By Sarah Sun
The Asian Culture Festival captivated a large audience at the Great Neck Main Library on Sunday, Dec. 2. Arranged by the library’s Music Advisory Committee, in partnership with the Great Neck Chinese Association (GNCA), the event was intended to promote Asian culture and community involvement.
“We look forward to sharing with you this amazing culture and, of course, the many programs at the library,” said Gabe Chieco, founding member of the Music Advisory Committee, an all-volunteer group that represents a wide range of musical experience and performance.
“I’m really excited to help boost respect for different traditions and beliefs,” said Li Chang, director of the event. “This is our third time hosting a cultural event at the library.”
Growing applause rang through the crowd as the dancers finished their performance with flourish. The beat of the drums resonated throughout the room, played by musicians clad in traditional red clothing, the color symbolizing power and luck. People crowded into the room, filling the seats and the space along the walls.
The festival introduced different varieties of traditional songs, dances and instruments.
The Chinese Hebei Fan Dance, a traditional Asian dance originating from China’s Hebei province, featured Gina Chen, who graduated from a performing arts school and specializes in folk dancing. The beauty of this talented dancer’s performance “wowed the crowd.”
Ricky Deng, a fifth grader at Lakeville Elementary School, played a cucurbit flute solo, “Bamboo in the Moonlight,” an elegant melody by the famous Chinese composer, Shi Guang-Nan. This unique instrument is a free reed wind instrument from China. Deng’s amazing performance brought thunderous applause from the audience as the musician took his final bow.
Occupying a position similar to the piano in Western civilization, the gayageum is a Korean string instrument belonging to the zither family that’s crucial to traditional Korean music. Chris and Julia Park starred in a gayageum performance about The Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven.
Beginning with the rhythmic beat of the Chinese Drums by East Wind Percussion Academy and ending with blended voices of the chorus, led by Angela Chen, the event introduced Asian culture to the community—and really brought it to life.
“It was a really eye-opening experience,” said Angela Chang, a North High student and the show’s emcee. “It was nerve wracking, because I never talked in front of this many people before, but it was a pretty wholesome experience and I really enjoyed it.”
Read more about the event in Chinese below.
Sarah Sun is a sixth grader at South Middle School, a GNCA reporter/writer and founder of the Mini Nonprofit Project, mininonprofit.weebly.com.
Cultural Festival Features Music And Dancing
By Christina Bai
The spectacular Asian Culture Festival included 13 singing, dancing and instrumental performances, which brought hundreds of people to the once-quiet Great Neck Main Library to watch the combination Chinese and Korean cultural show on Dec. 2.
Though all the performances were truly terrific, many would agree that the most popular was the Chinese Magical Face Mask Change. The professional actor brought a lot of excitement to the audience, especially the children. When he was dancing around and waving his fan, his mask would suddenly change.
In addition to the performances, the show’s three emcees from Great Neck’s middle and high schools did a fabulous job introducing the acts.
“It was an excellent performance with very talented children,” commented Dr. Dasher, a Great Neck audience member.
“Great Neck is a growing community with many cultures, and our purpose today is to promote the Asian culture here in Great Neck,” explained Li Chang, director of this event.
This festival would not have occurred without Robert Schaufeld, the library board president; Dr. Barry Smith, a trustee; and the Music Advisory Committee.
“We are here today to learn about the Asian cultures, because of Great Neck’s growing community and various types of culture,” said Gabe Chieco, founding member of the Music Advisory Committee. “Here at the library, we strongly encourage cultural interaction, and we have seven programs a year for this purpose.”
These cultural festivals allow the community to share and learn about different cultures while having fun.
Christina Bai is a South Middle School sixth grader and Great Neck Chinese Association reporter.