3rd Confucius Institute International Music Summer Camp & 1st Confucius Institute Art Festival Rounded off

On July 6 evening, 2016, teachers and students from five continents sang Song of Cicadas at the Auditorium of CCOM, raised the curtain of the closing concert. Beginning from June 24 till July 7, the 14-day activity was supported by the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, sponsored by Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), organized by Center for the Exchange and Experience of Chinese and Foreign Music Cultures & Music Confucius Institute Office of CCOM and co-organized by Huaihua University; Traditional Instruments Department, Musicology Department, Orchestral Instruments Department and Middle School of CCOM; Western Returned Scholars Association & Chinese Overseas-Educated Scholars Association.

Three concerts: promoting the fusion of global music

On June 25, the opening concert of the "Global Music, Colorful Bridge"-3rd Confucius Institute International Music Summer Camp & 1st Confucius Institute Art Festival was grandly held at CCOM. Wang Zhizhen, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Vice-chairwoman of the 11th CPPCC; Zhang Qiujian, Deputy Secretary General of CPPCC; Zhang Xue, Deputy Secretary of Party Committee, Beijing Municipal Education Commission; Xu Suining, Deputy Secretary General of Western Returned Scholars Association & Chinese Overseas-Educated Scholars Association; Guo Shulan, Chairwoman of CCOM University Council; Yu Feng, CCOM President; Pang Huanlei, Deputy Secretary of Party Committee, CCOM attended the concert together with about 50 international teachers and students with art background from Africa, Europe, America, Asia and Oceania, as well as guests from all walks of life.

A number of artists including the international summer camp participants; excellent teachers and students from CCOM, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and Beijing Dance Academy; Qi Baoligao, Matouqin Artist, Inheritor of National Intangible Cultural Heritage; Gong Linna, Singer of Chinese Neo-Art Music jointly presented an extraordinary "global concert" to the audience. The concert program was not only consisted of exotic performances such as A Cappella Jambo and Half a Moon Rises sang by the chorus of the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, Kenya; gayageum and long drum duet by Baekseok Arts University, Korea; pipe organ solo by Royal Danish Academy of Music, Denmark; but also some classic Chinese pieces such as string quartet Song of Emancipation, suona solo Hundreds of Birds Worshipping the Phoenix, children's chorus Over the Rainbow and We Live with the Sun, matouqin solo The Distant Kherlen River, soprano Butterflies in Love with Flowers and A Little Running River, solo dance The Populus Diversifolia in the Wind and Kunqu opera Peony Pavilion·Wandering in the Garden. While the cross-cultural pieces including Chinese and Western instruments ensemble Take Me Home, Country Road, and guzheng and piano duet Buddhist Chant & Butterflies in Love with Flowers brought fresh air to the concert.

When talking about the significance of the activity, CCOM President Yu Feng noted, we always say "Chinese culture going out", "enhance the national cultural soft power", but cultural promotion needs a concrete carrier. What we have been doing now is to make music a cultural carrier, introduce Chinese culture to the world and bring world culture to China.

On June 27, the curtain of the "Hunan Tour Opening Concert" rose in the Kam Grand Choir Cuckoo Birds Usher Spring sang by the chorus of the School of Music and Dance, Huaihua University. The dance Festive Drum Dance of Miao People showed the hospitality of Miao people; the dance Work at Rice Field depicted Huayao people's farming with beautiful scenes; the dance Geluodada was cheerful and lively. Kelsey Hayes, a student from Carleton University, Canada sang the Chinese song The Valentine's Day without a Lover; the chorus of the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, Kenya sang an African style song Auspicious Days; Tony Lee and Dylan Zhang from the Confucius Music Institute, Australia performed the flute duet Click Go the Shears; the teacher and students from Baekseok Arts University, Korea sang the mixed chorus I am a Butterfly…the splendid performances won rounds of applause from the audience.

On July 6 evening, the closing ceremony was held at the Auditorium of CCOM. Li Weihong, Deputy Director of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of CPPCC; Xu Suining, Deputy Secretary General of Western Returned Scholars Association & Chinese Overseas-Educated Scholars Association; senior CCOM professors Chen Ziming, He Zhenjing, Hong Yuehua, Li Xiangting, Hu Zhihou, Tan Longjian, Yang Nailin, Zhang Boyu as well as departments and offices leaders, faculties and students attended the concert. After a few days study during the summer camp, the international teachers and students presented a number of performances including traditional Chinese instruments ensemble A Flowery Moonlit Night on the Spring River (specially arranged for the concert), African-Chinese percussion duet Lantern Dance, a lusheng dance of typical western Hunan style A Festive Dong Village, original folk song Song of Cicadas, original folk dance Celebrating Harvest, etc. Their performances won high acclaim from the audience present. José Valente, a student from the Music Confucius Institute in Denmark said: "I'm lucky to learn guzheng at the world's first Music Confucius Institute which is jointly constructed by CCOM and RDAM, this time I have come to China to take part in the Confucius Institute International Music Summer Camp, I have learned pipa and distinctive dance, it's a completely new experience for me. After I return to Denmark, I will continue to learn Chinese instruments and I wish I can play more music in the future."

