First Kulangsu Choral Music Festival sings in the island’s new era

“Piano Island,” the “Home of Music,” and many other nicknames have graced Kulangsu island through the years. Earlier this year, Asia’s largest antique pipe organ was inaugurated on the island. Kulangsu’s latest title: a world choral music hub, as this July ushered in yet another exciting new event for Kulangsu’s music cuture: the first Kulangsu Choral Music Festival, held from July 16 to July 20.

The event was a “feast of music,” included performances by a dozen noted domestic and international choirs. 88 music masters from six countries around the world came to Kulangsu for the Choral Music Festival. One audience member said: “The sound was like being baptized–I was shivering from head to toe.”

The Gulangyu Chorus Festival is an important platform for internationally renowned choruses to exchange notes and ideas, and grace the island with their lovely sounds. The festival uses songs to build bridges and promote the prosperity and cultural heritage of Gulangyu.

One highlight of the festival was the concert at the new Kulangsu Pipe Organ Art Center, the island’s newest world-class attraction. This small chapel-style concert hall holds Asia’s largest antique pipe organ, a 19th-century masterpiece that comes from Boston, named after the philanthropist who donated it: the Ling Guang Tang Casavant opus 700.

Representatives from event sponsor Xiamen Ferry Company said that they intend for the festival to boost international art exchanges and to promote awareness of Gulangyu and its listing as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Local participating choirs include the Gulangyu Choir, the Ludao Philharmonic Choir, the Number Six Middle School Choir and the Xiamen Song and Dance Theatre Choir. Other domestic choirs performing at the festival include the Beijing Harmonia Choir, the Hong Kong Children’s Choir and the Inner Mongolia Children’s Choir.

The island residents and civil servants are deeply grateful for all that was done by the people from around the world who love Kulangsu to help make this historic festival possible.

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