mark Heckler, President of Valparaiso University, Theresa Ma, Senator of Illinois, Liu Jun, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, Zheng Zheng, Chairwoman of CAAGC, Meng Jianyun, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute, and Yu Bin, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, attended the event.


Guests delivering a speech

Mark Heckler said in his speech that Valparaiso University is positive towards the work of the Confucius Institute and the promotion of Chinese culture, and the activities of the Confucius Institute reflect the University’s tolerance of cultural diversity. At the same time, he highly praised the support of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and the cooperative university, Zhejiang University of Technology for the Confucius Institute, and wished the concert a complete success.

In his speech, Liu Jun pointed out that this concert is one of the most important Chinese cultural activities in the consular district of Chinese Consulate-General in Chicago. It condenses the painstaking efforts of many universities, Confucius Institutes and Chinese communities of several states and embodies the deep friendship between the peoples of China and the US.

Theresa Ma and the representative of the Governor of Illinois sent their regards to the Chinese people in Greater Chicago and the State. They expressed that Illinois has a positive attitude toward comprehensive exchanges and cooperation between the US and China and hoped to hold more such events.

The “New Silk Road Explorers” band and the Symphony Orchestra of Valparaiso University played three overtures “Good News from Beijing to Border Villages”, “Kangding Love Song” and “Dance of the Yao People” to kick off the concert.


Opening performance

Subsequently, the “New Silk Road Explorers” band and Zhao Huan, the famous Chinese erhu performer, delivered ensembles of folk music “Purple Bamboo Melody” and “Horse Racing”.


Ensembles of folk music “Purple Bamboo Melody” and “Horse Racing”

Dai Yuqiang, the tenor renowned at home and abroad, sang the classic song “A Song of Two Places” and surprised the audience with his sonorous voice. He and his daughter Dai Ziyi, the up-and-coming and capable bel canto singer performed wonderful bel canto duets “The Merry Widow” and “Libiamo ne' lieti calicii”. Famous coloratura Juliet Petrus sang the “Variations on Mayra”, “Kangding Love Song” and other folk songs, receiving bursts of applause. Famous pop singer Cheng Lin performed “Shanxi Local Melody”, “Any Empty Wine Bottles for Sale” and other popular classics, making the melody still linger after his performance.


Dai Yuqiang and Dai Ziyi performing bel canto duet


Juliet singing “Variations on Mayra” and “Kangding Love Song”


Cheng Lin singing popular classics including “Shanxi Local Melody” and “Any Empty Wine Bottles for Sale”

The famous Chinese conductor Zhang Rui was present at the concert and directed the local Chinese choir of Chicago to sing the overture to “Carmina Burana”, “America the Beautiful” and “Descendants of the Dragon”, presenting a great occasion.


Cheongsam show

Dennis Friesen-Carper, the music consultant of the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, was the Chief Conductor of the bands. He directed not only the ensembles of all the singers at the concert, but also the performance of the chorus joined by a thousand Chinese and Americans as well as that of a symphony orchestra of over 500 people. The concert ended in the melodies of “Song and Smile” and “Auld Lang Syne”.


The students of the Chinese course of the Confucius Institute participating in the chorus of Chinese songs

The performance of chimes is a highlight of this Music Festival. The Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University and the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan cooperated to bring the Dasheng chime-bells of the Song dynasty on the stage. It was the first time to combine the ancient chime with western symphony orchestra in North America.


Guests and performers

Before the performance, the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University organized more than 500 American students of the symphony orchestra to participate in the Chinese national musical instruments experience course. Under the guidance of instrumental music experts and teachers of the Confucius Institute, students experienced the playing of Chinese national musical instruments such as guzheng (the Chinese zither), erhu, pipa, cucurbit flute and bamboo flute.


Guzheng teaching


Erhu performance


Cucurbit flute performance

The Friendship Lasts Forever & Great Lakes Music Festival is held for the second time at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in Chicago. It aims to display Chinese culture through musical exchange, and with music serving as a bridge, to enhance the cohesion of overseas Chinese, promote China-US friendship and deepen mutual understanding. The concert won wide attention and praise from the Chinese and foreign media.

Story by Liu Huimin

 
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