November 4, 2019

CIM, Shenzhen Arts School Strengthen Cultural Exchange Programs

Shenzhen group

CIM welcomed Shenzhen Arts School President Qicheng Huang and Head of Foreign Affairs Hongye Frank Huang the week of October 28 to establish and celebrate a new partnership and cultural exchange between the Institute and the high school in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

Founded in 1986, Shenzhen Arts School (SAS) is the only full-time public art secondary professional school in the city which offers disciplines in music, dance, fine arts and film and television.

CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle and President Huang signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, October 29. The signing ceremony was broadcast live to students at SAS using CIM’s state-of-the-art distance learning technology – the same technology the Institute uses to deliver music education to classrooms in Ohio, the country and elsewhere around the world. The two schools will work as partners in several areas, including establishing distance learning in such areas as Eurhythmics, master classes, seminars, lessons and ensemble coachings, orchestral mock auditions and excerpts.

Following the signing ceremony, Shenzhen students watching from nearly 8,000 miles away also “attended” an Eurhythmics class taught by faculty member Xinyuan Sonia Hu and chamber music coaching led by Si-Yan Darren Li, chamber faculty and chamber music coordinator.

During their stay, members of the Chinese delegation were treated to the best CIM has to offer.

“Every time I travel to China I am greeted by the most remarkable musical offerings ranging from traditional Western classical music to Chinese national music performed on traditional instruments,” Hogle said. “We, of course, wanted to return the favor. CIM staff, students and faculty put together a tour de force program of the best and brightest of our students representing a wide offering of music during a ‘collage’ concert Tuesday morning.”

Student performers included Shannon Lee (violin, Laredo/Sloman) and Melivia Raharjo (collaborative piano, Pontremoli); HaoNan Alan Liao (tuba, Sugiyama) and staff collaborative pianist Natsumi Shibagaki; Dylan Glenn (voice, Billions) with vocal coach/pianist François Germain; Sara Daneshpour (piano, Babayan); and the Elara Quartet, comprised of violinists Evelyn Song (I. Kaler) and Alexander Kandybin (Setzer/Lee), violist Brian Slawta (Irvine) and cellist James Hettinga (Kraut). Elara is coached by Si-Yan Darren Li, Todd Phillips and Philip Setzer.

The distinguished guests also took in CIM Opera Theater’s dress rehearsal performance of The Juniper Tree, which was sold out Halloween weekend.

Also part of the delegation was Shicong Liu (MM ’15, AD ’18, Paik), a CIM alumnus who just returned from Shenzhen to help the Institute with this visit.