School of Music


September 14, 2018
8:00 PM
Hannaford Hall at the Abromson Community Education Center, Portland campus
$15 adult, $10 seniors, USM employees and alumni, $5 students.
Sounds of China

“Sounds of China” open the USM School of Music Faculty Concert Series

For the opening faculty concert at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, faculty clarinetist Thomas Parchman has assembled a chamber ensemble with faculty colleagues Krysia Tripp, flute and Robert Lehmann, violin, with guest artists Bridget Convey, piano; John Mehrmann, percussion; Benjamin Noyes, cello, and special guest Zhantao Lin playing a traditional Chinese bowed string instrument, the erhu.

The concert will be held on Friday, September 14 at 8 p.m. in Hannaford Hall in the Abromson Community Education Center on the Portland campus. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, USM employees and alumni, and $5 for students, and can be purchased online at, or by phone at (207) 780-5555.

The concert is sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine.

With an interesting assortment of traditional Chinese musical instruments like the erhu and various percussion instruments, and Western musical instruments like the flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello, The “Sounds of China” concert bring together two cultures in a most compelling way.

The concert will open with “Among Friends,” a work by Ka Nin Chin (b. 1949), twice winner of Juno Awards for Best Classical Composition. Chan was born in Hong Kong and moved with his family to Vancouver in 1965. At the University of British Columbia he studied composition with Jean Coulthard while pursuing a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. After graduation he continued studying composition with Bernhard Heiden at Indiana University where he eventually obtained his Master's and Doctoral degrees in music.

In Five Elements by Zhou Long (b. 1953) is expressed a central aspect of traditional Chinese thought, each element characterized in an individual movement.

The first movement is 'Metal', where the sound of iron being forged is imitated in the percussion, and echoed in the languid tone-clusters on piano. The second movement is 'Wood', in which strong rhythmic patterns are generated on the wooden percussion instruments, alongside pizzicato motifs in the strings. The third movement is 'Water', which takes on a slow, expansive texture, with long and tranquil melodic lines to create a feeling of quiet calm and serenity. The fourth movement is 'Fire', which is characterized by persistent rhythmic drumming patterns and energetic trilling figures, punctuated by cascading bell-like chords in the piano, embodying light and heat. The last movement is ‘Earth’; the music moves slowly and majestically in a free tempo, creating a feeling of peaceful, open space. At the end, all the elements are transformed into a perfect balance.

Born in Beijing, composer Zhou Long is internationally recognized for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Deeply grounded in the entire spectrum of his Chinese heritage, including folk, philosophical, and spiritual ideals, he is a pioneer in transferring the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions to modern Western instruments and ensembles.

Guest artist Mr. Lin Zhantao is a musician and music educator from China performing on the erhu. He is a board member of Chinese Professional Folk Orchestra Society. Mr. Lin had been awarded in many high-level competitions in China. Every since his moving to the United States, Mr. Lin has frequently participated in various performances in the New England area, including Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, MIT, Brown University, Boston University, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Peabody Modise Fox museums, as well as the Lincoln Art Center, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road concerts.

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646. 


Sponsored by Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine

Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine


Contact Information

USM Music Box Office
(207) 780-5555