Professor Qiong Yang was working at the William and Mary Confucius Institute up until this summer, when she returned to China with her family. While she was here, I became great friends with her, her husband Gang and her daughter, Yahan, who I call Emily or sometimes Yangyang.
When I visited Chengdu, I got to do a presentation for Yahan’s class (that’s her in the above picture) and she helped out a lot! She is a really good friend and I’m glad I met her!
Yahan is also a child prodigy on the Chinese zither, which is called the “guzheng.” She started learning how to play when she was only five years old! With her teacher’s instruction and Yahan’s hard work, she won many awards in music contests all over her hometown of Chengdu. She did so well that she received a special grade of “10” which is the highest possible ranking for an amateur musician when she was only 9 years old!
The guzheng is a very old instrument – it’s been around for over 2,500 years! It has 16 strings and bridges which move! It looks really difficult to play!
Here is a video of one of her performances at William and Mary Confucius Institute:
And another, called “Fishing Songs on the East Sea”:
She is a fantastic musician and I’m very lucky to call her and her parents my friends!
Yahan would love to do performances for cultural centers in the USA!