Global Awareness

Expanding Our Chinese New Year Spirit

By Iris Ng (Class of 2021)

Photography by Thuy Nguyen and Rachel Blythe (Class of 2022)

On February 7, 2020, Girls’ School students and DRBU students collaborated to bring various festive performances, ranging from musical instruments to dance, to the local Ukiah community to share the joyful atmosphere and celebrate the Lunar New Year. 

The show began with the 3rd to 6th graders’ a capella performance of the Chinese New Year song “Gong Xi Gong Xi” in their bright red, gold, pink, and blue traditional Chinese clothes.

Subsequently, the Chinese Dance Club gave a spectacular traditional sleeve dance performance, leaving the audience in awe. With the lively and subtle movements of the dancers still clear in the audience’s minds, DRBU students took the stage with their take on Chinese New Year by performing a skit.

Following DRBU’s performance was an outstanding assemblage of the DVGS Chinese Orchestra, who performed with traditional Eastern instruments, including the sheng, the erhu, the Chinese flute, the pipa (Chinese lute), the xiao, and the guzheng.

The Orchestra began with a song called “The Path of Light” with Amy Liu on the sheng, Tammy Long on the erhu, Hillary Tran on the pipa, and Iris Ng on the flute. On the onset of the first note, the tune immediately initiated a festive Chinese New Year ambience for the entire audience.

Adding to the festive ambience was an element of tranquility with a duet performance from Raven Li and Thanh Tieu on the guzheng.

Next up was a duet by Jocelyn He and Hillary Tran, who played the song “Flower Gathering” on the pipa.

Afterwards, the players of the wind instruments took the stage: Amy Liu and Mr. Guo performed a lively duet using the sheng. Our wind-instrument instructor, Mr. Guo, has been teaching Chinese flute, xiao, and sheng at the Girls’ School for more than a year. During this time, the students have had the opportunity to listen to his solo sheng pieces, which included numerous technical skills. The students of wind-instruments at DVGS are very grateful for Mr Guo’s input in their musical growth.

The Chinese flute and the xiao players compiled together a slow song called “In Remembrance” accompanied with lyrics based on one of Li Bai’s famous poems. The performers of this song were Abigail Gong and Jia Jia Ni on the xiao, and Heidi Blythe, Iris Ng, and Yoyo Ji on the flute.

Last but not least, the Chinese Orchestra performed three exquisite songs called “Castle in the Sky,” “Over the Pastures,” and “Longing for Home.” Each piece illuminated different aspects of Chinese New Year: excitement, harmony, and affection for loved ones, ending the program on a happy note.

Since 2019, Ms. Zhang, the teacher of erhu, has also been instructing at the Girls’ School. The students of erhu are grateful for her guidance and help, and the Chinese Orchestra appreciates her efforts to hand-write the musical scores and compose the accompaniment. Furthermore, the students have been able to enjoy her solo erhu performances, which always impress and delight.

Happy Chinese New Year. DVGS is ready for 2020!

This day would not have been possible without the help from the Ukiah Library staff, DRBU staff and students, Ms. Zhang, Mr. Guo, Jin Jr Shr, Jin Xiang Shr, Ms. Yee, Uncle Billy, and all the parents and friends. Thank you!