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Students from Trinity University’s Choral Programme visited UIC on 11 and 12 March. Trinity University is located in San Antonio, Texas, US and is a collaborative partner in cultural exchanges with UIC.

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A total of 11 students, all studying different majors, came to UIC to perform a music concert for UIC staff and students at the Performance Theatre. The concert featured the skilled singers of Trinity University who presented a stunning a capella choir performance.

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Dean of DCC Prof Brian Clarke welcomes the Trinity University singers

Joining the students were Associate Professor and EAST core faculty member Dr Lee Chiawei, as well as Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities Dr Gary Seighman. Dr Seighman conducted the concert, explaining the symbolism and meaning behind some of the songs the students sang.

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Dr Gary Seighman conducts the concert

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UIC students complimenting the Trinity University singers after an amazing performance

They also got to experience traditional Chinese culture, such as Chinese musical instruments and archery.

On the first day of their visit, the students were given a campus tour of UIC. They saw UIC’s gymnasium, Learning Resource Centre (LRC), and some of the music rehearsal rooms in the Cultural Creativity Clusters. The students were enthusiastic to try some of the Chinese instruments, and with their extensive knowledge of music, they practised trying to get the notes to match.

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Learning about traditional Chinese instruments for Yayue

They later stopped by the Performance Theatre to see where they would be performing later in the evening. Prof Brian Clarke, Dean of the Division of Culture and Creativity (DCC), welcomed them.

The next day, the students from Trinity University got to continue learning about traditional Chinese culture by learning to play the guqin and partake in Shedao, Chinese archery.

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A UIC student teaching the fundamentals of guqin

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UIC students teaching the Trinity University students and staff how to play guqin

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Dr Lee Chiawei encourages the guest students to read and play these notes

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Group photo

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Trinity University students trying Shedao

Later, students from Trinity University joined UIC’s chorus class and participated in vocal and physical warm-ups. They performed a few songs for the UIC students, who were very attentive and impressed.

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Vocal and physical warm-ups for singing

Students from both schools discussed how they felt about what it takes to be a “good singer” and what happens if someone has a “bad singing voice”. However, they agreed that there is only improvement and growth.

Kiyana Saidi, a Vocal Performance major, stated, “If you love something enough, you will make time for it”.

It is important for students to balance their studies with activities and hobbies they are passionate about.

Reporter/Photographer: Marissa Furney
Editor: Deen He
(from MPRO)