Wanjun Qiao, Conductor

 

After graduating from China's prestigious Central Conservatory of Music, Mr. Qiao was awarded full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1993. Following Berklee, he has successfully organized over 100 large scale performances. From 2001 to 2011, he organized 11 Boston Chinese Arts Festivals annually and the first and the second Connecticut Chinese Arts Festival. In 1998, Mr. Qiao became the Chairman of North American Chinese Performing Arts Association. In 2007, he founded North American Chorus Association (NACA) and has been the Chairman and Artistic Director since then.

Mr. Qiao serves as conductor and artistic director for NACA, Boston Eastern Heritage Chorus, and several Chinese choruses in Greater Boston, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. He has led chorus members to participate in international singing competitions and received distinguished awards: A Gold Prize of choruses and Excellent Conducting Award in the 2012 Vienna World Choral Festival of Adults and Seniors. He also successfully led the first “Greater Boston Community Choral Festival” in June, 2010. He led members from Boston Eastern Heritage Chorus and NACA as they won two silver awards in major mixed voice choir super category and multicultural choir super category, and one laureate award in adult female choir super category at 2009 Montreal International Choral Competition. Chorus under his direction won a silver and a bronze in the 4th World Choir Game in Xiamen, China in 2006, and two grand awards in the 6th International Chorus Festival in Beijing, China in 2002.

Xi Wang, Dance Soloist and Choreographer

The artistic career of Ms. Xi Wang has spanned more than 20 years.  Her reputation as an exceptional dance soloist, leading dancer, artistic director, and choreographer of Chinese classical and ethnic dance has led her to perform at venues of diverse worldwide audiences.

During her distinguished career, Ms. Wang has performed an extensive repertory of Yunnan ethnic dance styles ranging from Dai, Wa to Hani, as well as Tibetan ethnic dances from seventeen minority ethnic groups in Southwest China.  Her skilled techniques come from the vast experience she obtained by performing and working at the prestigious Yunnan Province Opera & Dance Theatre in China, alongside world class renowned choreographers Zhou Peiwu and Tao Chun.

Throughout her thirteen year tenure at Yunnan Opera & Dance Theatre, Xi Wang performed major roles as premiere in dance operas, such as “Ashima” and “Water Splashing Festival.”  As a soloist and leading dancer, she also performed in many big national and international venues in front of thousands of spectators.  These include the international celebration of Hong Kong Returns to China in 1997; the opening ceremonies for the Kunming International Cultural & Tourism Festival, six years straight (2000 – 2005), and the epic production of the China Silk Road concert, which toured internationally to wide audience acclaim.

  • Founder & Artistic Director, XI WANG DANCE TROUPE, 2011 ~ present;
  • Artistic Director of New Haven Butterfly Chinese Dance Ensemble, 2009 ~ 2012;
  • Choreographer for “Flying Fairy” dance performance, which debuted in 2010 at Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT;
  • Choreographer for “The Red Umbrella” debuted at Woolsey Hall, 2009.

Jing Lu, Chinese Dulcimer Artist

Jing Lu began studying yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) at age four, when she became known as a child prodigy. As a result of her outstanding performances and continued success, she received the highest scores in the country and was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music for classical yangqin at the age of twelve.

Jing Lu received her B.A. degree in Music Performing Arts from the top music conservatory in China, Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM). Recent performances include “The Sound of Yang Qin” Jasmine Ensemble Concert at Luo Yang Opera Theatre; “The Music of Latino” Quartet Concert at Central Conservatory of Music; Jasmine Ensemble Concert at Tsinghua University; “Bangladesh Music” Quartet Concert at Central Conservatory of Music; “A Beautiful Jasmine” Jasmine Ensemble Concert at National Centre for the Performing Arts; “The Rhythm of Indonesia” Quartet Concert at Beijing Music; “Chile Folk Music” Quartet Concert at Chile Embassy; “Growth” Solo Recital at Central Conservatory of Music; “The Rhythm of Childhood” Solo Recital at Beijing Youth Palace. She received Silver Prize of Asian Traditional Chinese Instrument Performance in 2009; Silver Prize of Asian Traditional Chinese Instrument Performance in 2008; Gold Prize of Traditional Instrumental Music of Youth in 2004; Silver Prize of Chinese Traditional Instrumental Music Competition in 2002.                             

