A conductor, pianist, and composer, Roger has been a fixture at Cornish College of the Arts since 1979, where he has done everything from teach piano and music history to conduct opera. Roger has conducted the Bainbridge Orchestra for an incredible 13 seasons. Roger's talents are vast - he conducted the Seattle Creative Orchestra, a 40-member group devoted to playing works of living composers, in addition to the Minnesota Opera's "New Music Theatre Ensemble" in 2 world premieres. Artistically, Roger was a leader of the "Floating Opera" in Seattle, featuring performances on a barge, floating through Puget Sound.
In the 1997-1998 academic year, Roger was the first foreign music teacher to teach at Qufu University, in the Shandong province of China. While in Qufu, Roger established an orchestra to perform Haydn's Surprise Symphony, filling in as needed with Chinese traditional instruments and accordions; it was the first western orchestra there since the Cultural Revolution.
In 1999, 2002 and 2005, he composed a new fiddle tune every day of the year, which now consists of over 1500 fiddle tunes. His collection, "Fiddle Tunes with a Difference", is available in book form, and on his CD "Fiddling on the Yangtze" and "Stay Tuned". The CD also includes Chinese music, and features Roger on piano, Karen Iglizin on violin. The CD is available at www.chambermusicmadness.org under "Support". Roger is also active as a singer and leads a vocal ensemble called "Canzonetta". Roger earned a B.A. in Zoology from Pomona College and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Founder and Music Director of the Chinese Music & Arts Association, Warren is one of China's foremost Erhu artist, contributing his accomplished talent to audiences in the United States. Warren's accomplished resume is impressive; he has appeared on the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show", and has toured the Washington State public school system to introduce and demonstrate ancient Chinese musical instruments and to promote music education throughout the area. He brought his children's fare, "A Touch of the Orient", to Wolf Trap where he participated in the International Children's Festival. From his Wolf Trap success, he was contracted to present his show at Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent accomplishment was to present "The Warren Chang Ensemble" in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the grand opening of the Wynn Hotel.
Warren Chang has appeared a number of times in various performances with America's best symphonies, combining the sound of the Erhu with Western sounds in symphonic music. His expertise on the Erhu brought him international acclaim when he recorded the soundtrack for the movie "The Soong Sisters" and " Shanghai Red". In 2005, he received the prestigious Governor's Arts Awards, which was presented by Washington State's governor, Christine Gregoire. His incomparable determination and continuing efforts to introduce the sounds of ancient China in music commands respect and admiration from both the professional world of music and lovers of music in general.
Buyun is the director of the Washington Chinese Orchestra, a prominent Chinese music instructor and a well-known Yang-Qin soloist. She has performed in many concerts throughout China and the United States, earning much praise and respect from her audiences both locally and abroad. Her technical skill on the Yang-Qin is unsurpassed and she is equally skilled in the Pi-Pa and Gu-Zheng. She has taught many Chinese musical instruments since 1990 to a vast number of students and many of her students have gone on to become distinguished musicians and music teachers themselves in the Pacific Northwest.
In 1995, she was invited by the Japanese composer Mr. Kitaro to record music for the movie "The Soong Sisters" with the Seattle Symphony. She was also one of the performers personally invited to play for the Wynn Hotel's grand opening in Las Vegas in 2005. Currently, Buyun continues to spend much of her time teaching various Chinese music instruments locally with CAMA and is well esteemed by all her students.
Angel began fulfilling her love of culture and music with the GuZheng at the age of 15 under the instruction of Buyun Zhao. Growing up in the U.S. garnered a curiosity to explore her Chinese roots, and she did so through the Chinese Arts & Music Association.
Over the years, Angel has performed with the Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra, Northwest GuZheng Ensemble and U.S. China Music Ensemble in venues from community gatherings to the Benaroya Hall in Seattle. She is also the coordinator of the Northwest Jigu Drum Ensemble.
Her involvement with the Chinese Arts & Music Association has created a deeper understanding of the arts and strengthened her leadership skills. She appreciates the ability to give back to her community and looks forward to sharing her love of traditional Chinese music to broader audiences.
Janelle's love and passion for music started at the early age of 5, when she began learning the piano. She continued until the age of 18, when she earned a teaching certificate for piano. In 1993, she began studying the Guzheng under the tutelage of Buyun Zhao and became one of the original members of the Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra. Janelle's desire to expand her knowledge of Chinese music prompted her to learn the Pi Pa a couple of years later from Ms. Zhao.
Over the years, Janelle has had the opportunity to participate in various performances and concerts, including the grand opening of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. She is an active member of the Seattle Chinese Orchestra, the Northwest GuZheng Ensemble, the U.S. China Music Ensemble, as well as the Northwest Jigu Drum Ensemble. Janelle currently serves as the Marketing Director of the Chinese Arts & Music Association, where she strives to promote the beauty of Chinese culture through music and art to all audiences.
