The University of Georgia has an international student population of 2,600 with a large portion of those students coming from China. For international students, finding a place to belong is important as they spend their time abroad. Students in the Four Seven Chinese Traditional Music Club have created a sense of home through a shared love of traditional Chinese music, calligraphy and dance.
Four Seven Chinese Music Club was founded last December at Bolton Dining Hall by non-music major Chinese students who wanted to share their cu…
Rosalie Zhao, a junior risk management and insurance major from Inner Mongolia, China, started the club alongside Lana Zhao, Yahan Ma and Nancy Wang in March of 2019. Rosalie Zhao and Lana Zhao both play a Chinese musical instrument and they wanted to create a club to play together for fun.
Four Seven Traditional Chinese Music Club performs at different events such as the International Street Festival. During these events, Zhao said she realized a lot of people were curious about Chinese music and culture, but they just hadn’t been exposed to it. This helped inspire them to expand the purpose of their club to go beyond traditional music.
“Now we want to develop it to more so students and faculty at UGA can know more about Chinese culture and what it's really like beyond just Chinese food,” Zhao said.
Students and staff have a chance to experience one of the club’s performances on Nov. 16 at Tate Theater. Although guests will need to pay for any food they wish to purchase, the event itself is free.
The club has 25 members, including two American members who are students taking entry-level Chinese courses at UGA who joined to learn more about Chinese culture, according to Rosalie Zhao.
The members all brought their instruments with them from China. Arann Yin, a sophomore accounting major from Shandong, China, brought her dizi, a transverse flute, and xiao, a vertical end-blown flute.
The club meets every Sunday at 7 p.m. to play music and edit and post videos. The members release a music video which features them performing a piece of traditional music at various locations around UGA’s campus every two months. Oftentimes, these videos feature traditional Chinese dancing and food as well. The club also posts vlogs that document club activities on its YouTube channel, as well as on Chinese social media sites such as WeChat, Weibo and Bilibili.
“Since we do a lot of things online on social media, when you see views increase and compliments from people all over the world, it's a reward to us,” Zhao said.