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Carleton’s Chinese Music Ensemble Presents World Premiere of Paul Dice Instrumental

May 22, 2013
By Jacob Cohn '13

Carleton College’s Chinese Music Ensemble will present their spring recital this Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall. The performance, which is free and open to the public, will feature the world premiere of Minnesota composer Paul Dice’s new instrumental composition, “Father and Son Mock Fishing at Duck Creek,” from his forthcoming full-length album of Chinese music. 

Carleton’s renowned Chinese Music Ensemble is directed by Gao Hong and regularly performs at venues throughout southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities. This year’s Chinese Music Ensemble features the following students on a variety of traditional Chinese instruments: senior Kim Bauer (Olympia, Wash.), junior Cody Wang (China), sophomores Bill Xu (China) and Johanna Olsen (Golden Valley, Minn.), and first-year student Xiaodi Wang (China) on the erhu; first-year student Wenyue Wu (China) on the guzheng; junior Yawen Chen (China) on the dizi; sophomore Ming Sheng Wang (British Columbia, Canada) on the sanxian; Shirley Yang (China) on the guqin; senior Yonas Hailu (Denver) on guitar; and senior Joe Concannon (Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.) on the hulusi and percussion. Pipa players include first year students Kai Huang (China), Ming Zi (China) and Phoebe Yu (Chicago); sophomore Huaiyu Wang (china); juniors Soon Kai Poh (Singapore) and Reid Whitaker (Ann Arbor, Mich.); and visiting instructor in Chinese Faye Merritt.

The Chinese Music Ensemble will also perform at the upcoming Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, presented by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday, June 1 from 11:05-11:45 a.m. at Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. 

Minnesota composer Paul Dice will release his first full-length album of Chinese music in 2014. The album was commissioned through a McKnight Established Artist Grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), thanks to contributions from Minnesota’s arts & cultural heritage fund. Dice is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S. as well as in Russia and China. In addition to Western instruments, Dice frequently composes pieces for foreign instruments including numerous Chinese instruments as well as the Filipino kulintang and the Indonesian gamelan. Dice has studied Chinese music intensively and was a guest artist at China’s Xi’an Conservatory of Music in 1994. The American Composers’ Forum and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing have commissioned previous works by Dice; in 2009 Dice became the only foreign artist chosen for a new program at the Central Conservatory of Music designed to encourage composers to combine Western and traditional Chinese instruments in their work. 

Chinese Music Ensemble director Gao Hong serves as the Carleton College music department’s performance activities coordinator as well as a lecturer in Chinese musical instruments. She is a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music and has received numerous honors and awards for her work. Gao Hong is a world-renowned pipa (pear-shaped lute) player and has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia with groups including St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Heidelberg Philharmonic, and the (San Francisco) Women’s Philharmonic. 

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Department of Music at (507) 222-4475. The Carleton College Concert Hall is located on First Street, between Winona and Nevada Streets, in Northfield.