Student Work

Journey of the Heart

Written by Kirsten Chen and Celina Li (Class of 2025)
Photos by Erica Lai (Class of 2024) and Amy Liu (Class of 2023)

As the audience quieted down, the voices of 15 girls filled the hall with the inspiring melody of the school song, officially commencing the 2022 Spring Recital, “Journey of the Heart.” Five months of challenging practice, fun, and anticipation came down to this day, and it all paid off– 18 performers amazed us with their violin, saxophone, singing, guzheng, pipa, piano, chinese flute, and dancing skills.

The journey began with Cherry Ngo (Class of 2024) on the saxophone, accompanied by Katherine Wang (Class of 2024) on the piano, for a mournful yet lively piece called “Canzonetta and Giga.” Next up were the singers, Kirsten Chen (Class of 2025) singing “Hebe” and Naomi Seng (Class of 2022) singing “Fairy Lullaby,” both with the accompaniment of Mr. Jeff Simpon. To finish up the first section, Katherine Wang performed “Praeludium and Allegro” on the violin with Phoenix Vo (Class of 2023) on the piano, and Cherry Ngo returned with her saxophone for a second piece, “Autumn Leaves,” accompanied by Mr. Simpon.

Then came the second station of the Journey: the Eastern music section. Traditional music, such as folk songs, “quyi” and opera, are an important part of Chinese culture, and the performers brought out the beauty of this multi-faceted heritage. Shine Yuan (Class of 2024) and Katherine Chen (Class of 2022) started it off with a spectacular performance of “盛世國樂 (Flourishing Age)” on the guzheng and the drums. Next, Katrina Hu (Class of 2025) delivered an elegant song on the Chinese flute, “長安憶 (Remembering Chang’an).”

Lively melodies continued to permeate the hall as Yoyo Ji (Class of 2022) sang “鳳凰於飛 (Always By Your Side),” Celina Li (Class of 2025) performed “北風吹 (North Wind Blows)” on the piano, and Ashley Dong (Class of 2025) sang “梨花頌 (The Carol of Pear Flowers).” To conclude the Eastern section, Hailey Tran (Class of 2024), Shine Yuan, and Kirsten Chen (Class of 2025) awed the crowd with an original dance to the Chinese pop song “芒種 (Grain in Ear).”

The Journey moved on to its third phase– transformation. Yoyo Ji and Naomi Seng both swept the audience off their feet with their second solo pieces, “Con te Partiro (Time to say Goodbye)” and “彩雲追月 (Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon),” respectively. Then, Hillary Tran (Class of 2023) showed off her amazing pipa skills with “陽春白雪 (Spring Snow).”

The audience was mesmerized by the performance of Mr. Wenbo Yin on the saxophone and Ms. Elizabeth MacDougall on the piano, two special guests invited to perform “Chaconne in G Minor” at the recital. The third section was completed by Celina Li and Katrina Hu, who delivered an eye-catching Latin dance to the song “貝加爾湖畔 (Lake Baikal).”

The next section began with “Shenandoah” sung by Tessa Jahnke (Class of 2024) and a soulful rendition of “I See the Light” by Josette Hanneken (Class of 2027). Special guests Mr. Jeff Simpon and Mr. Wenbo Yin graced the stage with a piano and saxophone piece, wrapping up the instrumental performances for the day.

Coming around full circle, the DVGS choir who performed for the opening returned for two harmonious closing pieces, “如果明天就是下一生 (If Tomorrow is the Beginning of Your Next Life)” and “Guanyin Praise.” To conclude the Journey of the Heart, Jin Jr Shi led everyone to recite the Dedication of Merit.

Special thanks to our special guests Mr. Jeff Simpon, Ms. Elizabeth MacDougall, and Mr. Wenbo Yin for their wonderful performances, as well as Ms. Sophie Wu for guiding the performers and organizing this event!