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Chicago Chinese holds concert to mark 70th anniversary of victory of China's anti-Japanese war

Updated: 2015-08-24 09:33:52

( Xinhua )

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Zhang Ange, son of the songwriter of "the Yellow River Cantata", attends the concert in the Chicago Symphony Hall on Saturday. [Photo/Xinhua]

"The Yellow River Cantata", with its power and grandeur, rang out at a concert in the Chicago Symphony Hall on Saturday, August 22, marking the 70th anniversary of China's 1945 victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan.

The concert started with a medley of China's finest inspiring patriotic songs of the World War II (WWII) era, including On Taihang Mountain, Graduation, Flowers of May, Guerrila's Song and On Songhua River, reminding audience of the hard time Chinese people have gone through in the 1930s and 1940s, and bringing tears to eyes for some aged.

Some 80 children, mostly born in the United States, performed the Song of a Paperboy and Resist We Must -- both popular plays in the Anti-Japanese War era. These children have started practicing since the summer holidays began.

Theme from Schindler's List performed by South Shore Orchestra has added certain World Anti-Fascist War touch to the concert, giving the audience a reminiscence of the grief and pain the Jewish people have suffered during WWII.

Jonathan Wilson, a frequent traveler to China who was thrilled to be part of the concert, drew big rounds of applause with his Playing My Beloved Pipa song -- the thematic song of the movie The Railway Guerilla Force. People were amazed by his clear, perfect Chinese pronunciations and enthusiastic performance.

Music of the Yellow River Cantata -- the most influential representative symphonic music work composed by great Chinese composer Xian Xinghai (1905-1945) -- brought the concert to the climax: the audience all stood up, clapping hands to the tune and singing along.

Members of the 600-person choir, believed to be the largest of its kind ever organized in the US, are from 16 musical groups in the greater Chicago area and nine states in the US Midwest.

Chinese Consul General in Chicago Zhao Weiping praised the concert as a new chapter of patriotism shown by overseas Chinese.

Zhang Ange, son of Guang Weiran, lyricist of the Yellow River Cantata, was at the concert. He recalled the five days his father worked out the lyric, saying that his father was always encouraging.

Also present was Sue Zhang, daughter of Chinese anti-Japanese General Zhang Zhihong, and Shen Bei, daughter of the deceased China Expeditionary Army General Shen Chang, among several offsprings of anti-Japanese war heroes.

Organized by Dongfang Chinese Performing Arts Association and Asian Culture Center, the concert has drawn widespread attention. U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have sent congratulatory letters to the event.

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