The Waldorf School of Garden City celebrated the Lunar New Year on Wednesday, February 13th. International students as well as students in the high school Mandarin Chinese classes performed a wide variety of musical pieces, recitations, dances, plays and songs for the their peers, teachers and friends.
“Celebrated throughout East Asia, the Lunar New Year is sometimes referred to as the ‘Chinese New Year’,” said Dr. Steve Jackowicz, Waldorf’s English Language Learner (ELL) Instructor who also teaches the Modern China Main Lesson course to the freshman and the Mandarin Chinese language elective in the high school. “The celebration is also associated with an animal which represents the nature of the year. This year’s celebration marks the transition from the Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Snake.”
Among the performance highlights were:
- A musical performance on the guzheng (Chinese harp) by Waldorf sophomore Jiayi Chen, qudi (Chinese flute) by Waldorf freshman Harry Zheng, and erhu (Chinese violin) by Waldorf’s orchestra director Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck. The trio performed two traditional Chinese pieces entitled “The Song of the Luoyang River” and “The Wild Dance of the Gold Snake”.
- A song by students in the high school Mandarin Chinese class of David Tao’s popular modern-day piece “Ai Wo Hai Shi Ta” (“Love Me or Love Him”).
- A solo performance on the guzheng (Chinese harp) by Waldorf sophomore Jiayi Chen playing “The Sprouting of the Seedlings of Spring”.
- A short play about a young student learning the art of Chinese calligraphy. The play was set to musical accompaniment by the high school orchestra performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major with Waldorf freshman Charlotte Chen on the piano.
- A recitation by students in the high school Mandarin Chinese class of “Sheng cha zi yuan ye” (“A Lively View of New Year’s Night”) by Ou Yangxiu, a poet of the Song Dynasty.
- A solo performance by Waldorf freshman Harry Zheng of a traditional southern Chinese folk song arranged for the piano.
- A play depicting the change in the Lunar New Year where the Dragon Lord and his queen Yang Water leave their courtly throne in order for the Snake Lord and his princess Yin Water to ascend.
- A solo piano performance by Waldorf freshman Charlotte Chen of a traditional Chinese song “Silver Clouds Chasing the Moon”.
- A traditional Korean fan dance performed by members of the high school.
The performance culminated with a traditional Lion dance – enjoyed by all in attendance. “The lion represents prosperity,” remarked Dr. Jackowicz. “If the lion is big, strong and dances well, then good luck and prosperity for all will follow.”
To view a short 5-minute video of highlights from the Lunar New Year Celebration, click the following: