Joint concert celebrates Chinese and American cultures


The packed auditorium at the Walter Payton College Prep High School erupted with applauses frequently as performances of orchestra, folk dances, and singing taking turns on the stage. It was a joint celebration of culture by students and professors from China and the U.S. The Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University (VU) in Indiana and the Confucius Institute in Chicago organized the event. Professor Jianyun Meng, Director of the Confucius Institute at VU and Ms. Michele Washington, Assistant Principal at Walter Payton, delivered welcome speeches at the concert, praising the joint concert that promotes the Chinese and American cultures and enhances the understanding and friendship among Chinese and American students.Professor Dennis Friesen-Carper of VU served as conductor of the VU Symphony Orchestra and M.C. of the concert. Students and professors from the Hangzhou Arts Academy and the Shanghai Normal University performed Chinese minority folk songs, folk dances, and traditional music instruments including Pipa and Yangqin, all at a professional level. 
In addition to the women's a capella ensemble and choir by Walter Payton students, Teshurah Lee, a student from Westinghouse College Prep, gave a very impressive vocal solo by singing the popular Kangding Love Song in Chinese. 
Friesen-Carper also invited Mr. Song Jiaming, conductor and principal of Hangzhou Art School, to come on stage and served as conductor for a powerful symphony orchestra performance. The student musicians and conductor collaborated so well that one would have thought they had rehearsed the piece together before. 
The concert reached a climax when the students in the audience enthusiastically joined the performers on stage to sing the popular Chinese folk song "Jasmine" together. 
Vice General Consul Wang from the Chinese Consulate also attended the concert.
More than 350 students from nine CPS public high schools attended the concert from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday, October 11.
Click here to see select photos of the concert