Music Teacher Says Shen Yun Orchestra ‘Beautiful’ (+Video)

January 5, 2015 Updated: January 15, 2015

HOUSTON—”That orchestra is beautiful,” said Crystal Barrera, a singer and music teacher specializing in percussion, after she experienced the unique sound of Shen Yun Performing Arts, Jan. 3.

Based in New York, Shen Yun is a classical Chinese dance company that performs with a live orchestra that blends classical Western with traditional Chinese instruments.

According to the Shen Yun website, the “Western orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies.”

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

Ms. Barrera enjoyed the way the original music perfectly matched the dance.

“It is just a coordinated effort,” she said. “… It has been a neat experience to watch and see the way they work together.”

Crystal Barrera enjoyed Shen Yun, at Jones Hall, Houston, on Jan. 3, 2015. (Sherry Dong/Epoch Times)
Crystal Barrera enjoyed Shen Yun, at Jones Hall, Houston, on Jan. 3, 2015. (Sherry Dong/Epoch Times)

She was also enchanted by a bel canto baritone solo sung in Chinese.

“His performance was beautiful, absolutely stunning,” she said, noting that the lyrics translated on the screen behind were “powerful.”

Bel canto is not an easy style to sing in Chinese because the “singer must, while continuing to meet the challenges inherent in bel canto technique, retain proper Chinese pronunciation and diction,” according to the Shen Yun website.

Ms. Barrera said she could tell that singer was well trained.

“I can tell that they have their own way of training to really bring out the best sound,” she said.

Along with the orchestra and vocal solos, Ms. Barrera also appreciated the colorful handmade costumes, dancing, and learning about traditional culture.

“It has been really colorful, and a lot of fun, and I am really enjoying watching really beautiful dances,” she said. ” I don’t know a lot about Chinese culture, and it is kind of neat to see.”

Reporting by Sherry Dong 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.