Preparing For Lunar New Year

Violinists practice with the orchestra.

Great Neck Chinese Association performers are rehearsing for the sixth annual celebration

The Great Neck Chinese Association (GNCA) Lunar New Year Celebration has become a tradition on the peninsula. The Sunday, Jan. 27, festivities will mark the sixth year that GNCA will host this extravagant event.

For audience members watching the dancers, singers and instrumental performances, the acts sometimes seem to pass much too quickly. But the few minutes the performers spend on stage are actually the result of months of practice.

The Spring Festival Overture Orchestra rehearses.

Various groups have spent so much time rehearsing for the show to make it better every year—and each act has a rich history behind it. Among the groups preparing for this show are the Spring Festival Overture orchestra and Willow Chinese Dance.

“We’ve had 12 to 13 rehearsals dedicated to preparing for this event, once a week,” said Jian Bao, director of the Spring Festival Overture program and a professional guanzi instrument player, who teaches a large variety of instruments, including percussion. “I’m hoping these classes can help children warm up towards music and making music. I hope to teach them the real meaning of music.”

These students play the guzheng in the orchestra.

This orchestra is mostly made up of students from elementary school to high school and also includes some seniors and parents from the community. For this show, the group will perform the Spring Festival Overture, a Chinese orchestral work composed by Li Huanzhi between 1955 and 1956, depicting a scene when people in China were celebrating the Chinese New Year.

In 2007, this piece was selected to be carried and broadcast into space on China’s first lunar probe. This orchestra uses China’s national instruments, such as erhu, guzheng and yangqin, mixed with Western instruments, such as saxophone, flute, cello and violin.

Director Jian Bao conducts the orchestra.

Another hardworking group is Willow Chinese Dance.

“We will have in total 13 classes leading up to the final performance,” said Han Wang, the instructor for the dance. “The movements in this beautiful fan dance were made to show elegance and beauty. All of the performers in this room are here not because they are professionals, but because they all find joy in dancing—and love being a dancer.”

Cellists rehearse for the performance.

Last year, a Classical Chinese Dance, like this one, was very successful. This year, the group is performing another dance relating to the past one, called “Charming Willow.” The song was inspired by Chinese ancient poetry written by the prominent Chinese poet, Lu You, of China’s Southern Song Dynasty.

Si performs a fan dance in one of the ensembles.

“I decided to join this performance because I love dancing and because this dance has lots of Chinese elements and lots of Asian style,” said Si, one of the performers in this dance. “I feel it is good to perform in front of the families and show them this graceful Asian dance.”

Han Wang demonstrates a movement for her students.

When the audience watches these beautiful performances, they don’t realize that behind the beauty is practice, practice and more practice, which leads to an amazing result.


Dancer practice for the performance.

To purchase tickets to the celebration, which will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the Great Neck North Middle School auditorium, 77 Polo Rd., visit

Sarah Sun is a GNCA student reporter and founder of the Mini Nonprofit Project,




小记者: 林子恒  大颈南初中,六年级

              徐明轩 大颈北初中,六年级



         ”我已经参加了8次春晚表演了,”春节序曲的指挥兼中国鼓艺术学校的校长包键老师说。”这次节目的最大的困难就是不同级别的学生需要不同难度的谱子,其中有一些还得我亲手写。” 说到这,包老师拿了一张自己为长笛学生们自创的一张谱子。谱子上写着密密麻麻的音符。包老师为学生们写了难易程度不同的谱子,以方便大家都有最适合自己的, 也得心应手的谱子。这样也不会有人因为不会演奏曲子而感到烦恼。

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