Chinese Kites and Lan Su Garden for Portland Suzhou Sister City Members and Friends!
"An Enchanted Evening Under the Stars"
The 2018 Evening Under the Stars Gala marks the 30th anniversary of Portland and Suzhou sister city friendship. It is the culmination of weekend-long festivities that encompassed sister city friendship tree planting ceremony, photo exhibit at the City Hall and Suzhou Chinese Orchestra performances at PSU’s Lincoln Hall.
We kicked off this year’s Gala with the Lee Association Dragon and Lion Dance led by Terry Lee. For the first time in PSSCA Gala history, the entertainment program featured prominent artists from both Suzhou and Portland. As the 2018 Gala Chair, the highlight of the entertainment program is the process of producing and presenting a variety of high quality performances with seamless delivery. Our distinguished guests from both cities were treated to a visual and auditory feast that embodied the integration and unity of East and West cultural elements: a beautiful melody of Kunqu Opera from the Peony Pavilion by a famed master from Suzhou juxtaposed with heart-warming arias of Puccini and Verdi sang by Portland Opera stars; Suzhou Chinese Orchestra musicians whose skillful performance on traditional Chinese musical instruments - Pipa and Guzheng - enchanted our audience while BodyVox dancers morphed their physical beauty with that of natural setting at Lan Su Garden.
I continue to be amazed at how we managed to pull off a stunning show without the luxury of rehearsal time when artists from various professional companies in both cities who have never met before came together in the last hour! Deep gratitude is also expressed for our generous donors and sponsors! (link to sponsors) It speaks volumes of all involved whose discipline, commitment and goodwill transcend language and cultural barriers, the strongest testament to the long-lasting relationship of Portland and Suzhou.
Happy 30th Anniversary!
July 28, 2018 PSSCA Rose Bed Dedication and Tree Planting Ceremonies Celebrations of the 30-year Portland-Suzhou Sister City anniversary began Saturday morning, July 28, 2018, with the dedication of a rose bed in Washington Park.
On behalf of Portland Parks and Recreation, Rachel Burlington, Curator of the International Rose Test Garden welcomed the delegations from Suzhou led by Mr. Gu Jie, Secretary General of Standing Committee of Suzhou Municipal People’s Congress.
The City of Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler, International Relations Director, Chido Dhliwayo and Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) President, Bob Fraser, addressed the group of delegates, PSSCA Board Directors and Royal Rosarians.
The Mayor and Mr. Gu Jie, together planted and watered a rose bush in the rose bed dedicated to the PSSCA.
The group then reassembled at the Hoyt Arboretum where they were met by Hoyt Curator Martin Nicholson. A scenic walk along the Bristlecone Pine Trail brought them to the area in the Hoyt Chinese Forest where an Osmanthus heterophyllus “Variegatus’ was planted in honor of 30 years of sister city relations between Suzhou and Portland. This tree is a twin of a tree to be planted in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, both propagated from the 100 year old Osmanthus nicknamed “Old Gui” or old noble one, that resided in the Lan Su courtyard until recently.
The group heard remarks by Martin Nicholson, Elizabeth Edwards, City of Portland Director of the Office of Government Relations, Lynne McIntyre, Immediate Past President of PSSCA, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Mr. Gu Jie. The tree planting at Hoyt was a fitting follow up of the tree planting ceremony that took place in Suzhou during the Mayor’s delegation in April.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment and ongoing relations of the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association
The Suzhou Chinese Orchestra, on the occasion of the Portland – Suzhou Sister City’s 30th Anniversary, performed at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall Friday evening August 26th. The Suzhou Chinese Orchestra is a professional orchestra co-founded by the Suzhou Municipal Government and Suzhou New and High-tech District. A municipal non-profit art group, with Peng JiaPeng(a.k.a. “Pang KaPang”), renowned National Class I conductor as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. Peng also notably visited Wiener Musikverein as conductor.
Other members of the Orchestra included:Zhu Changyao, renowned Urheen player, composer and National Class I performer as Art Guide, and Cheng Congwu, Honorary Chairman of Suzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles and National Class I Art Supervisor as General Manager. The orchestra currently has over 90 performers, composed by renowned players at home and abroad, and excellent graduates of ten conservatories, represented by the Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music and Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Conductor Peng JiaPeng was kind enough to provide a demonstration of each unique Chinese instrument to a full house of appreciative guests.
Suzhou Chinese Orchestra Charms of Chinese Music Program included Chinese as well as American musical scores:
1. Celebration Prelude Composed by Zhao Jiping2. Kentucky Home and SusannaAdapted from American folk songs by Peng Xiuwen3. Butterfly Dream Composed by Zhao JipingCello Soloist: Kang Qiaoxuan(Guest)
4. Candide Overture Composed by Leonard BernsteinAdapted by Zhang Dasen5. Pe0ny Pavillion Touring the Garden(Kunqu and Chinese Orchestra)Composed by Zhu ChangyaoSinger Wang Fang6. Lyricism Partita Composed by Liu Changyuan7. Macau Capriccio Composed by Wang Danhong