7 January, and The Old Jiangsu University of Culture (江苏老文化大学), which is now the Jiangsu Centre for Culture in Nanjing, hosted its First performance of the New Jump Choir Group, to rave reviews.
The group is made up of 26 members from Nanjing’s LGBT community. As choir ensembles go, it was a treat; it is not often the expat community in Nanjing gets a glimpse at local performances such as this.
Not one song was sung out of tune, every baritone and soprano totally in sync; it was clear this choir has not only dedicated themselves seriously to their practice, but also put forth a real passion for their chosen hobby. Each member comes from varying backgrounds, ranging from students to teachers and doctors.
“Huahua is the founder of New Jump. And Mr. Huang is the conductor and the director of this show. We don’t have a lead singer for now. We meet almost every Sunday evening and practice, except for the hottest days and the coldest. So far, we haven’t got that much on the plate. For 2018, we are still keeping it low profile. We’ve got two big ones [events] coming up”, said Zhi Yuan (Ryan) talking with The Nanjinger.
New Jump has given the LGBT community a creative outlet of collective expression, which appears to be gaining traction across the country. After this, the group intends to not only compete in regional championships but at a national level too. “The first one [event] is the premier National LGBT Choir Festival in Shanghai later this June. The other one [event] is our second concert in Nanjing in October”, Ryan continued.
“New Jump premiers today and is the only choir of this kind in Nanjing. But there are a lot of us out there all over China. All the singers are Chinese, but foreigners are more than welcome to join us. After all, this choir is all about understanding and accepting. Right after our premier show, a tryout is afoot. We are looking forward to expanding our choir to over 35 people and making a bigger difference in the future.
“This choir is not just for LGBT community. We also welcome people who support us. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few volunteers who support marriage equality from outside of our community.”
While songs were mainly Chinese this did not deter from fully appreciating such a delightful show. “We are dabbling into all different kinds of songs. The ones we sang at the show were only a part of it. But yes. They are mostly Chinese, mixed with a few English songs. We are looking into Japanese or Korean or any kind, as long as they can bring us and the audience joy”, Ryan went on to say.
“We have been practicing together for over one year now. The idea of starting this choir happened over two years ago. But we went through a rough patch, and a lot of the former singers have gone. We realised nothing can be done without 100 percent perseverance. So we recruited new members and here we are, standing here singing for all of you.”
To find out more about the New Jump Choir Group, please follow this link.