Eleven student performers from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University followed the lead of famous musicians like Taylor Swift and Lang Lang, bringing music into the homes of listeners who could attend live concerts due to the pandemic.
The fifth W•E Musicale concert, an event typically held in the Wave Pavilion on campus, was XJTLU’s first-ever online concert. The students performed from their locations in eight provinces.
Students chose the songs they played under the theme “Movie Soundtrack.”
Chenyu Jin performing "Por Una Cabeza"; Shiyi Chen performing "My People, My Country"
Yuqiang Li, a Year 1 student majoring in data science and big data technology, performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the movie The Wizard of Oz.
“I chose this song because I wanted to make the audience feel better about their current life situation,” she said.
“The song conveys the positive attitudes that we will be able to get through this period.”
“In order to portray this, I spent some time on the arrangement of this song and used various techniques to express the feelings. I truly enjoyed the process.”
Coordinating the event was a difficult but worthwhile endeavour, those responsible said.
“Organising the concert online, with student performers located in different provinces in China, was a big challenge for us,” said Peng Zhang, the coordinator for the last two W.E Musicale events and an XJTLU Museum development officer.
“Some students’ instruments had been left in the dormitories, and we couldn’t predict whether all the internet connections would be stable that night,” he said.
“However, we want students to feel close to the University even though they couldn’t come back to campus this term. We didn’t want to cancel the concert.”
“Luckily we were able to find students who did have instruments with them and we did not have a connection problem during the concert. The event went quite well.”
Coordinators said while the online venue didn’t allow them to see the live reactions of the audience, they did have evidence the audience appreciated the event.
“In a live concert, we can see the audience members’ faces, reactions, emotions and numbers,” said Ting Ting Zhao, the event planner for the first four concerts and the XJTLU Museum branding and communication officer.
“However, for this event people posted pictures on their WeChat Moments, saying that they enjoyed the concert.”
The event was organized by the XJTLU Museum and Art Association.
Shiyi Chen, participating from Chengdu province
By Vionna Fiducia, edited by Tamara Kaup