The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York (纽约中国民族乐团) held the 58th annual community concert in Manhattan’s Chinatown in November 2019. Musicians and students performed Chinese classical, contemporary and ethnic repertoires for the community. The community concert is a combination of Grand ensemble, solo, band ensemble, student performance and other forms, and 34 members participated in the performance.
The musician season kicked off with Cantonese music Happiness in Peace (娱乐升平) and Birds Returning to the Forest (鸟投林) played by a high-pitched stringed instrument, Gaohu, showing the strong local characteristics of Guangdong music. Our band co-operated with the young composer Zhihua Hu on performing her contemporary Chinese musical work, The Fantasy of West Lake (西湖随想), which dynamically combines modern music theory and traditional Chinese musical instruments to express the beauty of West Lake located in Hangzhou, China. Two movements of the work were performed: Spring Dawn at Su Causeway (苏堤春晓) and Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge (断桥残雪).
In the student performance session, the orchestra student Jia Xu played Dance of Tater (塔塔尔族舞曲) on the flute, and Baohan played the Celebrating A Bumper Harvest (丰收锣鼓) with the guzheng. Mark Kirschbaum, Soler David, and Huo Li with the flute brought Song of Joy (欢乐歌). Suhasna Liyanaarachchi, who have been learning musical instruments for nearly four years brought the Erhu performance Chant of a Leisure Life (闲居吟).
Under the leadership of conductor Fang Fei, the grand ensemble performed three songs, Yu Ji's Swan Song (散愁情), The Night is Deepening (夜深沉), and Yu Ji's Lament (虞姬恨) of Lady Yuji Music Suite (虞美人组曲). In addition, they also brought modern songs such as Spring Come to the Xiang River (春到湘江), Where is the Road? (敢问路在何方), One Night in Beijing (北京一夜), the theme song, The Song of Heroes (好汉歌) of the TV series Water Margin (水浒传).