Jing Lu received her B.A. in Music Performing Arts from the top music conservatory in China, the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM).  Upon graduation, Lu decided to continue her studies in the United States. She is currently a third-year student at Columbia University and will receive her M.F.A. in Stage Management in May 2013. Current credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for Three Women; Assistant Stage Manager for AK-47 Sing-Along in the 2010 New York Fringe Festival; Stage Manager for Broken Wings, Washing Away, and Birthday Triage; Production Stage Manager for the musical Golden Poplar in Beijing’s Poly Theatre; Production Assistant for Flambé Dreams and Production Assistant/Wardrobe Supervisor for A Letter to Harvey Milk at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; Production Assistant for Golden Child at Signature Theatre.

Jing Lu continues to perform Chinese Dulcimer (Yang Qin). Most recently, she performed her solo recital at Carnegie Hall on May 7th, 2013.

Zhou Yi, Pipa Artist

Award winning Zhou Yi is the best known young pipa (lute) artist in the world. She is a rising-

star and an extremely gifted virtuoso pipa performer. As a child prodigy, Zhou Yi started to learn music at the age of five and gave her first public recital at six. She trained for four years on the pipa before enrolling in the elementary school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, similar to the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Two pipa students, out of thousands, were selected for the position in the school. At the age of eight, she won first prize of the Shanghai Spring Music Festival. At the age of sixteen, her music was recorded and published by New Era Sound & Video Company of Guangzhou and Nanjing Video Publishing House of China. These recordings are used for future generations of music students to study as ideal renditions of these pieces. 

After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Zhou Yi moved to New York and has been heard in various venues throughout the United States. She has performed in places such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, John Hancock Hall, Pickman Concert Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also played in New York University, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Longy School of Music. Zhou Yi has delighted audiences in the "Peony Pavilion", "The Orphan of Zhao" and "Ghost Lovers" with the Lincoln Center Festival; the Asia Society's "Wen Ji: Eighteen Songs of Nomad Flute"; and has been heard at the Shen Wei Dance Arts' "Second Visit to the Empress". She has performed at the Spoleto Festival, USA in 2002 and 2004, and the ADF Festival in 2005.

As a concert soloist, Zhou Yi has toured Europe, Asia and North America. Her performances include Tan Dun's Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany; Young People's Concert with the New York Philharmonic; Bun-Ching Lam's Pipa Concerto "Song of the Pipa" with the New York Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; and "Sisters of the Grassland" with the Ohio Youngstown Symphony Orchestra; Pro Musicis's "Snow Of June"; the solo recital of contemporary music in the Renee Weiler Concert Hall, NYC; the 2006 Alaska CrossSound Music Festival and the 2007 Bowling Green New Music & Art Festival. In 2008, Zhou Yi was selected as the featured pipa-ist for the Spoleto Festival's premiere show, Monkey: Journey To The West. She collaborated with Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur). Her playing has been praised for its meticulous technique and expressiveness. She has been singled out as a young performer of notable musical talent. The Boston Globe wrote: "...She has an impressive command of the instrument and of a broad range of its classical, folk, and modern musical literatures..." and The New York Concert Review said: "...Her subtle string work made an artistic effect..." 

Zhou Yi's resent projects include producing a show that was the first of it's kind to meld eastern music sensibilities with western jazz to form an original hybrid of music; recorded the music for two off-broadway productions, David Henry Hwang's "The Dance and the Railroad" and "Around the World in 80 Days"; and Carnigie Hall's 2013 Musical Explorer program. 

Zhou Yi is a co-founder of the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of New York. She also plays the qin (zither), liuqin (high pitched lute), ruan (alto lute), sanxian (three stringed lute) as well as the western instrument – piano. Zhou Yi currently resides in New York City and can be contacted at chinesepipa@gmail.com.

All Connecticut Chinese Chorus

 

All Connecticut Chinese Chorus (ACCC) members are faculty, administrators, students, scientists and professionals from all over the Connecticut including University of Connecticut, Yale University, Connecticut State Universities, and Community Colleges. ACCC members are dedicated to making quality music and are well-trained under its artistic director Wanjun Qiao. The repertoires of ACCC are mainly Chinese choral music but also include works in English and other languages. The choir presents an average of ten performances each year.

ACCC together with choirs affiliated with North America Chorus Association attended the Vienna World Choral Festival for Adults in December 2012. They performed in Vienna’s Golden Hall and were awarded the Gold Prize by international judges. Its conductor Wanjun Qiao was awarded Excellent Conductor award.  ACCC members were also part of the chorus winning one Laureate and two 2nd Place Laureates in the World Choral Competition in Montreal, Canada in2009, a silver and a bronze in the Fourth World Choir Game in Xiamen, China in 2006.

