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Alfred Farmers’ Market presents a Festival of Chinese Music and Culture, Sunday October 2

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Hear native Chinese musicians play the pipa and guzheng

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

The Alfred Farmers’ Market was recently awarded 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 the six counties of Western NY. (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagra and Wyoming.) Our market’s proposal “Music at the Market” was one of 65 organizations receiving grants and will fund three special music events at the Market during the 2022-23 season.

Our first Expanding the Arts event will be a Chinese Festival on Sunday, October 2 during our usual market hours, 11:00AM –3:00PM.  The event will feature local and guest artists, a Tai Chi demonstration and Chinese recipes that use ingredients available at our market.

To expand access to the arts in our county, there will also be a special Guzheng workshop on Saturday, October 1 at 3:00PM where you can learn the basics of playing the Chinese Guzheng, a beautiful harp-like instrument.  This class is free and open to anyone, parental guidance is requested for children under the age of 9.  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 have use of 10 instruments and will hold a second class if there is enough interest.

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

Leah Ou is a musician who not only performs on 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 there she began her classical training at age 6. Her diverse repertoire includes 2000 year old compositions, improvisations and contemporary songs with a full rock band accompaniment.

Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu is an award-winning guzheng artist. As a faculty member at the Performing Arts Division of Alfred University, she started one of the first credit-baring college guzheng courses in America. She founded the Alfred University Guzheng Ensemble and has served as the Artistic Director for 12 years. With an impressive soloist career, she has performed in various countries and remarkable venues including Carnegie Hall, China National Television, the United Nations Headquarters, the National Press Club in Washington D.C, and more. Zhongbei studied with legendary guzheng virtuoso Wang Zhongshan and received her master’s degree from the prestigious Graduate School of Chinese National Academy of Arts in Beijing. She was a music professor in China and had received two ‘National Awards of Excellence in Music Education’ consecutively in 2004 and 2005. She is also a groundbreaking creator with her own contemporary compositions. Fusing guzheng’s ancient eastern roots with western and modern music, she continues to make breakthroughs happen in exciting performances.

These wonderful Chinese musicians will be joined by singers, MingRen Huang, Yimeng Li and Luanne Crosby.  Bring your lawn chairs to enjoy the music at the market, or just listen as you stroll through our various vendors.

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