Chinese Farmers' Chorus Wins Int'l Awards, Performs Overseas

September 7, 2018
Editor: Shen Li
Members of Xiaoshuijing Farmers Chorus sing on stage. [whb.cn]

 

A group of 60 villagers from Xiaoshuijing, in southwest China's Yunnan province, recently won a major singing prize, the Isaac Stern Award — Human Spirit Award, at a ceremony in Shanghai.

Xiaoshuijing Farmers' Chorus come from a village of 450 people, all of whom are of Miao ethnic group.

Established in 2002 in the mountains, the chorus is led by conductor Zhang Xiaoming. 

No member had ever received professional vocal training beforehand. Instead, they absorbed the local bel canto singing traditions introduced there by an Australian Christian missionary in 1937.
 
The techniques and songs were passed down, from mouth to mouth, over generations.

Singing is a way of living for farmers in Xiaoshuijing. During the daytime, they work in the field; at night, they gather together and sing.

The chorus' singing is not only in bel canto style, but also has combined Miao ethnic music elements, which makes them so outstanding.
In 2018 the chorus performed internationally for the first time as part of major Chinese New Year celebrations at New York's Lincoln Center, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.

As violinist Isaac Stern put it, "music makes life better for every one".

 

Members of Xiaoshuijing Farmers Chorus rehearse in their village. [whb.cn]

 

(Source: whb.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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