Sopranos: Ping Bai, Yuanqian Chen, Yunfang Dong, Shufang Fu, Ying Huang, Xiaoyan Jiao, Bin Jing, Xiaoling Kelleher, May Kwok, Huilin Qi, Alison Wang, Hong Xiao, Jane Yin, Shuning Zhan, Han Zhou , Kiu Yeung

Altos: Hongli Dong, Xin Du, Yiguang Fu, Yi Guan, Yan Hong, Xi Jiang, Ning Lin, Shan Peng, Jenny Wang, Zongyuan Wang, Xuemei Xu, Dong Xuan, Chun Zhang, Sara Zhang

Tenors and Basses: Jiaju Gong, Jin Hu, Tao Peng, Hongjie Wang, Weitao Wang, Hongbo Zang, Qiyi Zhang 

Elaine Yao, Assistant Conductor and Accompanist

Elaine Yao is a senior at Farmington High School, and she has been taking piano lessons from Malgosia Lis and violin lessons from Elizabeth Fay at Hartt School Community Division since 2003. 

Elaine won first place at Virtuoso Pianists Competition of North Central Chapter CSMTA in 2013.  She was awarded Jeffrey Quinn Morrison Prize at Hartt School Community Division for the best performance by a pianist in grade 12 at the Piano Honors Audition. Elaine was the third place winner of the Audrey Thayer Piano Competition in 2011 and 2010, and she was the second place winner in 2007 and received an Honorable Mention in 2012 at the same competition. Elaine also received Honorable Mention at Musical Club of Hartford High School Piano Competition in 2012. She was a winner of the Select Student Competition of Connecticut State Music Teachers Association in 2006 and 2005.

As a violinist, Elaine received 2013 Connecticut Youth Symphony Senior Award. She is also the recipient of National Association of String Orchestra Award at Farmington High School.  Elaine has played in Connecticut Youth Symphony since 2010 and was the principal second violinist 2012-2013. Elaine was selected to play in National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Honors Concert in 2013 and Connecticut All-State Festival Orchestras 2010-2012. She also played in Northern Region High School Festival Orchestras 2010-2013 and Northern Region Middle School Festival Orchestras 2007-2009.   Elaine is the concertmaster of Vintage 21, a chamber music orchestra at Farmington High School. She played in quartet and trio at Hartt School Community Division.

Xi Wang Dance Troupe

 Xi Wang Dance Troupe

 The Xi Wang Dance Troupe is a young performing dance company, founded by international renowned dancer and choreographer, Xi Wang, in 2011. This talented group is composed of some of the very best Chinese dancers, as well as young Asian American dancers, from various communities and universities in Connecticut.  The group’s focus, under the artistic direction of Ms. Wang, is to excite audiences about authentic Chinese classical dance.  Using her experience of more than 20 years, Ms. Wang incorporates unique ethnic Chinese styles into the dance numbers performed by the troupe, relying on precise movements and symmetrical motions of bodies.  The performances of the company demonstrate a graceful, beautiful harmony between each dancer on stage, and the troupe has taken this expression of balanced flight to many venues in Connecticut, where audiences have been thrilled by their flowing elegance and colorful costumes.

The Xi Wang Dance Troupe specializes in the following styles of expression, the Women's Tale and White Peacock, both Dai ethnic dances, the Chrysanthemum Pavilion and Blue Porcelain, traditional Chinese classical dances, and even Tibetan dance.

Dancers: Yan Hong, Alison Wang, Kathleen Reichenberger, Dereka Nawracay, Angela Wanying Lu , Michelle Sun

Jichun Sun, Singer and Dancer of the Wenqu Opera

Jichun Sun, Singer and Dancer of the Wenqu Opera

Jichun Sun joined Wenqu Opera (???) Troupe in Wuxue, Hubei, P. R. China at the age of thirteen. She was trained rigorously as a dramatic singer and dancer with a specialization in martial art dance. She played acclaimed leading roles in several operas including “The Yang Sister Rescues Her Brother”, “The Tale of the White Snake” in 1990’s. Recognizing her performance in the leading roles in two Wenqu Operas, Hubei Professional Opera Arts Association awarded her two gold prizes. She is a member of Chinese Folk Art Association and Hubei Professional Opera Arts Association. She is also a senior coach of Mulan martial arts.

To promote traditional Chinese folk art, Ms. Sun has established Mulan Art Center in Connecticut where she teaches traditional opera and series of Mulan Quan routines, as well as dance routines from Chinese opera. Specific projects include dances using a single fan, two fans, a single sword, two swords, a long spike sword, double daggers, and flower stick.

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