Arts & Culture

Richmond musician performing in live outdoor concert

By Hannah Scott

Published 3:46 PDT, Fri August 12, 2022

Last Updated: 3:49 PDT, Mon September 26, 2022

Outdoor pop-up concerts have returned as part of Vancouver’s Music on Main series. 

Next week the B.C. Chinese Music Ensemble will perform on Wednesday (Aug. 17), featuring Richmondite Geling Jiang as one of the musicians. Jiang has been involved with the B.C. Chinese Music Ensemble for almost 19 years.

“I joined because I was a professional musician in China,” says Jiang. “When I moved to Vancouver I wanted to continue my career.”

Jiang plays a number of Chinese plucked string instruments including the guzheng, pipa, sanxian, and liuqin. She started learning to play music at the age of eight.

“Playing music is my life; I feel very excited when I’m on the stage,” says Jiang.

The B.C. Chinese Music Ensemble is one of three groups operated by the B.C. Chinese Music Association, which formed in 1995 to promote and share Chinese music. Another group is a youth orchestra that performs a concert every summer; Jiang is one of the music teachers for these youth.

“We play many kinds of music, not only Chinese traditional pieces but (also) some composers’ new pieces and Canadian composers’ pieces with our Chinese instruments,” says Jiang. “I can learn lots of different cultures’ music, play on my instruments, and develop my technique.”

Jiang says playing outside is more challenging in some ways, as musicians must have more energy and express more feeling given the lack of technical sound equipment.

“We not only play our music, we have to transfer our music energy with our body language,” she adds.

After the pandemic limited public performance opportunities, Jiang says the group can’t wait to share its music with audiences once again.

The final three Music on Main concerts take place nightly at 6:30 p.m. from Aug. 16 to 18 in Mount Pleasant Park (West 16th Avenue at Ontario Street). To learn more, visit musiconmain.ca/event/summer-pop-up-concerts-2022-with-music-on-main/.

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