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Golden Flowers

Golden Flowers, from left: Elsie Woo, Wanda Wang, Virginia Yan,
Belinda Yan, Regina Ngo, Celina To

The San Francisco Guzheng Music Society Youth Ensemble has been dazzling its audiences since 2003 with its lively performances. The six members - Regina Ngo, Celina To, Wanda Wang, Elsie Woo, Belinda Yan and Virgina Yan - are dubbed "Six Golden Flowers" by the Chinese press; no doubt a reference to their artistic accomplishment and youthful beauty. They range in age from 11 to 16, and some began studying guzheng with Weishan Liu at age 5. The skills they display on the guzheng are quite advanced for their age. Already, they have re-arranged and composed some of their own music. They have shared their thoughts and experiences on the guzheng here.

Although the Youth Ensemble plays well as a group, each member is also an accomplished soloist in her own right. Their artistic prowess was demonstrated at the International Folk Instrument Competition in 2006, where individual members won several prizes including a gold.

They have performed at:

Performing at the Spring Family Festival, Asian Art Museum, 5/2006
  • Annual concerts at various venues including Herbst Theater
  • Senior Centers such as On Lok and Rossmoor
  • Various public libraries throughout the Bay Area
  • Public festivals and fairs such as Chinese New Year
  • The Chinese Embassy for International Children's Day
  • Asian Youth Cultural Festival "Celebrating Diversity, Life and Peace"
  • Asian Art Museum Spring Family Festival
  • Sing Tao Expo
  • Northern California Chinese Association
  • California Dragon Boat Association
  • Northern California Chinese Culture-Athletic Federation
  • Asian American Donor Program

And so on.

The Youth Ensemble will continue to perform and share guzheng music with the community for many years to come.

Purple Orchids

Purple Orchids, from left: Janice Shiu, Nikki Zhang,
Angela Mak, Michelle Wong

A fourth ensemble, the "Purple Orchids", was formed in 2006 by members Janice Shiu, Michelle Wong, Nikki Zhang, and Angela Mak. They have performed at the Salvation Army Youth Council, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, senior centers, community centers and street fairs.

A bit of history: the original youth ensemble was formed in 1990 to provide its younger members with opportunities to gain performance experience through community outreach, with Winnie Wong, Bonnie Lee, Ling Wu, Jennifer Lim, and Theresa Chan as its charter members. As the group grew, in age, musical experience, and membership, with the addition of David Wong as Jennifer took time off for college, the ensemble expanded its repertoire and developed their signature sound and harmony. Since its inception, the group actively demonstrated its musical talent in public performances at community fairs, parades, and holiday celebrations and venues such as the Northern California Emmy's. Members of the youth ensemble also participated in outreach programs, teaching classes at local colleges and universities, and providing lessons at local schools. It won first place in the ensemble category at the 1st Chinese Music Competition sponsored by Chinese Orchestra of North America.

Original Youth Ensemble
Original Youth Ensemble, from left: Theresa Chan, Winnie Wong,
Bonnie Lee, Ling Wu, Jennifer Lim
Guzheng Quintet
Guzheng Quintet, from left: Theresa Chan, Winnie Wong,
David Wong, Bonnie Lee, Ling Wu

The second Youth Ensemble, formed in 1998, continued to achieve the goal of spreading guzheng music to the community.

Second Youth Ensemble, from left: Christine Yim, Athena Tong,
Grace Chen, Vickie Kuo, Elissa Gee
Members Grace Chen, Elissa Gee, Victoria Kuo, Athena Tong, and Christine Yim had been actively performing guzheng music at various civic and private functions. Their performances include:

  • Annual concerts including Herbst Theater
  • Senior centers such as Laguna Honda, On Lok, and Rossmoor
  • Various public libraries throughout the Bay Area
  • Public festivals and fairs such as the Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese New Year
  • The Chinese Embassy
  • The Asian Art Museum
  • Various weddings and other private functions

They, too, had to bid us a fond farewell as they moved on to new challenges in college life.

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