Nanjing University’s orchestra traveled from China to Arkansas this month for a stellar performance at UCA in celebration of Confucius Institute Day.
The free event at the Reynolds Performance Hall brought together several performers in addition to the Chinese orchestra for a day of American folk music; native Chinese tunes played on instruments such as the er-hu, pi-pa and the Chinese flute; and art demonstrations featuring calligraphy, paintings and more.
These art forms came together at several instances including one involving a Tai Chi performance paired with a pipe solo and a calligraphy demonstration paired with a pi-pa solo.
Because Nanjing University doesn’t offer a music degree, its orchestra brings together students from various disciplines including literature, philosophy, law, and business management.
The group has brought their music to audiences around the world including those in Germany, Russia, Japan and Korea.
Toward the end of its performance, the Orchestra incorporated American classics such as “Yankee Doodle” into its symphony.
“‘Yankee Doodle’ was a twist that I did not expect,” said Josh Carlat during an interview with the UCA’s student newspaper The Echo. “The show was very good; I enjoyed it a lot.”
In partnership with East China Normal University, UCA has been housing the 24th Confucius Institute in the U.S. since 2007.