TORONTO—Award-winning concert band conductor David Lum was thrilled with the Shen Yun performance he attended Saturday afternoon at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
“We are having a lot of fun. It’s beautiful. The dance is wonderful,” Mr. Lum said of the renowned classical Chinese dance and music company.
“I think the dancing is fantastic,” he added. “The choreography is wonderful. The costumes are really eye-popping.”
Mr. Lum plays the trombone and is the Curriculum Leader of Music at Agincourt Collegiate Institute in Toronto, directing ensembles that have won critical acclaim.
He won the Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director Award in 2009, the same year he received an Honourary Lifetime Membership from the Ontario Band Association.
As an outstanding music educator and musician himself, Mr. Lum was highly impressed with Shen Yun’s orchestra, which is unique in that it blends Chinese and Western instruments.
“I think it worked very well. I liked the way the sound blended. I think they used the Western instruments in the arrangement in the right amount. I thought it was really fantastic,” he said.
“It was very interesting for me, and I am wondering if there are arrangements out there for my school ensembles to play. It was interesting to listen to for sure.”
Mr. Lum chairs the Awards and Scholarships Committee for the Ontario Music Educators’ Association as well as the Music Education Committee for the University of Toronto Faculty of Music Alumni Association.
He is also president of the Lambda Iota chapter of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters’ Fraternity, among other accomplishments.
New York-based Shen Yun tours internationally each season presenting the essence of China’s traditional culture, which has been repressed and co-opted for decades under the rule of the communist regime.
The New York-based company takes stories and legends from China’s rich history and presents them through the ancient art form of classical Chinese dance, built on a deep foundation of traditional aesthetics. Its mission is to revive the true, divinely inspired culture of China and bring its ancient legends and virtues back to life.
“I don’t know a lot about the culture behind all the dances and the stories, so my eyes are wide open. It’s interesting to watch just how it’s all connected together,” said Mr. Lum.
He also appreciated Shen Yun’s soloists, two sopranos and a tenor. The soloists sing in Chinese while the English translation is projected onto the backdrop.
“The lyrics are beautiful,” he said.
“It was all really fine. It was great.”
Reporting by Lisa Ou and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Following 21 successful shows Dec. 20-Jan. 13 in Mississauga, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton, Shen Yun’s New York Company is in Toronto for five shows Jan. 17-20, completing its tour of eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.