Since 1993, music education and collaborations have always been the major building blocks of Melody of China’s history. Their engagement in its community, people, and stories is what drives the group’s mission forward.
Among many projects, Melody of China has developed a series of educational programs geared towards elementary and high school students. Since 1993, Melody of China has visited nearly a hundred schools and institutions across the Bay Area. In addition, it has given hundreds of workshops and and lectures, many of which have been incorporated into the multi-cultural curriculum of local school districts. Many of these programs are done in collaboration with the Young Audiences of Bay Area, the Young Audiences of Silicon Valley and San Jose, Young Imaginations, and Education Division of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, and Adventures in Music of San Francisco Symphony’s Educational Division, several non-profit, and multi-cultural arts education agencies.
“Melody of China’s music breaks down cultural wall”
-San Francisco Chronicle (March 8, 2002)
They have had engagements with the Berlin Philharmonic as well as the San Francisco Symphony and appeared in domestic and international festivals. MoC also joined CityWinds’ annual concert, where they performed world premieres of new works by five composers. Since 1997, MoC has produced its own annual concerts in San Francisco. Included among its past productions: “Thunder Drums”, Two Suites: “Shi Jing Suite” and “Silk Road Suite” Concerto (composed by Yuanlin Chen) and premiered in San Francisco; “Double Concerto for the Erhu & Yangqin” (composed by Gang Situ) with the Women’s Philharmonic; and “Thundering Across the Sky” (composed by Yuanlin Chen) with newly commissioned works by composers Kui Dong, Duo Huang, Bingyan Li and mainland China composer Mingguan Zhu. MoC is a proud grant recipient of the James Irvine Foundation and Meet the Composer.
“The music cross-pollination of cultures is one of the hall-marks of some of the freshest music being written today. So, perhaps it is fitting that Melody of China should make the biggest and freshest splash.” -Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee (November 2, 2006)
In 2006, MoC collaborated with the Del Sol String Quartet to perform a series of four concerts, entitled “Four Seasons” in San Francisco and other California cities. Two commissioning works were performed as world premieres in the San Francisco Bay Area by prominent composer Dr. Kui Dong and freelance composer Duo Huang. Melody of China has also produced two New Music Concerts, premiering new works by young composers Eric Myers, Alan Chan, Bik Lee and MoC’s Composer in Residence Dawei Wang. MoC’s programs have been generously funded through grants by the California Arts Council, Chamber Music America, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Fund, Meet the Composer Fund, Silkroad Foundation as well as support by other private companies and individual donors.
“..this San Francisco-based group steadfastly maintains the sound and substance of its large Chinese classical and folk repertoire”
-Rebecca Liao, San Francisco Classical Voice (November 5, 2010)
As a recipient of the grants, Melody of China collaborated with the San Francisco Guitar Quartet to produced “Double Concert and Mixed Sound” concert in October 2007. The SF Guitar Quartet and Melody of China’s four Chinese lutes have performed a double concerto by composer Gang Situ, the Electronics with Mixed Ensemble (a newly composed work by Yuanlin Chen) which was featured at the annual concert and at touring concerts on the east coast. The Third Annual “Three Sound” Experimental Music Concert, a contemporary music event, was held in San Francisco and the South Bay. Through these collaborations, MoC is constantly seeking new ways to tell their music stories as well as exploring new sounds with Chinese traditional instruments.