Shen Yun Music Soothing, Says Bluegrass Musician (+Video)

BY June Kellum TIMEJanuary 3, 2015 PRINT

HOUSTON—Musician Tony Ullrich did not know much about Chinese culture until coming to see Shen Yun Performing Arts Jan. 2, he and his girlfriend came for the dancing but he found himself entranced by the orchestra.

“I’m really observant of the orchestra, I’ve heard some really good musicianship, they’re all good, the music has been very enjoyable,” he said during intermission at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Ullrich plays and teaches the five-string string bluegrass banjo and has developed his own teaching method called, “BanjerTab,” a numerical system that helps new students learn how to pick and hear the beat of the music.

The music of Shen Yun left Mr. Ullrich feeling relaxed and evoked images of water.

“[It’s] floating, soothing,” he said. “A lot of this you can almost imagine sitting next to a running brook of water.”

Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance company, was founded in New York in 2006 to revive China’s traditional culture through the performing arts. The Shen Yun Orchestra blends traditional Chinese instruments into a full Western orchestra for a very expressive and distinct sound.

Mr. Ullrich said he thought the orchestra did a good job combining the instruments.

“I thought it was a great balance,” he said.

The unique dances and skill of the dancers were another highlight for him.

“I’m enjoying it, it’s different … You wonder about the training, the dancing really requires … a lot of training,” he said.

In addition to classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun performs folk and ethnic dances from various ethnic groups throughout China.

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.

June Kellum is a married mother of three and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.
You May Also Like