SOME 80 bands from China and overseas will participate in the 2014 Shanghai Spring International Wind Music Festival that will be unveiled on Labor Day, May 1.
The festival, organized by Yangpu District government, includes four sections — the grand opening cruise tour, the wind music carnival, concert gala and non-professional band show.
In addition to the traditional programs, there are a few new wrinkles this year. A wind music performance featuring 1,000 musicians will open the festival. As the cruise ships carrying musicians sail off at World Expo Watergate, opening ceremonies will be held at that site and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Through live transmission, people can see what’s happening at both sites.
The wind music carnival will expand to more districts and communities this year, including Pudong, Xuhui, Huangpu, Jinshan and others. The wind music performances will be presented in military camps, schools, communities, parks, shopping malls and suburban areas.
For those who can’t attend in person, the festival will be available on new media platforms, allowing the festival to build its brand while reaching a bigger audience.
More than 70 non-professional Chinese wind bands from 17 provinces and districts were selected for the show this year. Among them, participants include students, teachers, policemen, workers, farmers and retirees. The number exceeds all previous years, and for the first time there will be three categories: student, social and general.
On May 3, juries will present awards at Hudong Cultural Palace and give advice to the teams.
“Wind music is friendly, energetic and appealing, and the festivals in the past have brought regular audiences who love wind music,” said Chen Hongguang, director of the wind music festival committee. “This year we will highlight the functions of wind music communication and promotion platforms, and more performances will be brought to audiences with different goals.”
The overseas teams participating in this year’s festival come from Canada, Poland, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This is the second time the Yangfan Wind band from Chongqing Special Education Center will join the festival.
“It is a wind band made up of more than 30 blind children, currently the largest in scale in special education schools across China,” said Jiang Siwen, deputy director of the festival committee.
The closing ceremony and gala will be held at Zhengda Gymnasium at Fudan University on May 3.
A look at some of this year’s wind bands
Opus 92 (France)
The band was founded by Andre Menudet, Eric Villevire and Jacques Biolay in 1992.
It was joined by music lovers as well as students and graduates with more than nine years of instrumental music study.
This active band rehearses weekly and presents concerts all year in the region of Lyon and Beaujolais.
The current conductor is Fabien Bernoud, a renowned oboe player. As the oboe soloist, he has come to Shanghai three times in the past with Lyon National Orchestra and performed concerts at Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai Oriental Art Center and Shanghai Concert Hall.
In September 2009, Bernoud was invited to become the conductor of Opus 92.
Nanjing Grassroots Wind Band
Established in 2008 by amateur wind music lovers and retired workers, the Nanjing Grassroots Wind Band gathers those who love wind music but are not professionals. Now, after fives years, the band has more than 50 players.
The band rehearses at Xuanwu Lake Park, attracting visitors who listen and people sharing the same passion to join in.
Wanli Wind Band of Putuo New Long March Art Troupe
Founded in 2011, Wanli Wind Band has brought programs like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Mexican Trumpet” that mix East with West.
They’ve won awards in Shanghai, and they perform to community audiences regularly.
Shanghai International Studies University Bilingual School
The wind band of the bilingual school was founded in 2008 and now has 70 members. The team of young students won the gold last year at the Yangpu Cup, a non-professional wind band competition.
Chia-yi Bo-ai Elementary School Wind Band
This elementary school band has more than 71 members who perform outdoor marching routines. The school from Taiwan also has wind music classes to nurture talents.
Yangfan Wind Band of Chongqing Special Education Center
In 2011, to fulfill the music dream of a group of blind children, the teachers at the special education center picked up the instruments and brought the students into a musical journey.
In 2012, they were invited to the Shanghai Spring International Wind Music Festival and this May they will return to Shanghai.
Highlight programs (all free to the public):
Huangxing Park performance
Date: April 30, 9:30-10:30am
Venue: Huangxing Park
Address: 369 Guoshun Rd E.
Cruise Tour along Huangpu River
The ships will set off from Yangpu Bridge, then onto the Bund before reaching the World Expo Watergate on 32 Qinhuangdao Road. The Bund is the best place to watch the performances.
Date: May 1, 10-10:30am
Venue: The line along Yangpu Bridge-The Bund-Shiliupu