When Chinese New Years came around this year, the Dragon really came in with a big roar. Setting off a glamorous tone was the San Francisco Symphony’s annual Chinese New Year Concert February 11 at Davies Symphony Hall. Pre concert activities began with fun for the children with face painting, a giant Buddha statue greeting guests at the front door, a nine foot tall red cheong sahm clad woman on stilts, chocolate fortune cookies, Sugar Bowl Bakery Madeleine cookie packets and roast pig for all. The concert itself opened with a marvelous iridescent dragon held up by a dozen men coming down the aisle through the darkened room onto the stage for a swirling dance amidst much applause. This year’s concert was special as it consisted entirely of Chinese and Chinese American composers, whose works incorporated traditional Chinese music and traditions into the Western orchestral style.
Conductor Carolyn Kuan led the San Francisco Symphony orchestra in a SFS-commissioned world premiere by young composer Huang Ruo. Closing the concert was the beautiful and tremendously talented pianist Jie Chen who wowed the audience with her precision and mastery of the Yellow River Concerto.
As the enthusiastic audience departed, you could hear remarks saying this was the liveliest and best CNY program by the San Francisco Symphony for all its dozen years of honoring the community’s Chinese community with this New Years Program. Over 400 patrons then crossed the street to the beautiful San Francisco City Hall where the Imperial Dinner followed with a reception in the Grand Rotunda, as orchestrated by lovely Chairs Iris Chen and Sharon Seto. Presenting Sponsor Bank of America is to be commended for supporting such a beautiful all day event that hopefully brought in much funding to go to providing educational programs for the over 70,000 school children of San Francisco. As a long confirmed volunteer fundraiser myself, I know it takes a village to stand behind a successful fundraising drive, so my full applause goes to the following people of the Royal Court who made all of this success happen: Honorary Chair Noel Lee, Michael Chan, Sherry and John Chen, Margaret and Edward Collins, Thao and Jerone Dodson, Virginia and Timothy Foo, Ann and Gordon Getty, Marcia and John Goldman, Janet Lamkin, Gorretti and Lawrence Liu, Genelle Relfe, Venetta and John Rohal and David Seto.
FUN SILICON VALLEY STYLE
Chinese Historical & Cultural Preservation Society (CHCP) welcomed new and old members to its 2012 Annual Installation Dinner at the Dynasty Restaurant in Cupertino. Installed were President Anita Wong Kwock, VP Brenda Hee Wong, Secretary Christian Jochim, and Treasurer Allan Low. Guests were treated to a presentation by Adam Tow and Rae Chang, producers of a new film, AUTUMN GEM, A Documentary on Modern China’s First Feminist, in which they chronicled their background and the conception of the idea and two years of production of the film. The film displayed well their combined talents of photography and historical story telling, which they will be showing throughout March in local Bay Area library presentations. For full schedule visit autumn-gem.com/screenings/. CHCP Directors installed that evening were Yvonne Ching, Roger and Sylvia Eng, James Gate, Thomas Stutzman, Timothy Tom, Ann Wong, and Peter Young. Trustees installed included Carol Fong, Lillian Gong-Guy, Patrick Kwok and Gerrye Wong. President Kwock announced that the newly developed CHCP Traveling Exhibit is now on display at the Los Gatos Historical Museum beginning February 12. It will be on display April and May at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San Jose State University in celebration of API Heritage Month. For information on supporting the fine work of the CHCP in maintaining the San Jose Chinese Historical Museum at Kelley Park, visit www.chcp.org. To keep Chinese American history alive and open to other nationalities in America, why not join their ortganization. If we don’t work to preserve history, who will?
The Bay Area Chrysanthemum Growers Association, Inc. held their annual New years Celebration with a big round of bursting firecrackers February 4 before Consul General of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Gao Zhansheng, his wife Mrs. Wang Yanlai and Consul Wu Gang. Also attending the celebration was San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu with wife Daisy, Supervisor Dave Cortese, California State Assemblyman Paul Fong and mayors from Milpitas and Cupertino. Members John Luk, Kam Lau, Anita Chan and Eric Chan welcomed their members and guests who have long been supporters of this flower growing industry leaders.
Chinese American Chamber of Commerce always welcomes the new year with a gala dinner dance bringing together over 300 friends to join this fundraising event for scholarship awards. Past and present Board members welcoming all were President Dennis Wan, Roger Eng, Chris Chen, Ryan Lui, Frank Shao, Dr. Lester Joe, Wai Man Chan, Kwok Cheung, Edwina Leung and Mimi Lam. Dinner was interrupted by a power failure in the restaurant and adjoining shopping center, but the patient diners sitting in the dark like Kuey and Susan Fong, Andy and Gaye Leung, Howard and Pat Seto, Steven and Phyllis Gee, Richard and Amy Boyce, Quon and Jennie Louie stayed calm and dinner and dancing commenced one hour later to everyone’s relief.
The Peninsula Ballroom Dancers Association, led by eager dancers Jane and Don Yee with music by Vince Wong, held its annual Valentines/Chinese New Year combined celebration once again at the Basque Cultural Center with a roomful of eager dancers.
Seen on the dance floor were Von and Arlene Miyasaki, Benson and Helen Kwan, Albert and Lynette Lee, Richard and Lorene Quan, George and Lily Gee, Hampson and Evangeline Lum, Wayman and Betty Lum, Albert and Valerie Jeung, Harvey and Ginger Yee and Ging and Diana Chin.
Kudos to San Jose Rep which brought in a wonderful show – “101 Years of Broadway” that opened on Valentine’s Day – a perfect evening to hear love songs and popular old favorites from musical shows of today and yesteryear. The all star cast, all stars of many Broadway hits, provided an evening of superlative music for a magical evening. The stars were Ron Bohmer, Sandra Joseph, Chuck Wagner, Andrea Rivette and Lawrence Clayton and judging by the tremendous standing ovation they got on opening night, everyone regrets they were only in San Jose for 6 performances before moving over to Marin County next week. Don’t miss this great evening of wonderful music – a real stand out in our local scene. Bring them back soon, SJ Rep.
The Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition announces their 2012 Monarch Leadership Awards Luncheon will be held June 3, 2012 at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco. Once again, PAAWBAC will honor new Monarch awardees as nominated b former Women Warrior and Monarch Honorees. Info: email@example.com. PAAWBAC directors include Anita Fong, Caryl Ito, Mary Jung, Katherine Lee, Vivian Lee, Elsie Lum, Lisa Watada and Vicky Wong.
M.T.Liang Senior Center, in the heart of San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood, announces that anyone over 55 is welcome to come and enjoy the warm communal atmosphere. In addition to serving nutritious meals, participants can join in a variety of programs including English and other language classes, citizenship classes, exercise, arts and crafts, dancing and singing. Meeting new and long time friends while discovering new hobbies is wonderful for seniors to participate in. Info: 408 961 7080 Under the leadership of Self Help for the Elderly, a well established multicultural and multilingual service provider designed to promote senior independence, over 25,000 seniors are served annually.