Toronto Chinese Orchestra 多倫多中樂團

Member Profile: Jenny

Meet Jenny, a member from the plucked strings section.

TCO: How long have you been with the TCO?
J: I have joined in TCO since August 2006 for a year. Afterwards, I left TCO for four years for university and rejoined back in August 2011.

TCO: What keeps you coming back?
J: Thanks to Patty Chan who had encouraged me to keep playing my instrument in TCO despite I have not practiced it for four years. I am very honored to play with many talented musicians within TCO because all of them motivate me to contribute my own talents towards contributing the promotion of Chinese music in Toronto.

TCO: What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?
J: I play the Chinese version of the dulcimer, which is called Yang Qin in Mandarin. I have started playing it since grade 1 and I have currently achieved a grade 7 through the Chinese Conservatory Music Examination. I actually have given up on playing it twice due to some reasons but I was fortunate that my friends and family still encouraged me to keep up playing Yang Qin.

TCO: How did you get started with this instrument?
J: My reason for learning Yang Qin was very funny. My knowledge of Chinese instrument was very limited when I was 6 years old. I first saw Yang Qin when I was in grade 1 at the principal’s office at my primary school. I thought people play it with fingers, which is the same way as they play Gu Zheng, another pluck instrument. I remember while I was staring at the instrument and imagining plucking motions, the principal asked me if I wanted to learn, and I said yes. So he signed me up for his own Yang Qin class and that’s when I realized that I did not need my fingers to play it.

TCO: What other instruments do you play?
J: I also play clarinet and I learned in since grade 7 after I have immigrated to Canada.

TCO: Other activities that you enjoy on spare time?
J: I enjoy reading, watching both Asian and American dramas, traveling and snowboarding in winter.

TCO: Anything you’d like to share with other TCO members and fans who come to the concerts?
J: Apparently, Yang Qin is not a very popular instrument in China. This is because Yang Qin is originated in Persia and has been brought to China in the recent centuries. Chinese people are more associated with Gu Zheng because it has a long history and many artists and poets have praised its sound. Yang Qin is more modern so it has more intervals and its sounds can mimic a lot of instruments such as piano or pi pa through different playing skills. The only downside is that the instrument is too heavy for young girls to carry, like me. But the upside is that, you will have more handsome men to help you out with carrying it =D.