Iowa governor Kim Reynolds (L) wishes audience a Happy Lunar New Year in Muscatine, Iowa of the United States, on Feb. 21, 2018. A Lunar New Year concert featuring rewritten traditional Chinese opera and folk music was held in the small mid-west town of Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday night. (Xinhua/Wang Qiang)
A Lunar New Year concert featuring rewritten traditional Chinese opera and folk music was held in the small mid-west town of Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday night.
The concert by China's Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra lasted for about two hours. The audience more than once gave a standing ovation to the Chinese musicians on the stage, who performed rewritten Chinese Opera music including that of Huangmei Opera, Shaoxing Opera and Beijing Opera.
Among the audience was Allen Abrahamson. "The concert is wonderful," he said. "We are thankful that the Chinese Orchestra is willing to come here." It was the second time Allen went to a Chinese New Year concert in Muscatine.
Fifteen-year-old Brigette, who played the clarinet in her high school band, said her love for music was one of the reasons she came.
"I love the whole experience," Brigette said. "Music is such a great thing, and it connects people. It is connecting these two cultures."
Muscatine has hosted several Chinese concerts in the past, and the town is home to a number of Chinese cultural programs throughout the year.
"It definitely helps," said Kyle Munson. The concert and other Chinese cultural events bring greater exposure to China for those with an interest, said Munson.
Iowa governor Kim Reynolds was on hand. In her opening speech, she said she hoped the concert "fosters a even deeper relationship between Iowa and China."
Muscatine is the third stop for the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra's U.S. tour. Paper cut works and Chinese food were also present.