Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sun-Yat-Sen Hall Concert

During the Warring States period (Sha Dynasty), around 2,300 years ago, the people who lived along the banks of the Min River were plagued by annual flooding. Qin governor Li Bing (李冰) investigated the problem and discovered that the river was swelled by the fast flowing spring melt-water from the local mountains that burst the banks when it reached the slow moving and heavily silted stretch below. He proposed to construct an artificial levee to redirect a portion of the river's flow and then to cut a channel through Mount Yulei to discharge the excess water upon the dry Chengdu Plain and beyond he started the work and spent 9 years for the initial phase of the project. His son Yue(大禹) followed him to work on the project for a total of more than thirteen more years .During this long period, he passed his home three times, but he was so much devoted to his work, he did not enter his home even once. This story was written as a chorus. It was called "The Taming of Flood by Big Yue" (大禹治水) Unfortunately, I no longer could find any one on the web posted the song in some fashion. Since this chorus was written for four parts mixed voices, we had to negotiate to sing this chorus with a girls' school. Everyone was very excited. Girls! girls! Suddenly the chorale group became very popular!

With the help of our music teacher, we made the choice, and got an agreement with Taipei Girls Normal School. They had a chorale group just about the same size and the school was not very far and we needed to make arrangement to rehearse together before the concert. Because of the complicated logistic arrangement, we finally decided to have only two rehearsals together, one at girls school and one at our school. Chen I-Chun and I were the soloists from Cheng-Kong, Huang Ming-show (黄明秀) was the soloist fron Normal School. The conductor was the teacher from Normal School, Mr. Yang Ron-kuan (陽永光).

The concert was finally sung at Sun Yat-Sen Hall in Downtown, Taipei on Jan. 10th, 1957. The Hall has the largest capacity at that time and it was the most famous auditorium on the island. We had a crowd nearly filled the hall. It seems that everyone very happy. It was certainly one of my proudest moments in my life.

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