Ten years ago, MIT's Chinese Choral Society was founded by a group of students and professionals who shared a common interest in choral music as well as Chinese culture and tradition. Since then, the ensemble has brought together more than 300 MIT community members and Boston-area students - a diverse group of musicians from all educational and professional backgrounds.
On Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., the 35-member chorus will take the stage in Kresge Auditorium in "The Glory of the Decade," a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of its founding.
Through their weekly practices, twice-annual performances and frequent social functions, members of the MIT Chinese Choral Society (MITCCS) have developed close friendships while performing the choral music of China and other countries. They come from many MIT departments, including architecture, biology, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering, physics, mathematics and management. They come from an array of countries as well, including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States.
Although many of the singers are accomplished musicians, formal study is not a requirement. "You are always welcome as long as you like to sing," said Jiun-Yu Lai, spokesperson for the choir.
In addition to performing at MIT, the group is also active in the greater Boston Chinese community. The ensemble has performed at events sponsored by the People's Republic of China, the Tzu-Chi Foundation and the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce. The choir was also featured in a two-hour television special filmed by Cablevision Broadcasting and has participated in joint performances with choruses in the United States and abroad.
"The Glory of the Decade" highlights favorites from past performances, including classical selections such as "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" by Vivaldi and Gounod's "Sanctus," as well as Chinese art songs by Yen Ren Chao and traditional Chinese and Taiwanese folk songs. This concert will also feature 10 dancers from the Central Massachusetts Chinese School of Dance and guest conductor Ru-Lan Chao.
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A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 6, 2002.