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Yunnan villagers stage live music in America, Britain

Updated:2018-04-11 14:41:17   english.yunnan.cn
Members of the Miao farmers’ choir from the Xiaoshuijing village in central Yunnan’s Fumin County finished their international performing journey on March 2, returning to the village from Britain.
The Miao villagers sing the Yunnan folk song Little Running Stream.
In their 16-day musical journey, they conducted seven live performances in New York, Oxford, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. When Beethoven's “Fantasia in C Minor” was sung in English by 50 villagers wearing traditional Miao costumes at the Lincoln Center in New York, the audience was amazed, said Zhang Xiaoming, the choir head. 
They were invited by and in cooperation with the Philharmonic Orchestra branches in New York and London, where they joined the Chinese New-Year concert. “When we sang the Yunnan folk song Little Running Stream, the audience showed a facial expression of enjoyment and longing,” Zhang added. 
The Xiaoshuijing villagers have followed a singing tradition. The Miao kids begin to learn singing around ten years old, and villagers usually gather in the evening for the entertainment after labour in the farm field. 
The Yunnan choir has a rehearsal.
To prepare the tour abroad, the Yunnan choir has rehearsed a lot since August last year. “From October to December, we also frequently participated in the musical events Kunming, Beijing and Guangzhou,” said Zhang. It turned out that the musical group showed their best to the international audience. The performances were extensively covered by local media, including the New York Times. 
This amateur choir was set up by ordinary local farmers in 2002, and this year’s tour marks its first time to perform abroad since the inception. With their performances making a hit in the US and UK, the Miao villagers in rural Yunnan formed China’s first farmers choir that has staged Yunnan classic songs in English at the international arena.
The Yunnan choir is greeted by Chinese musician Xu Peidong and in-New York Chinese diplomat Zhang Qiyue.
Source: Yunnan Daily; trans-editing Wang Shixue 
Keywords:   Yunnan music American Britain