Feature: U.S., Chinese young musicians' virtual concert brings love, positivity amid pandemic


WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Love, comfort and positivity are the inspiring messages brought about by dozens of Chinese and U.S. young musicians who held a virtual concert on Saturday amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-hour event, livestreamed on YouTube Saturday evening, is part of the online celebration week hosted by the Chinese embassy in the United States to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Oct. 1 this year and coincides with China's National Day.

Programs in the concert were jointly completed by Chinese and American musicians, Bo Gao, who has just received his doctoral degree in piano performance at The Catholic University of America (CUA), told Xinhua.

"This kind of East-West cultural fusion makes this concert an impressionist painting of ink, elegant and full of color changes," said Gao, who helped put together the concert since mid-July.

"The connection between music and I just like a bridge, it is the best way to understand each other regardless of ethnicity, and people can always seek love, peace, and each other in music, especially during this special period of time," said Dongni Xie, founder and manager of In 6ix jazz band from the University of North Texas (UNT).

Xie, who recently received a doctoral degree of piano performance from the UNT, and five other band members -- guitar player David Mooney, bassist Steve Haffner, drum-set player Quincy Davis, jazz violinist Scott Tixier and flutist Lana Kuscer, performed a fusion of classical and jazz music as well as Chinese folklore "Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon" and "Butterfly Lovers."

Also, the Frost Saxophone Quartet - Benjamin Morris, Jacob Bernat, Noah Brisson, Shengbo Lin - from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami made a little history and became the first saxophone ensemble in the United States to play Chinese song "My Country and I" and "Dance of the Yao Tribes."

"Music is a universal language and it allows us to all communicate and has a good time regardless of your political beliefs. That's why I love being a musician," said cellist Krysta Hyppolite, who played "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" with pianist Ruixue Ma.

"For all of this time, I have deeply believed artists have their on way to shape the world, because art is full of charm and energy, it brings people joy, peace, and endless love," said Andrea Vela, who graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a master's degree, and is now studying conducting at the CUA.

"Now the whole world is experiencing the challenge brought by the virus, at this very moment we must stand together, stay united, walk beside each other to overcome the situation, to live in a beautiful, joyful, healthy world," added Vela, who conducted a choir with 15 singers in performing "You and Me" and "You Raise Me Up."

Ieva Jokubaviciute, a Lithuanian pianist living in the United States, shared with the audience a beautiful work by Dora Pejacevic in cooperation with violinist Itamar Zorman, who is originally from Israel.

"It is a privilege using this universal language of music to share and to guide the listeners through the experiences of this beautiful music," Jokubaviciute said. "I think as an artist, we bridge the necessary pathway between the art works in humanity."

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is generally regarded as one of the most important traditional festivals for the Chinese and falls on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

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