CAIS Students Spread Music, Merriment, and More Understanding of Chinese Culture

March 01, 2018

Middle Schoolers perform Tumbling Walnuts for CAIS Pre-K studentsMusic and Movement Teacher Susan Kennedy brought 13 CAIS Middle School students on a performance tour that included stops at our own ECD as well as Pacific Primary, a preschool in NOPA/Western Addition. In honor of the Lunar New Year, our students presented two 30 minute performances for CAIS Pre-K students at our Alice A. Carnes Center (Waller Street) and for approximately 70 students at Pacific Primary. 

The performers were a group assembled specifically for this event, including eighth grader Brooke G. and seventh graders Christopher C., Ian C., Ella E., Allison L., Palima L., Maya L., Ella L., Claiborne M., Sophia M., Dexter S., Charlotte W., and Alexandra W. These students represent some members of Black Pearl Ensemble, the four students in the Advanced Chinese Music Ensemble, and some additional students who played the “Tumbling Walnuts” Chinese drum piece and demonstrated ribbon dance movements.  
Dexter, Ella, Maya, and Palima introduced the Chinese instruments and the song title and meaning before playing “Beautiful Flowers and Full Moon.” Charlotte and Brooke presented a character description for “dog” and introduced the pronunciation with tones. Ella shared the ancient history of ribbons before demonstrating the dance with Chris. Ian, Claiborne, Alexandra, Allison introduced the lion dance, describing the meaning of the greens and red envelopes. Ms. Kennedy explained the purpose behind the bubble wrap as she taked about the Buddha head and greens as well. 
Ms. Kennedy shares, “This was a wonderful experience all around. Our students were poised, hard-working, kind to each other and to the young children they were visiting, and excellent performers. The gave all the introductions to the pieces and introduced themselves in Chinese and English. The multiple and varied tasks that an experience such as this demands of the students is so good for their growth. And of course they get to see that their music work has given them something special which is valued by all different kinds of audiences. At Pacific Primary, Director Belann Giarretto, music teacher Kevin Gerzevitz, and their enthusiastic students loved our kids and their good work.”
Special thanks to Librarian Warren Wright who drove the instrument van and parents Jeremy Lukins, Mai Mai Tsai Wythes, Alice Fong Chang, and Patricia Martell who drove students and were (in the words of Ms. Kennedy) outstanding roadies.
Photos courtesy of Patricia Martell.

Middle Schoolers perform Lion Dance for CAIS Pre-K students