First Chinese choir in Utah uses music to break cultural barriers

Dec 3, 2023, 10:31 PM | Updated: 10:36 pm

MILCREEK — There’s a choir group that’s bringing together people from Provo to Ogden, but their influence reaches farther than that.

As the Salt Lake Chinese Choir warms up, the different choral parts, Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass blend together.

Once the conductor takes the stand though, their voices meld and their unity sings through.

Choir members describe the experience like being a part of a big family.

The choral group originally started as a group of friends, trying out Karaoke.

“It was not our style,” said Fan Kwan.

How the Chinese choir started

Kwan took her group of 10 to 15 friends and founded what is now called the Salt Lake Chinese Choir.

“It was a before the Olympic Games and they asked our choir to sing some Chinese folk songs to celebrate Winter Olympics,” Kwan said.

The choir did sing, and they’ve kept meeting since 2002 growing to close to 60 members.

Yu Fen Huang is the choir’s director, and selects music in English, Mandarin Chinese and even Spanish.

“We try to find and bring a different repertoire and more diversity, and then bring the different music experience to share with our audience,” Huang said.

The arrangements are considered contemporary because traditional Chinese music is all opera, not choral.

“This art form is very new for the Chinese community,” Huang said.

The choir meets at the Christ United Methodist Church, which is a congregation that opened their doors to the community in spite of different religious beliefs.

“Our mission says we say to promote cross cultural understanding with all the communities in Utah,” Kwan said.

Choir members come from different nationalities in Asia: Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam to name a few. The rule is they don’t talk about politics or religion, instead they sing.

“The purpose is to bring peace to the world,” Kwan said. “I believe music has this immense power to enrich the mind and cultivate the love humanity in all human beings.

Their next concert is Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Christ United Methodist Church. They’ll use this concert to raise funds for the congregation’s organ repair as a way to express gratitude for helping give the choir a place to practice.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the v...


Sunday Edition: Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the voters of Utah ahead of Super Tuesday.

53 minutes ago

A photo of a tree blown over in a park in a Nephi from high winds on March 2, 2024, (Craig Oswald)...

Brianna Chavez

Strong winds leave behind damage across Utah

From uprooted trees to flying trampolines, most of the state experienced strong wind gusts that left behind damage for many.

13 hours ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Mark Jones

18-year-old arrested for alleged involvement in a shooting death of another person

A 18-year-old man has been taken into custody by police in connection to a shooting late Friday night in South Salt Lake that left one person dead.

16 hours ago

Some residents in Salt Lake County woke up   and in one case, a vehicle.(Mark Less, KSL TV)...

Alex Cabrero

South Jordan residents react to waking up and seeing thousands of tumbleweeds in front of their homes

Homeowners in Daybreak react to waking up Saturday morning and seeing tumbleweeds surrounding their homes.

17 hours ago

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah....

Mark Jones

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah.

18 hours ago

power outage map...

Cary Schwanitz

Rocky Mountain Power scrambles to repair outages affecting thousands

Rocky Mountain Power crews planned to work around the clock this weekend repairing power lines as winds up to 65 mph pummeled Utah.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

First Chinese choir in Utah uses music to break cultural barriers