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Yuexiu Choir, Sing Aloud!
2008-04-15 17:05:07     CRIENGLISH.com

Yuexiu Choir is a locally famous singing group with more than 200 volunteer singers in downtown Guangzhou. Most of the members are retired workers and over 55 years of age. The photo was taken in Yuexiu Park. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.COM/ Yang Yong, Liu Bing]

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By Yang Yong, CRI Reporter

Following the sounds of music every Saturday morning in downtown Guangzhou, you will surely find a large group of cheerful Cantonese singing loudly in Yuexiu Park.

It is the locally famous Yuexiu Choir, a group with more than 200 members in total. No one would believe that all these excellent singers are merely everyday retired workers and most of them are over 55 years of age!

"We have insisted on singing like this on Yuexiu Mountain every weekend for years. Among all the singing groups in Guangzhou, we are the most renowned and passionate!"

This is Hu Guowei, a 65-year-old happy participant who joined the singing group soon after retiring five years ago; he is now a veteran in the choir.

"We sing classic songs and sometimes popular songs too. We like gathering together and singing aloud our love and happy life."

Lyrics and music are neatly transcribed in calligraphy on to the pages of used calendars, and then hung on tree branches to ensure everyone is able to see them. The choir has a band too, including two violinists, four flutists, one erhu player and a passionate conductor!

Ye Qiaoxiao, or Miss Ye as she is cordially named by others, is a 52-year-old cheerful lady. With confident and ardent gestures, Miss Ye is the choir's most outstanding conductor. As co-founder of the choir, she has witnessed all the choir's developments.

"We started singing in Yuexiu Park in 1998. There were only 10 volunteers at first. Thanks to the good accompaniment of musical instruments, we sing better and our group is growing now. We enjoy singing on Yuexiu Mountain so much that it is now an indispensable part of our happy life!"

No matter where you are from or how shy you are, no one can resist singing together with them, a truly moving experience.

Are they merely amateur singers? No, they are shining stars.

As reporters and fresh travelers to Guangzhou, we are warmly welcomed by these kind Cantonese folk, receiving a handful of gifts---several giant delicious moon cakes and their zealous expression of love.

"Thank you so much for your love, the love I will always remember." (Chorus)

In the end, I ask them what they want to say to the rest of the world through the airwaves. The group calls out in a resounding voice that pierces the sky:

"Welcome to Guangzhou!"

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