Shen Yun Orchestra Touches the Heart

October 14, 2015

SARASOTA, Fla.—Natalie Fletcher, a mortgage banker, was touched by Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s Oct. 13 performance on Florida’s Cultural Coast. The harmony of instruments—both East and West—resounded throughout the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and the female soprano brought Ms. Fletcher to tears.

“I got teary-eyed actually at one point when she was singing,” Ms. Fletcher said. “She was fabulous. Her facial expressions, everything—it was great.”

The Shen Yun Orchestra’s different vocal arrangements were specially written to include elements of deep reflection and transcendence. They aim to inspire hope in the listeners’ hearts.

“Ancient Chinese theatre and early European opera shared the same singing technique, believed to produce the most beautiful and pure tone of voice,” Shen Yun’s website states.

‘It’s Really Moving’

Ms. Fletcher enjoyed the cultural aspects of the orchestra. “It’s really moving,” she said, referring to a piece called “Snow-Capped Celebration.” “You felt like you were just on a bobsled or a sled, just zigzagging around some mountains. I think it’s beautiful.”

Ms. Fletcher was accompanied to the performance by C.B. Fletcher, a financial analyst. He described listening to the orchestra quite simply: “I love it.”

Mr. Fletcher was most delighted by the erhu player, her small hands and how they played at varying speeds—fast, then slow, then fast again—so seamlessly.

“In the hands of a master, the erhu transforms into a vehicle of joy, sorrow, grace, or tenderness,” the Shen Yun website states. “It has been said that the erhu is the instrument most resembling the human voice.”

Ancient Chinese Influence

Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra brings to the world traditions dating back more than 5,000 years. With all-original compositions, the group blends the spirit of Chinese music with a Western orchestra, drawing on ancient culture and legends.

“Very unique,” Ms. Fletcher said. “I know Tchaikovsky … but to hear that Chinese influence, that Asian influence, and a very ancient kind of influence—it’s wonderful.”

“Traditional Chinese music emphasizes the expression of inner feelings—the ancients always used musical instruments to relate their states of mind,” the Shen Yun website explains.

“Western music, meanwhile, focuses on the overall effect of the musical ensemble—and to achieve that, arrangement and harmony are of utmost importance,” according to the website. “Shen Yun’s music combines these approaches to capture the essence of both East and West.”

After tonight’s performance in Sarasota, the orchestra will give one performance in Miami on Oct. 15 before moving back north to Chicago and Boston for the weekend. For information about the orchestra’s October performances, visit ShenYun.com/Symphony.

Reporting by Qingqing Qiu and Adam Miller

New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Shen Yun Performing Arts begins its 2016 world tour on Dec. 22, 2015.

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