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Deaf-mute youth choir wows audience in Beijing

(People's Daily Online)    17:45, October 31, 2018

(Photo/We Media account (ID: onelight01)))

An artist and a musician from China have spent five years training deaf-mute children to sing and have finally succeeded, a We Media account (ID: onelight01) reported on Oct. 26, 2018..

On the evening of August 4, 2018, a choir made up of 14 deaf-mute Chinese children, ranging in age from 9 to 16, wowed their audience at the Beijing Concert Hall with a 12-minute performance.

The performance comprised of three parts, each with a different theme - silence, fun and games, and hope. The children made beautiful sounds pitched to varying levels in harmony with the music, and some even rapped during the second section, which encouraged the audience to clap and nod their heads in time with the music.

The audience were moved by the performance, applauding loudly and giving the performers a thumbs-up.

Behind this heart-touching performance, there is also a heart-warming story.

(Photo/We Media account (ID: onelight01)))

Five years ago, co-founders of the group, Li Bo and Zhang Yong, happened to hear a noise while walking through China’s capital Beijing. After tracking the noise down, the men were shocked to find that it came from a deaf-mute person.

The two men then decided to search for such sounds in deaf-mute schools, put them to music, and bring it to people that had never heard it before.

They arrived at a school specially designed for deaf-mute children in Lingyun county, Baise city of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and asked every student if they could make an “ah” sound.

Everyone used sign language to say no. The two men were disheartened, but just as they were about to leave, a 4-year-old girl reignited their confidence by making the sound perfectly. They quickly built a group, with the little girl, Yang Weiwei, as their youngest member.

As the first of its kind, the two men had to figure out a way to teach the children how to make the right sounds at the right pitch.

After painstaking efforts and repeated practice, trying everything from using ice cream sticks to tonometers, they trained the children to make different sounds, understand pitch levels, and finally how to harmonize.

Yang Weiwei, the youngest member (Photo/We Media account (ID: onelight01)))

The performance in Beijing Concert Hall brought the choir into the limelight, but Li Bo and Zhang Yong have since refused invitations for commercial performances, as they felt the students should continue to spend time on their studies.

The 14 children, on their return home from Beijing, got an entirely different reaction from those around them. The once “special” children have gradually become more confident and included.

Li Bo, an artist in Beijing, became famous in his youth. His paintings were allegedly sold for a million RMB each. He was praised as the best foreign artist by French art center Espace Pierre Cardin.

(Photo/We Media account (ID: onelight01)))

Zhang Yong was a rock musician from Xiamen, east China’s Fujian province, with his live show a favorite among young people.

“What’s most important is not the performance on stage, but that these children can live a better life and win more respect when they return home,” said the two men. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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