Choral Director: Shen Yun ‘A Unique Sound’ (+Video)

January 9, 2015 Updated: January 15, 2015

HOUSTON—Michael and Wynelle Guidry were fascinated with Shen Yun Performing Arts when they performed at Houston’s Jones Hall For The Performing Arts on Jan. 5.

Mrs. Guidry, retired, was a school counselor, choral director, and music teacher. She is very active with the Beaumont Symphony and a choral conductor for the Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society.

She loved Shen Yun’s blended orchestra of traditional Chinese and classical Western instruments playing original scores.

“They did an excellent job. A really unique sound! I enjoyed watching the conductor, and I enjoyed the unique instruments that were performed tonight.” She said. “I thought it was lovely.”

The Shen Yun website states, “The ability to seamlessly blend these two systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound is what makes the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra unique.”

Mrs. Guidry said, “It makes me … joyous, happy. It’s just light-hearted, very uplifting.”

Shen Yun has classical Chinese dance at its heart but also incorporates solo instrumental and singing performances. Mrs. Guidry appreciated the erhu player.

“I really enjoyed [the erhu solo],” she said. “Playing in the pentatonic scales, and set against a Western accompaniment was very unique and interesting in listening to.”

Michael Guidry, a retired school administrator, also loved the orchestra and solo performances, especially the singing.

“The lyrics have a spiritual message. I was fascinated by the lyrics. Very, very interesting,” he said.

He especially enjoyed the baritone. “I enjoyed listening to all the vocalists, but the baritone was different for me.”

Mrs. Guidry added, “I found that between the soloist and the accompanist, her arrangement on the piano used a lot of Western harmonies with chordal arrangements.”

She appreciated the uniqueness of the bel canto style singing in Chinese. The website states, “The singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction. Today, these singers’ ability to do this is unparalleled.”

The entire performance for the Guidrys was “very well done.”

“Very fascinating!” Mrs. Guidry said.

“Very fascinating!” Mr. Guidry agreed. “The media and the background that went with it was outstanding. It was very unique, nothing like anything we’ve ever seen.”

They said Shen Yun incorporated universal messages for everyone.

It was “a way to bring out the universal truth and universal laws,” Mrs. Guidry said. “It’s very enlightening as far as culturally, and I really enjoyed that. … It speaks spiritually to me.”

Her husband added that he appreciated seeing “the flavors of the Chinese philosophy and the way that they expressed themselves spiritually. It was just excellent. … It was like being in a different world for us.”

“To me it’s very spiritual thing to be involved in something like this…. to be able to watch it and hear it.”

They both agreed it was very informative to have the emcees give some background information on each performance and that it added to the enjoyment.

Mr. Guidry appreciated the mini-dramas depicting myths, legends and modern tales which give an insight in 5000 years of Chinese history and culture.

She also appreciated the hundreds of handmade original costumes and how the dancers used them to enhance the performance.

“The effects that they had with the costumes, the brilliance of the colors, and the way they manipulated the fabrics. … the one with the long sleeves, it was just gorgeous. Very fluid!”

Reporting by Sarah Guo and Leigh Smith.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.