The 19th
Music Festival at Walnut Hill 2010
Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts
T: 781-259-8195, F: 781-259-9147


Welcome !

Dear Fellow Students,
(Please share this with your parents and teachers.)

In less than 10 days, our music festival will begin. I am excited and looking forward to welcome you all. With your collaboration, we will have a great three weeks together. We have 33 students plus three mothers this year, that is just about the maximum dorm spaces given to us by Walnut Hill School. I am working on the housing details to make sure you are all safe and comfortable. Other items that we are working on are: piano rental and tuning, evening snacks, student data, transportation, field trips, and etc. There will be last minute adjustments, please be patient and flexible. Thank you.

There are a few reminders that I would like to have your attention:

1. Please bring with you a lot of smile, flexibility, and enthusiasm to learn, and we will provide plenty of fresh air, best teachers, and good memories. Please read the “General Information” again and pack light.

2. The official language of this festival is English. Translation will be provided if needed. An E-dictionary is useful. However, after the first 10 days, I will expect that you could handle it by yourself. We have an English speaking clarinet student this year. It is just like we had many American born Chinese students before who does not understand Chinese. However, after three weeks, they learned Chinese, and other Chinese students’ English improved a lot. Both your Chinese and English names will be used by the teachers. Remember, it is impolite to speak a language while someone there does not understand.

3. This is a three weeks of intensive musical learning, not vacation. Mr. Nai-Yuan Hu will teach all violin majors the first day July 30 or 31 with 20 min each. All other classes will start right away. You do not have time for adjusting jetlag. You should rest as much as you could on the airplane over to reserve energy, you will be busy after your arrival. The first one or two days may seem long, but it will soon be changed.

4. Nothing is scheduled for July 29. My assistants and I will be back and forth from airport and bus/train stations to meet students. After dinner, we may (to be confirmed) have an informal welcome gathering at Amelia Hall (at the first floor of Highland dorm.)

5. (depends on the arrival details of all students, we may do this either on 7/30 or 7/31): Please prepare a 30 seconds self introduction in English. Unless everyone in the room could speak and understand Chinese, we will use English. We will also review safety issues, signups for field trips, students-on-duty, and practice rooms rules at this meeting.

6. Most likely, at the first or second evening (very late), when everyone is tired and sleeping, we could have an un-announced fire drill conducted by school security department. Everyone has to leave the dorm quickly, get outside within 90 seconds with shoes on. The security guards will stand outside with a stop-watch and do a head count. We have to pass this test. Otherwise, it will be repeated at another un-announced evening, until we pass it. This is a serious matter please take a note of it.

7. Walnut Hill School will collect from each of you a $70 key deposit when you check in. It will be refund to you when you return your key at departure.

8. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are going to participate in the concerto competition. These students will have piano lessons on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue first, and work with Miss Zhao Wang, our piano accompanist.

So far there are 5 who will participate, and 4 “maybe”:
Concerto competition: 5 yes and 4 maybe
4: Wayne Chang
9: Rui Chi
31. Lynn Han-Lin Yun
32. LiangDianZi Zhang
33. Rui Zhang
9: Rui Chi
12. Hong-Ge Du
13. Sida Fu
24. Hai-Yun Song

Please confirm and we welcome more piano major to participate.

9. Aug 17 is reserved for those who would like to have a solo performance (in addition to the Gala concerts on Aug 19). There are many who would like to do so. This is, of course, upon the approval by our faculty members. Everyone will perform at the Gala concerts on 8/19. All the new chamber music you are assigned to will be performed as well.

10. Except pianists, voice, and composer, everyone will join the Longwood Symphony Orchestra’s rehearsals and performances. You could check online at for more details. The orchestra scores will be available online, you should download and start practice. Mr. Jonathan McPhee, conductor of Boston Ballet and Longwood Symphony, is a world renowned master and he has high expectation from all orchestra members.

11. This is a festival of NO DRUG, NO SMOKING, NO ALCOHOL. Any violation will result in an immediate expel without any excuse.

12. This is also a camp of environmental/energy conservation conscious camp. Please do your part for energy conservation, recycle, and do not waste any resources. You should bring a water bottle that you can refill from the dining hall and use it daily. The tap water directly from the faucet is safe to drink. The quality of Massachusetts’ tap water is very high. It is under strict federal regulations more so than the commercial bottled water. This is a fact that is well documented. For the health of general public, Massachusetts government is promoting a “No Soda” summer. Although there are coin-operated soda machines in the dining hall, I hope you will drink water or tea instead.

