Orchestra introduces Chinese instruments to foreigners
By Jamie Wang, The China Post Sunday, December 13, 2009, 12:31 pm TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- After a long and rough week, it's definitely a good way to start the holidays with some joyous classic Chinese music and a brief introduction to the instruments.
The classic Chinese music concert, "Bamboo flute, folk and Christmas songs," gave the neighborhood a fresh morning that welcomed the Christmas season with the beautiful instruments yesterday morning.
The previous event, jointly held last year by Nancy Yu Huang Foundation and The China Post, featured six guest performers and was a fan-packed performance.
The Nancy Yu Huang Foundation, set up in 1992, has been committed to improving local journalism and English proficiency in Taiwan. The foundation is dedicated in memory of Nancy Yu Huang, co-founder of The China Post.
Following the previous success, the organizers decided to host the event again this year to help connect more people to the traditional music and instruments at the Bach Recital Hall in Taipei.
The 16 group members, who called themselves University Community Chinese Classic Music Orchestra, had intensively rehearsed the performance for a month. All of them are music connoisseurs, including a retired music teacher and professional conductor.
All the pieces in the concert were carefully chosen for this special season. The selection ranged from folk music, classic piece, and festive combo.
To heat up the enthusiasm in the audience, the ensemble started the day with the mellifluous "Happy New Year Parade" and "Jasmine Blossom in June."
The group then arranged an English presentation given by group leader Chang Ching-lin (張慶麟). By giving instructions in English, the group aimed to reach out to foreigners who are interested in traditional culture.
To provide the basic ideas about the instruments, the orchestra members displayed each of the instruments and demonstrated each of their timbres, respectively.
The event included a special program presenting six unique Chinese flutes. The hosts invited Lee Ta-kuang (李達光), a musician from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra.
Besides the well-known traditional bamboo flute, Lee showcased some rare instruments such as Hsiao (蕭), an end-blown flute, and the Hsiun, an instrument often used in royal entertaining performance date back to 3,000 years ago.
Lee performed "Mending the fishing net" (補破網) on the Hsiun, and showed that it is very difficult for musicians to master the tiny instrument.
Hugh Moeser, Deputy Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, said, "I think it's a very nice introduction to the Chinese instruments and the opportunity to meet the people was also very good."
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