I. ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
In the first half of year 2013, some of our members were traveling and hence our Ensemble had no public performances. Meantime, we continued the weekly practice in members’ homes. The major piece was J.S. Bach’s “Orchestra Suite #2, flute and strings”. The cello part was played by the bass clarinet with the scores transposed from C to B-flat.
- In June, Taiwanese Presbyterian Church at Tustin started inviting us to serve in their music programs during Sunday worships.
- Samuel Chen was graduated from UC Irvine in music major and presented a graduation concert on June 5.
- Johnny Chiou came visit us from Northern California with Madame Ruth Skenczynska, a famous pianist in her 90th age. She played Chopin’s Etude Op.10, No. 3 in E-major, also known as “Tristesse”.
- On June 15, we were invited by Orange County Taiwanese Association in their gathering in Irvine.
- August 10, we were invited by North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association to play in their annual meeting in Fullerton, CA.
- September 8, we were invited by Orange County Taiwanese Community Groups to play in their “Love Taiwan Night” concert at Taiwan Economic and Cultural Center in Santa Ana, CA.
- September 15, we were invited by Orange County Taiwanese Association again at their Autumn Moon Festival in Irvine, CA.
- September 21, we accompanied NTU Alumni Choir in performing Mozart and Vivaldi’s sacred songs and presented chamber music pieces in their annual concert at Grace First Presbyterian Church, Long Beach, CA.
- After a busy schedule in August and September, some of us joined Amazing Grace Choir in Taiwan jail mission to visit 18 jails from October 14 through October 25. I played violin accompaniment for the choir.
- During my stay at Taipei, Dr. Jen-Yang Chen invited me to dine with two other high school classmates. After the dinner, Dr. Chen and I attended a special music presentation of a NTU Symphony Orchestra Chamber Group at the NTU campus. Dr. Chen was the guest speaker.
- Rick, Grace, Betty and I joined our Church members’ Hawaiian Cruise (Star Princess) from November 20 through December 5. We learned to play “ukulele” during the Cruise, bought the instruments and started a weekly practice session after returning home.
- In December, some of our members joined the orchestra of Los Angeles Formosan Master Chorale to perform Handel’s “Messiah” on December 22 at Concordia University. Grace joined the Chorale to sing in the Alto section.
II. Our Learning in Chamber Music
What makes Chamber Music different from other music? The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presented a YouTube video clip to answer this question.
We have developed close friendships through many years of practicing together. But still we are wondering how can we grow and perform better? Nevertheless, we have come out with these thoughts:
- First, not only we have to grow individually, we have to grow as a group.
- Second, we have to treasure every opportunity of performing — in the Church, in the Community gathering and in formal concerts.
- Third, we have to learn from experts, particularly someone who can guide us.
III. Our Members
In 2013, our ensemble has added two violinists and two cellist. In January, 2014, another violinist joined us. Also, we are fortunate to have Ms. Tsai, a pianist, music teacher and fine conductor joined us recently. Currently, our ensemble has 2 pianists, 5 violinist, 1 violist, 2 cellists, 1 flutist and 1 base clarinetist. A total of 12 members. Some of our members plays more than one instruments. Occasionally, young musicians join us in performance, including 1 violinist and 1 cellist.
Some of our members are not NTU alumni. In the future, those NTU alumni of us will join concerts sponsored by NTU alumni organization. The whole ensemble will join other concerts as a new entity (new name). We hope to grow the size and increase the activities including the concerts and performances, in serving the community this year. We also plan to network with our music friends in Taiwan and in California so that we can bring Chamber music to wider audiences.