At 7:30PM local time, October 3, 2017, on the eve of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona held its sixth Mid-Autumn Festival Concert in the Crowder Hall of UA’s Fred Fox School of Music.
The concert, directed by Dr. Larry Lang, attracted a full house of about 500 music lovers, including overseas Chinese and Chinese students in Arizona, as well as other UA students and local Tucsonans.
Full house at the Crowder Hall
Before the concert began, CIUA director Prof. Zhao Chen, clad in black, walked onto the stage and spoke to the audience: “Mid-Autumn Festival is an occasion for family reunion, but last week many families were deprived of their loved ones in the shooting in Las Vegas. A 21-year-old, recent UA graduate also lost her life in the attack. The late and great director of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein once wrote, ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’ The victims of the Las Vegas attack were all musicians and music lovers, so let’s dedicate this concert to them.”
At the suggestion of Prof. Chen, the audience, men and women, old and young, of different nationalities and races, stood up, lowered their heads, and stood for a minute of silent tribute.
Prof. Zhao Chen spoke to the audience
Audience stood in stood in silent tribute
In addition to UA student performers and local artists in Tucson, the concert also featured Ms Weili Lin and Ms Jingyi Zhan from the School of Music of Shaanxi Normal University in China and Mr. Nianbo Yu of the New York Chinese Opera Society.
Composed of orchestral and choral pieces, the concert presented a feast of Chinese music culture to the audience.
At the beginning of the concert, also known as the Chinese Moon Festival Concert, UA's Purple Bamboo Ensemble performed the Cantonese folk song "Clouds Chasing the Moon" and the Jiangsu folk classic "The Purple Bamboo Tune".
The audience could find among the Chinese performers a non-Chinese young man playing the cello. The cellist is Matt Carlyon, a MA student and TA at Fred Fox School of Music who was assigned by the school to help with the concert but had never played Chinese folk music before. After reading the music scores and listening to Dr. Lang’s introduction about the background and implication of the music, Matt said he enjoyed playing Chinese folk music and would like to have more opportunities to play it.
The first right is Amtt Carlyon
The performances that followed were Guzheng solo "Xiang River Clouds" by Weili Lin, "Yao Dance" by Yiyi Huang (Guzheng), Tianshu Kong (Yangqin), Ge Zhu (Erhu) and Xiaoyu Zhao (Percussion), Erhu solo "Xiao Kaimen Overture" by Nianbo Yu, Pipa solo "No Way Go Out" by Jingyi Zhan, Guzheng quartet "Flower Following the Boat", the Pipa and Guzheng duet "Moon Is Rising" by Jingyi Zhan and Jing Xia, and the Erhu solo "Lan Huahua Ballade" by Fangyuan Liu and Weili Lin.
Guzheng solo Xiang River Clouds by Weili Lin
The quartet Yao Dance
Erhu solo Xiao Kaimen Overture by Nianbo Yu
Pipa solo No Way Go Out by Jingyi Zhan
Pipa and Guzheng quartet Moon Is Rising by Jingyi Zhan and Jing Xia
音乐会的声乐合唱部分同样精彩绝伦。图森少女合唱团的《月亮代表我的心》和《The Moon Bridge》都是以月为主题的歌曲，纯美的女声带给观众美妙的听觉享受。合唱团的成员全部都是非华裔美国女生，她们的中文演唱博得了观众热烈的掌声。
In the choral part of the concert, the songs "The Moon Represents My Heart" and "The Moon Bridge" by the Tucson Girls Chorus all featured the concert's theme: the moon. The singing in Chinese by these non-Chinese girls won warm applause from the audience.
图森男童合唱团的成员也大多是美国非华裔孩子，他们演唱了《大海啊，故乡！》和《How Can I Stop Singing My Song》，纯真的天籁之声使听众陶醉其中。
Most of the members of Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus are non-Chinese but they brought the songs "Great Ocean, My Home" and "How Can I Stop Singing My Song".
The female chorus of the Tucson Sino Choir presented "Qingwen’s Song" from the Chinese TV series "A Dream of the Red Mansions" and the Jiangsu folk song "Picking Up a Reed Flower". Concluding with the Tucson Sino Choir’s songs "Yimeng Mountain", "The Crescent Moon" and "My Hometown", the concert enabled the audience to be immersed in the Chinese sentiments of moon and thoughts of home through the appreciation of Chinese music and songs.
Tucson Girls Chorus
Tucson Sino Choir
Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus
Tucson Sino Choir
Prof. Janet Sturman, associate dean of UA Graduate College and professor of Ethnomusicology, said that “CIUA’s music programs have greatly enriched Ethnomusicology, making it possible for our students to appreciate the beauty of Chinese music and building a bridge between cultures.”
The audience at the concert
After the concert, CIUA also hosted a reception where the audience tasted moon cakes made by CIUA staff, fruits, and Chinese desserts.
CIUA’s Mid-Autumn Festival Concert has been listed as one of the official performances of the Fred Fox School of Music. Compared with previous concerts, this year’s venue moved from a 200-seat small hall to the 500-seat Crowder Hall and a more culturally diverse audience attended.
The concert has become one of the major cultural events shared and enjoyed by overseas Chinese and local Americans in Tucson. Through the concert, American audiences have the opportunity to learn more about traditional Chinese culture and appreciate its beauty.