Feature: American conductors build bridge of friendship with China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-24 03:18:44|Editor: yan
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by Jian Ping

CHICAGO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Jeffrey Doebler, a music professor at Valparaiso University (VU), was the key conductor of the "Friendship Lasts Forever" concert held in Chicago on Sunday.

With his Windiana Concert Band, Doebler has been to many countries. "But China is very special," he said.

"We have been to big cities and small towns in China. I always feel very much welcomed there and I love meeting with Chinese citizens," he added.

Doebler has lectured on music in China since 2005, and taken his band to perform in China for more than 10 times. He has also conducted Chinese music at various venues in the United States.

At Sunday's concert, launched in its third year in a row to celebrate the friendship and collaboration between China and the United States, Doebler conducted a combination of Chinese and American orchestras, bands, and choirs playing Chinese and Western music, including popular pieces like "Song of the Yangtze River", "A Single Voice", and "the America, the Beautiful".

"Our goal is harmony," said Doebler. "We are doing our best to promote world peace and understanding using music."

Doebler's sentiment was echoed by Dennis Friesen-Carper, another music professor at VU who conducted the Prelude "Confucian Ceremonial Music" at the concert.

Friesen-Carper has been to China many times as well. In addition to conducting and performing, he is serving as principal guest conductor of the Wenqin Symphony Orchestra at Zhejiang University.

He rearranged the original Confucius ceremonial music from China, making the melody in harmony with Western music while keeping "the spirit of Chinese music."

Friesen-Carper has rearranged many Chinese traditional and folk music for Western orchestras, according to Meng Jianyun, director of the Confucius Institute at VU.

Friesen-Carper praised the Sunday concert for showcasing singers and music from both China and America.

Christopher Cock, conductor of the Valparaiso University Chorale, represents the most prestige in music at the university.

Regarding his first visit to China earlier this year, Cock said he very much enjoyed meeting with many colleagues in music in China and loved all the different types of Chinese food.

In Cock's opinion, the choir of South China Normal University that performed at the concert was "outstanding" and "of international level."

"Music is perhaps the greatest gift for understanding of any culture," he said.