Chinese and Western music promoted cross-cultural exchange and understanding during the “West Meets East” concert in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall on Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. The concert featured University of Indianapolis faculty and visiting Chinese musicians from China’s Shanghai Normal University. The concert was sponsored by UIndy Asian Programs.
The concert opened with soprano Kathleen Hacker and Chinese original folk singer Zhao Xian performing the song “I Know Him So Well,” from the musical “Chess.”
Next, Hacker sang a few American songs, including “Memories,” “Songs My Mother Taught Me” and “The Things Our Fathers Loved.”
Then she performed “Sunrise,” by Charles Ives, with violinist Austin Hartman and pianist Gregory Martin.
Xian reappeared with accompanist Shen Lin for their “Impressions of Folk Music.” Lin is a music designer, producer, video designer, and synthesizer, according to the program. They performed “Memories of Folk Songs in the Jia Shan Region” next, which was followed by the intermission.
When the concert resumed, Hartman and Martin played several pieces, including “Nocturne,” “Cortège” and “Fourth Sonata for Violin and Piano ‘Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting.’”
Next, UIndy senior business major Wang Jia Qi played “Galloping War Horses” on the Chinese instrument, the erhu. There was a part in which Qi made the erhu sound just like a horse.
Finally, Xian and Lin returned. They performed “Voices of Street Peddlers in the Wu Region” and “A Song of Pagoda with Bells,” both of which were in Shanghai dialect. The last song was “Goin’ Home and Jasmine Flowers,” with Xian and Lin, joined by Hacker and Hartman. The song received a standing ovation, and the group came back and performed the piece again.
Freshman nursing major Emily Kissel enjoyed the concert.
“I had to look at the program to understand a lot of the music, but it was beautiful,” Kissel said. “I’ve only ever heard Chinese music in restaurants, but this was very different.”
Fellow freshman nursing major Abby Bokelman agreed.
“I came for the LP [Lecture Performance] credit, but I was impressed. The instruments were interesting, and I liked the synthesized music, even though I couldn’t totally follow along,” Bokelman said.
The next concert is tomorrow, Oct. 15, and will feature the UIndy Jazz Ensemble. The concert will take place in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m.