Musicians visit Oxford before Cincinnati Youth Chinese Music and Art Festival

By Rachel Berry

Musicians from Liaoning Normal University (LNNU) came to visit Oxford and the surrounding areas for five days of musical performances and demonstrations. Their visit ended on Saturday, November 3, with the Cincinnati Youth Chinese Music and Art Festival, which included a talent show featuring local students and ended with a performance by the LNNU musicians.

Students visit Miami during their tripTheir visit began with a visit to the Confucius Institute at Miami University (CIMU) on Tuesday, Oct. 30th. They were given a tour of the facilities and met with the classical music club to perform a demonstration for these students and teach them how to better play classical Chinese instruments. 

The next day, the LNNU guests met with the director of Miami’s orchestra, Ricardo Averbach, and they attended a performance put on by Miami music students. They also held a small workshop to demonstrate how to play Chinese music. That night, they performed for Miami students, faculty, and community members with a show of traditional Chinese melodies.

On that Friday, the LNNU musicians visited two local schools, The Seven Hills School and Sycamore High School, to perform for the students and teach them folk dances. There was a question and answer session afterwards for people to learn even more about music in China.

musicians shake hands on stageThe Cincinnati Youth Chinese Music and Art Festival took place on Saturday, November 3, consisting of a talent show, art competition, and performances from musicians from Liaoning Normal University. This event was sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Miami University (CIMU) in conjunction with the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Association and the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society. The performers were local middle and high school students, who showcased a variety of Chinese and western music.

The talent show began with vocal performances. Some students sang by themselves, while others performed in groups of two or three. Mason Chambal and Jonathan Albrecht, seniors at The Miami Valley School, ultimately won the vocal division with their duet of the song “Chengdu.”

musicians pose with their instrumentsAfter the vocal competition came the instrumental performances. Instruments ranged from the piano and violin, to Chinese instruments such as the yang qin, erhu, and jinghu. Vivian Chang and Makayla Ma, two eighth graders from Mason, Ohio, won the instrumental division with their rendition of “Spring of Xin Jiang” played on the violin and piano.

“It is a good opportunity for everybody to perform and watch Chinese songs,” one audience member said. “It is important to learn other languages and cultures to understand and be tolerant of each other.”

a woman admires art in a galleryDuring the musical performances, artwork was displayed to match the theme: “Chinese Impressions”. Judges chose three winners for this category: Jessica Li, Emi Tao, and Ethan Ma. Following the talent competitions, the LNNU musicians gave a master class to teach visitors how to play Chinese instruments and perform folk dances. Afterwards, guests were invited to stay and watch the LNNU musicians’ show. Their acts ranged from songs to dances to musical ensembles. This is the second show of their tour. After the performances in Cincinnati, the LNNU musicians performed in New York.

“I really enjoyed the performances…I was impressed with the instruments’ sound from the Chinese culture. I will be back next year,” an audience member said.