Born and raised in Seattle, Minghwa has been a member of the Seattle Chinese Orchestra since 1998 and was one of the original members of the Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra. She began playing the Yang Qing from Buyun Zhao in 1992, and progressed to the GuZheng, Pi Pa and drums several years later.
Minghwa participated in numerous performances, including the 2005 grand opening for the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. Her passion for music keeps her ambitious, and to always strive and learn new things. She looks forward to expanding her skills and knowledge in various types of music. Currently, she serves as the Secretary for the Chinese Arts & Music Association.
Emily’s musical studies began with instruction in violin and piano. At the age of nine, she began to learn yangqin from Buyun Zhao and joined the Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra. Since then, she has performed in several CAMA ensembles, including the Northwest Jigu Ensemble and the US China Music Ensemble. Emily earned a degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington while also studying music education and conducting. Her conducting studies were done under Timothy Salzman and Geoffrey Boers. She has taught string orchestra at Kimball Elementary School, and also participated in a residency in rural Washington aimed at enriching the musical experience of K-12 students, bridging regional and cultural boundaries.
Jodi Gaylord, a nature photographer by trade, has long been a fan of traditional Chinese music, in part due to its ability to evoke stirring emotions that remind her of her beloved, beautiful outdoors. She hears the songs of the birds in the flutes and the rivers in the guzheng, sees the soulful eyes of the elephants in the huqin, and watches the battles of the head-ramming big horn sheep in the percussion. She studies the erhu under Warren Chang, and it was through this association that she became involved in the Seattle Chinese Orchestra – strictly behind the scenes. One day, she hopes to play well enough that those listening to her don’t cover their ears and run screaming from the room.
Meifang started learning pipa as a high school student in Taiwan. At that time. she fell in love with traditional Chinese music, and continued pursuing it ever since. She played daruan at the school Chinese Orchestra for two years.
She became the member of the Seattle Chinese Orchestra in 2009 and has performed in many concerts with the orchestra and ensembles. She currently studies pipa and guzheng under Buyun Zhao. She looks forward to sharing her love of music with everyone.
BOWED CHINESE INSTRUMENTS
YANGQIN, GUZHEN, PERCUSSION
Soloist and teacher, Mr. Yee studied the Di-Zi with the famous Dizi master Mr. Gin-Cheng Wong before arriving in the United States. He has played with the Seattle Chinese Orchestra for over 20 years and has performed in many concerts at various venues including the Benaroya Hall and Meany Hall. He has taught students for many years and is admired by both his students and has gained the respect of many audiences as well.
TING TING CHANG
Ting Ting began her music career at the age of 5, learning the Er-Hu. She eventually joined CAMA's youth orchestra and performed in various concerts which includes the Benaroya Hall and Meany Hall for CAMA's annual concerts as well as other major concert events. She started studying the Yang Qing from her mother, Buyun Zhao, at the age of 9. She also took on cello as part of her school activities. She then studied the piano entering the age of 10 under the instruction of Teacher Xu in Bellevue, Washington.
TingTing continued her studies in the piano as a profession with a second instructor, Anaida. During that period, Ting Ting entered several piano competitions and has won several awards, including the Lauren Olsen award and honorable mentions. In the 2010 season, Ting Ting was accepted into the School of Music as a piano major in the University of Washington under the instruction of Dr. Jang who is continuing to develop her piano skills.
FORMER ORCHESTRA ADVISOR
ZHENLUN LI DECEMBER 22, 1953 – MARCH 10, 2020
Zhenlun Li is the winner of China's First National Cellist Competition. He has also served as Principal Cellist in the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and the Federal Way Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Li has been devoted to music education for more than 30 years. He was a Lecturer at Tianjin Conservatory of Music in China and a professor at the Calder Academy of Music in Northern California. He also served as an adjudicator of the Northern California Youth Competition, a consultant for the Seattle Chinese Orchestra, and the founder of the International Performing Arts (IPA).
In 2002 and 2004, Mr. Li was the first to establish two Youth Cello Orchestras in San Jose, CA, and in Seattle, WA. He has arranged many popular Eastern and Western pieces for both orchestras. Since their inception, the orchestras have performed for many concerts including events at the Benaroya Hall and Meany Hall, which have received many excellent compliments from the community and media. Because of Mr. Li's success and dedication to music education, he was honored in the Dictionary of Chinese Musicians.
Mr. Li passed away on March 10, 2020. May Mr. Li's Musical Legacy continues in our hearts.