13. Please read the attached schedule updates, and general information again and let me know if you have any questions. The daily private lessons/chamber coaching will be posted and updated daily, sometimes at midnight, with very short notice. Please be prepared and be flexible. A sample from 2009 is attached for your reference only. Each of you will have a student ID number.

14. All classrooms are open, you are welcome to sit in and listen to other students’ lessons. Proper dress code is required. This applies to adults also. Dress properly, simple and with self respect. It is a “science” to be learned. It also reflects your personal taste.

15. The dorm room assignment, chamber music audition schedule on Friday 7/30 will be ready and emailed to you soon. Highland and Stowe are the dormitories that we are staying in this year (boys will be at Stowe). They are nice wooden buildings over 100 years old with no elevator and no air-condition. Buildings of that age are very common in New England. You have to carry your own luggage upstairs, so be prepared when packing. Pack light and efficiently. Most important, bring with you a lot of smile and cheerfulness, an open mind and a desire of willingness to work hard.

16. I have ordered 10 copies, the English original “Piano Pieces” by Mr. Russell Sherman at $20 each (we paid for the tax and shipping). If you want to buy one and have his signature after his master class on Aug 15, you should email me now and reserve one. You pay when you pick up the book at check in. You could also order your own, or buy a Chinese edition and ask for his signature.

17. Let me know if you want to be roommate with someone. We cannot guarantee but will try our best to meet your request. Right now the only request received was that LingHsuan Ariel Kao and Chia-Wei Janice Liao would like to be roommates.

18. You should bring your own tooth brush, shampoo and etc. If you run out of the supply, you could get it from local stores easily.

19. There are parents and students in Taiwan who probably could answer most of your questions regarding campus safety, the neighborhood, and etc. They are Mrs. Huang (Jean Huang’s mom: 07-2822-628, 02-8211-1409), Mrs. Lo (Chi-Wei Lo’s mom: 07-726-3365). I am available to answer your calls. My home is 781-259-8195, cell 617-968-7094.

20. Highland and Stowe are wireless till 12 midnight (to be confirmed). The computer lab at the Academic and Technology Center is available to us during office hours. We have iron and ironing board in Highland also. Please keep everything nice and clean.

21. The chamber audition schedule for Friday, 7/30 will be ready soon. The schedule may have some minor adjustment depends on the teachers’ schedule. You should prepare two pieces of contracting styles. Each person has about 5 min. You should come to Amelia Hall at least 15 min before your turn, have instrument out of the case, and wait inside. Mr. Lynn Chang, Mr. NaiYuan Hu, and other teachers are arranging the chamber grouping now, but will make rearrangement after the audition.

22. If you are taking piano or violin as minor, you have to be heard at this audition for your minors. You should dress up but don’t over dress. It is not an on stage performance. If you are confused, ask me or my assistants for clearification.

23. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit and enjoy the nice pool. Bring something for the bug bites. Gentlemen may want to bring some short sleeve shirts and polo shirts. T-shirts are not allowed in concerts, master classes, and formal gatherings. You can NOT have anything that might consider fire hazard, such as lighter, matches, iron, rice cooker, and etc.

24. Check online for the best calling cards and bring it with you. There is one pay phone on the first floor of Highland dorm, and one at the dining hall. You can buy Skype credits online and install it into your Skype account.

25. I hope you will meet your life-long friends here. You should also take the advantage to learn as much as you could from our outstanding faculty members. Their teachings are not just limited to the classrooms, but also at the dining table, on the bus, or by the swimming pool. Come with an open mind and learn from all teachers, to accept the challenge of exploring new ideas.

26. A few words on proper manner in writing emails: You could email me in either English or Chinese. When email to someone who is older or senior, such as your teachers or your parents’ friends, uncle/aunt… always address them properly. You should start your letter as:
Dear Ms. Chambless (or Mrs. Chan, Teacher Tan, Tan laoshih, Mr. Lesser, Mr. Chen, ..) Do not use their first name without their permission.
Always end your letter with: Sincerely, Best Regards, Regards….

Remember, this is a letter send to your teachers by internet, instead of by post office with a stamp. It is not a text message, MSN, Face book messages to your classmates. It is always more formal in writing then in verbal conversation. If you are writing in Chinese, the same rules apply.

27. Bring your own towels and music scores. We provide pillow, sheets, towel, and blanket. They are rented from linen service company, new and clean for your enjoyment.

It may seem that we have a lot of “rules”. However, this is a short 3-weeks, I hope you could “suffer” through it. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and see you soon. More emails will follow.


Schedule updates:

Cathy Chan (譚嘉陵老師)
Home: 781-259-8195, Cell: 617-968-7094