The NIU Chinese Music Ensemble will give a concert performance at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in the Recital Hall of NIU’s Music Building.
Established by Professor Emeritus Kuo-Huang Han in the 1970s, the NIU Chinese Music Ensemble was the first all-American college group in the United States and gave several national and international concert performances from 1976 to 1978.
After a hiatus of three decades, the ensemble is back in 2010 as a result of the leadership of enthusiastic volunteer, NIU’s first artist-in-residence in Chinese music, Professor Yung-Hsin Chen. Under Chen’s direction, all 20 members of this group began learning the authentic Chinese instruments for the first time in this semester.
These instruments include the er-hu, a two-string fiddle; the pipa, liuyeh-qin, yueh-qin, san-xian and ruan, long/short neck lutes; the zheng, a zither; the yang-qin, a hammered dulcimer; the di-zi, a bamboo flute; the sheng, a mouth organ; and the luo-gu, gongs and cymbals.
The addition of the Chinese music ensemble to the already flourishing NIU world music curriculum has helped broaden both musical and cultural horizons of NIU students and the campus community at large. With the mission of promoting Chinese culture through learning its traditional music, the NIU Chinese Music Ensemble wishes to enhance the cultural diversity and showcase the richness of the multicultural American society.
This concert features classical and folk music of the Han Chinese and several ethnic minorities’ traditions from China and Taiwan. Guest artists also include ethnomusicologist and er-hu artist, Ming-Yen Lee, NIU alum Brent Roman (who just returned from tours with the world-renowned entertainment company Cirque du Soleil) and Distinguished Teaching Professor William Goldenberg on the piano.