The three content-rich concerts cover a number of art forms including instrumental music, dance, traditional Chinese opera, vocal music, etc. Under the support of the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, the Project/Artistic Director of the activity Prof. Liu Yuening, Director of Center for the Exchange and Experience of Chinese and Foreign Music Cultures & Music Confucius Institute Office of CCOM, has been constantly fulfilling her artistic ideals "sharing Chinese music with the world", promoting the "fusion and common-development" of world music cultures, "sharing traditional and classic music, promoting the fusion and innovation of Sino-Western music".

Learning at two places: pursuing the harmonious beauty of Chinese music

From June 26 to July 1, led by Prof. Liu Yuening (Director), Dr. Zhang Lexin (Project Manager) and Zhang Le (Project Coordinator) of Center for the Exchange and Experience of Chinese and Foreign Music Cultures, the international summer camp participants traveled through Huaihua, Xinhuang, Zhijiang, Fenghuang and Jishou in Hunan Province, where they appreciated and experienced the folk art and customs of Dong nationality, learned lusheng dance, classic folk songs and dances of Dong people, and experienced the glamour of the cultural traditions of western Hunan in an immersive way. Through this interactive field study, the summer campers have changed from appreciators to real participators of Chinese music. This experience is not only a simple music tour for them, but also a deepening of their understanding of Chinese culture. Prof. Cho Hwan Sung from Baekseok Arts University, Korea noted, through in-depth study, they have found the Chinese culture is profound and extensive, the Korean participants have specially created a chat group on Kakao Talk to share Chinese culture and what they have seen and experienced in China with their friends in Korea, the students have all become fond of China, if there will be more opportunities in the future, they will organize more Korean students to visit China and experience Chinese culture.

In addition to experiencing the local music, "mastering Chinese instruments through five lessons" is another highlight of each international music summer camp. The foreign teachers and students started from zero when they came into contact with guzheng, yangqin, erhu, xiao, pipa and Chinese percussion, after being instructed by dedicated teachers and practicing industriously, they managed to perform on the stage confidently finally. They have learned to play the traditional Chinese instruments ensemble piece A Flowery Moonlit Night on the Spring River- the grand finale of the closing concert, in 5 lessons in 4 days. From 2014 to 2016, from Jasmine Flower and A Love Song in Kangding to A Flowery Moonlit Night on the Spring River, the traditional Chinese instruments ensemble pieces of the three continuous summer camps reflect the fact that, foreign teachers and students' comprehension of traditional Chinese music has become deeper and deeper.

Multi-dimensional development: "showing China in a tender yet forceful way"

CCOM Chairwoman Guo Shulan pointed out, compared to previous years, this year's summer camp has an outstanding feature-expansion. The range of participants has expanded from two or three countries to five continents, the realm of art has expanded from mere music to dance, traditional Chinese opera, etc., and the content has also been expanded from simply inviting Chinese artists to give lectures to also inviting foreign group-leading teachers to deliver lectures on their national art to the campers. Exchange, experience, fusion and interaction have become the key words as well as highlights of this summer camp and art festival. With music as a tie, we hope to present Chinese culture and exert influence to the world in the form of art in a tender yet forceful way.

The field study and social investigation in Hunan is an experience tour of minorities' music, the instruments study and performances in Beijing is a participation into and feeling of Chinese music, while the three "global music" lectures by experts and two Chinese culture and art workshops are a new experience of the mutual fusion and collision between Chinese culture and global art. "Though we had made a lot of preparations before we came to China, but when we really come into contact with Chinese art and culture, we are shocked. We had been exposed to different music in Hunan, it was a wonderful memory and a precious chance of international cultural communication. In addition to music, we have also experienced and learned Chinese dance and traditional opera, which have been greatly enjoyed by the students. Especially Beijing opera, we knew little about it before, but after we attended the Beijing opera workshop, the feeling it has brought to us can be said 'fantastic'", James Wright, Professor of School for Studies in Art and Culture, Carleton University, Canada said, "The two-week study and experience will play an active role in promoting exchanges and mutual learning among cultures."

In order to facilitate Sino-Foreign youth's further cognition and understanding of Chinese music culture as well as their outlook of the bright future of world culture, we held a fellowship symposium themed on "Music, Culture and World" on July 6 morning. Hosted by Dr. Zhang Lexin, the global teachers and students conducted active discussions and communication with CCOM professors (Chen Ziming, Liu Yuxi, Tian Zaili, Liu Yuening and associate researcher Gao Fuxiao) and the students from the Traditional Instruments Department, Musicology Department and Orchestral Instruments Department of CCOM over the issues the similarities and differences among global music cultures, the current development status and future development trends of world culture. Through the symposium, the participants' learning result and experience have been further enriched in the theoretical level.

To enhance the world people, especially the youth's further perception of China and promote the fusion and co-development of world music cultures through the new comprehensive platform for art exchange "Confucius Institute International Music Summer Camp & 1st Confucius Institute Art Festival", is our common aspiration and desire.


MCI Office of CCOM/translation:Qi Lei , CCOM , 2016-08-29

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