The Chinese Fine Arts Society
Sherwood Conservatory Building
1312 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill 60605
This most visible program celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004. Every fall, hundreds of young musicians perform selected Chinese music, as well as a western piece of their choosing, for a panel of judges. The top scoring performers in each age category play in our annual Winners Concert at prestigious Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center. From a storefront operation at its inception, attracting just a handful of participants, the Music Festival has become a very popular musical event for musicians of all ages in Chicago. Music teachers welcome it; young musicians look forward to participating in it; the packed audience at the Winners Concerts enjoy and appreciate it. Alumni of this popular program have gone on to attend music conservatories, and many have developed successful professional music careers
Outreach, Bringing Cultural Arts to the Underserved
CFAS sponsors, and co-sponsors music programs reaching out to underserved communities to advance its mission. Chamber music, folk chorus and dances, and a variety of activities bring joy and pleasure to inner city schools and senior centers. Workshops by prominent composer-educators demonstrating classical and ethnic Chinese musical instruments explore the diversity, yet universality of the Chinese musical arts.
Cultural Ambassadors, at home and abroad
CFAS has conducted excursions beyond its home base of Chicago, broadening its reach at home and abroad. Early on, its musicians toured the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in concert at the invitation of the Michigan Chinese Cultural Center and the Sam Wu Foundation of the University of Michigan, performing original Chinese music in classical orchestration.
The CFAS Orchestra, comprised of a dedicated cadre of volunteer musicians, toured cities of Taiwan in concert at the invitation of the government of the Republic of China in 1996. Contemporary original Chinese repertoires dominated the concert programs on tour. Audiences in Taiwan enjoyed the unique musical feat of Chinese repertory performed by an ensemble of young musicians, some of Chinese descent and some of other ethnicities with fair hair and light eyes. This tour provided a first time opportunity for many ot its young musicians to visit China. It also helped a fund raising campaign for a local hospital. Composers whose works were featured were in the audience, and made post-concert visits to the musicians. CFAS program attracted universal publicity in the local press and professional journals
International Music Composition Competitions
Celebrating the new century and welcoming the new millennium, CFAS sponsored the Yueh Fei International Music Composition Competition, highlighting the exemplary life of a glorious Chinese folk hero. It invited composers worldwide to write original music with a cultural Chinese theme, extolling universal virtues of courage, loyalty, righteousness and filial piety. A distinguished panel of composers and educators selected the winners. Winning works were premiered in two concerts as part of the millennium celebration series sponsored by the City of Chicago. The concerts were hailed as one of the ten best concerts in 2000 in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune.
Visual Arts as a Cultural Bridge…ancillary to the CFAS Mission
Performing music is the key thrust of CFAS programming in fulfillment of its mission. The introduction of the visual artsf characteristic of Chinese culture is also a serious endeavor espoused by the CFAS. It has sponsored and conducted ink-brush paintings competitions, which attracted spirited participation of artists of nationwide. Winning works were exhibited at popular Chicago landmark venues such as the Navy Pier, the Chicago Cultural Center, and at the Chinese Cultural Center in Westmont. Lectures expounding characteristics of visual arts in musical themes relevant to Chinese culture were given at these exhibits. Digital photography contests and exhibits were added to this expanding program, accompanies by lectures by digital technology experts in the hybrid fields of arts and sciences.
A seminar series is being launched as part of the 20th anniversary programming (2005). Noted composers, educators and artists will discuss topics as far reaching as Chinese tea ceremony in additional to a broad range of Chinese music subjects.
Sherwood Conservatory Building
1312 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605-9953
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