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In tune with their talent

Updated: 2021-08-18 08:13 ( China Daily Global )
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Yalungerile speaks at a news conference for a performance at China NCPA August Chorus Festival in Beijing on July 28.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite the initial hardships, she succeeded in her endeavor and her first classroom, with about 50 students that were all from herder families, finally convened in September 2008.

Half of the school hours were taken up by middle school courses like mathematics, Chinese language, science and history, while the rest of the time was dedicated to professional music training, such as musical theory, solfeggio and learning the piano, which was a requirement for all students. The training of traditional Mongolian ethnic musical art forms and instruments was also provided, such as morin khuur (horse-headed fiddle), khoomei (a throat-singing technique) and urtiin duu (also known as "long song").

"It's a pity that some students quit for various reasons, such as the pressure from their families over financial problems or health issues, but we didn't want to give up. Since graduation, most of the students have been enrolled to study in universities. I am proud that 90 percent of them have continued their musical studies," says Yalungerile.

Supported by the local government and working with Inner Mongolia Arts University, the choir recruits students every three years and is headquartered in Hohhot, the region's capital.

She adds that, despite all the hardships of keeping the children choir going, she finds great joy being with them.

"Though these children have no background in musical education, they love to sing," she says. "It's really beautiful when you start to learn a song, focus on every detail to make it sound perfect and finally make it happen onstage."

During summer vacations, the conductor usually takes the students to perform and take part in music competitions around the world.

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