A brand-new orchestra, blends the greatest of Western and also Chinese classical traditions together, debuted at Carnegie Hall in October 2012 with a full house and a lot of praise. You could figure out why they excelled after viewing this video clip:
Behind-The-Scenes with Shen Yun Musicians: Our Art, Our Bond, Our Home
The following is the full transcript of interview with six Shen Yun Musicians: Keng-Wei Kuo, George Sullivan, Leatra Hillhouse, Yin Chen, Gary Daverne, and Preity Uupala:
You know, you really see you making a difference in people’s hearts when you perform this type of show.
It made me feel this kind of incredible energy emanating from the orchestra.
Home is where the heart is, I think. And my heart is here.
I’ve been here for almost a month now and everything has been great.
I have been with Shen Yun since its very beginning eight years ago, and I’ve witnessed its tremendous growth from one company to four companies. Each year each company tours for six months to you name it, all the big cities in the world. And even so, we can’t meet the demands out there.
Many musicians dreamed about playing these venues their whole lives. In this one year that I’ve been with Shen Yun, I’ve already performed there and it’s a full house. Last October at Carnegie Hall, the singular focus of the orchestra produced this kind of energy that permeated the entire composition, and then a full house bursting with applause. As a conductor, standing between the orchestra and the audience in the middle right between these two overwhelming powerful energies, I think that is the biggest aspiration. That’s the highest realm.
For forty years, I was with the Boston Ballet Orchestra. That’s thousands of Nutcrackers I’ve performed, and it was cool in the beginning. But after forty years—but here you are not playing the same stuff over and over and over again, you are creating something new. We just finished doing a five-month tour, 123 performances in 35 cities; didn’t once tire of the music. It was beautiful every single show.
The energy level of just the music is a very strong powerful piece of music. I wish I could have that sort of energy these days.
Absolutely I know that I’m still carrying the energy with me right now.
I think what really makes a difference is that I feel there’s a positive force within this company that you resonate with—here.
I had no idea what this was like when I came here. But I was just terribly terribly moved. The culture is absolutely amazing. The vine: it just wasn’t part of my everyday vocabulary until I came here. And I see so much of its influence everywhere.
Five thousand years of civilization, you find that there are so so many precious traditional treasures: a guiding wisdom for how to treat others and interact with the world.
And we are guided by Falun Dafa’s principles: truthfulness, compassion, forbearance in our daily interactions.
I know because of that, it’s improved my health, it’s improved my playing, it’s improved me as a person. I’ve become more compassionate towards people.
Everybody here is so genuine and it encourages you to become better, it encourages you to be a better person, a better musician. To see all the hard-working talented people makes you excited, makes you proud to be a part of something like this.