Alfred Farmers’ Market presents a festival of Chinese music and culture, Sunday October 2

Listen to Chinese musicians play the pipa and guzheng

Pictured is Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu, a professor at Alfred University and a professional musician

The Alfred Farmers’ Market recently received a grant, Expanding Access to the Arts in Western NY. This grant, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Cullen Foundation, was available to nonprofit organizations in New York’s six western counties. (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming.) Our Market proposal “Music at the Market” was one of 65 organizations receiving grants and will fund three special music events at the Market during the 2022 season- 23.

Our first Expanding the Arts event will be a Chinese Festival on Sunday, October 2 during our regular market hours, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will feature local and guest artists, a demonstration of Tai Chi and Chinese recipes using ingredients available in our market.

To expand access to the arts in our county, there will also be a special Guzheng workshop on Saturday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m. where you can learn the basics of playing the Chinese Guzheng, a beautiful harp-like instrument. This course is free and open to all, parental supervision is required for children under 9 years old. The workshop will be held in the Miller Building on the Alfred University campus in room 302. Pre-register for the class at the market this Sunday or by contacting Luanne Crosby at [email protected]. We use 10 instruments and will run a second class if there is enough interest.

There will also be an information session on Saturday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Howell Hall on the University of Alfred campus. Musicians Leah Ou and MingRen Huang will talk about traditional and popular Chinese music and demonstrate unique instruments. This event is also free and the community is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Leah Ou is a musician who not only plays the pipa, her traditional Chinese folk instrument, but also uses it to teach Chinese culture. Leah’s presentations emphasize pride in Chinese musical culture and authenticity of expression.

Leah was born in Chengdu, China, and it was there that she began her classical training at the age of 6. Its diverse repertoire includes 2000 year old compositions, improvisations and contemporary songs with full rock band accompaniment.

Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu is an award-winning guzheng artist. As a faculty member of Alfred University’s Performing Arts Division, she started one of the first college-credit guzheng courses in America. She founded the Alfred University Guzheng Ensemble and served as its artistic director for 12 years. With an impressive career as a soloist, she has performed in various countries and notable venues including Carnegie Hall, Chinese National Television, United Nations Headquarters, National Press Club in Washington DC, and more. Zhongbei studied with legendary guzheng virtuoso Wang Zhongshan and received his master’s degree from the prestigious graduate school of the National Academy of Arts of China in Beijing. She was a music teacher in China and received two “National Excellence in Music Education Awards” consecutively in 2004 and 2005. She is also a revolutionary creator with her own contemporary compositions. Fusing the ancient Eastern roots of guzheng with Western and modern music, she continues to make inroads into thrilling performances.

These wonderful Chinese musicians will be joined by singers MingRen Huang, Yimeng Li and Luanne Crosby. Bring your garden chairs to enjoy the music at the market, or just listen while strolling among our various vendors.

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