Online Concert Bridges Honolulu and Zhongshan, China

Punahou Symphony students and students from Zhongshan, China, are proud to debut a musical collaboration that honors a 25-year partnership between the cities of Honolulu and Zhongshan, the birthplace of Sun Yat-sen.

The 30-minute online concert features students from Punahou, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Secondary School, the Zhongshan Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choir of the Zhongshan Experimental Primary School. It is a culmination of months of rehearsals and recording, all conducted over an 18-hour time difference.

“Music has an incredible power to connect people and help us share our culture,” said Helen Chao-Casano, Music School director and project co-chair. “It was exciting for the students to learn some Chinese repertoire, share music and dance to represent Hawai’i, and collaborate virtually.”

Punahou’s relationship with the city spans back to a 2016 orchestra visit to Zhongshan, where students performed alongside the Zhongshan Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the city’s culture and art center and visited Sun Yat-sen Memorial Secondary School. There they attended language and culture classes, learned about Sun Yat-sen’s time as a Punahou student, performed music, and took part in a sister-school signing ceremony. “It was great to see how well the students connected and created friendships,” said Director of Orchestras Craig Young.

At special reception, Mayor Blangiardi also honored the 25th anniversary of partnership between the two cities, which has included exchange programs and collaborative projects in trade, culture, healthcare, education and more. Representatives from Zhongshan, including Mayor Xiao Zhanxin and Acting Director General of Foreign Affairs Bureau Guo Daiyun, Punahou President Mike Latham ’86 and Yen Chun from the Sun Yat-sen Hawaii Foundation attended the event.

Concert Program

Akaka Falls by Punahou School
Beautiful Night by Punahou School
Butterfly by the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Secondary School
Vivaldi concerto for Four Violins in B Minor (Movement I)
by the Zhongshan Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
Rising Higher Step by Step by Punahou School
and the Zhongshan Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
Our Sun Yat-sen by Punahou School, the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Secondary School, the Experimental Primary School of Zhongshan City, the Zhongshan Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

Special thanks to Constance H. Lau, Li Haiying and Yen Chun

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