Chinese Moon Festival illuminates the chapel

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Photo by Alli Westerhoff- Staff Photographer
A musical evening: Professional vocalist Mingming Jiang performs “Leaving and Yearning” by Guang Sha with he back-up choir behind her.

This year’s Chinese Moon Festival enchanted the CLU community with its music and performances yet again.

The Chinese Moon Festival is a time to appreciate the moon as its meaning of harvest and beauty, which was represented through the performances and musical pieces of the artists.

Now in its seventh year, the festival attracts over 400 people each year, gathering newcomers and bringing together different cultures with one purpose: To learn and appreciate the Chinese culture and what it has to offer.

Professor of Chinese language at California Lutheran University and sponsor of the festival, Debby Chang, expressed the importance of the Chinese festival.
She said it makes her feel like the community can come together and be one.

“I want to promote the Chinese culture and art to our students, staff and community members,” said Chang, who is a member of the Pacific Pearl Music Association. “This way we can bring the community together in one place and have one desire: To see, learn from each other and accept one another,” said Chang.

The event can serve as a form of bringing people closer to home and allowing individuals to share those customs and traditions with the people of the CLU community.

Junior Qiushi Yang expressed his excitement towards the festival, as it has great meaning for him. Yang plays the Erhu, a string instrument, for the Thousand Oaks Chinese Folk Ensemble.
He has being playing for 15 years.

“I came to the United States from China when I was 16 years old. The festival is a way for me to share my customs and traditions to the rest of my classmates,” said Yang. “I plan to someday go back to China, after I earn my degree in accounting here at CLU,” he said.

Yang also performed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” during the Erhu and Cello String Quartet Symposium.

Award-winning solo singer Mingming Jiang also shared her music in order to feel closer to home.

“The Chinese Moon Festival is a very special time for us in China, since that is when we gather with friends and family,” said Jiang. “I miss my home and I portray that through my music,” she said.

Jiang performed a Soprano solo with the YangSheng Choir of a song called “Leaving and Yearning.”

As the festival took place, many commented on the beauty in the performers and the elegance with which they played their instruments.

“To learn to appreciate the art and hard work of a musician or an artist is important because that way you can become culturally-educated and have knowledge about the musical piece or the art piece,” said Stella C. Kwan, sponsor and artist for the festival.

CLU President Chris Kimball emphasized the importance of cultural events on campus, as the existence of these types of events will teach community members about life at CLU and its different cultures.
“The cultural exchange that takes place at events like these is of high importance as the university’s mission is to become a part of a global world,” said Kimball.
“For the students in the Chinese language department, it makes the studies real and brings forth the exposure to the culture,” he said.

Maria Castrejon
Staff Writer
Published Sept. 26, 2012