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Chinese New Year ushers in Year of the Pig

Katherine Scoggins • Mar 5, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Welcome to 2019 - The Year of the Pig. On Saturday evening, Feb. 23, the Civic Auditorium welcomed over 400 individuals to the annual Chinese New Year Celebration. There were wonderful Chinese foods, courtesy of Ming Garden Restaurant, and delicious, popular pig cupcakes, courtesy of Selina Smith.

After dinner, the Dragon Province Parade began. Children marched into and around the auditorium behind signs bearing the name of the Province where they were born or had lived (before coming to the U.S.). Afterwards came one of the favorite activities of the children, the culmination of the march around the auditorium: setting off “Fireworks” (stomping on bubblewrap!).

Then, there were seven dance teams, ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old, dressed in colorful costumes, many with props (such as swords, a dragon, parasols, ribbons and fans) delighting the audience with traditional dances, many from centuries ago. After the beautiful performances, the performers and audiences enjoyed a fun and humorous slide show of all the performers in rehearsal, making faces and “hamming it up” for the camera.

As the emcee introduced the show, he pointed out that while the dancers had spent a lot of Saturday mornings learning the choreography, they had some fun, too. Enjoy the pictures, especially of the pig cupcakes and balloons on page 4 of today's Sunday Stories section!

***

On Thursday, Feb. 22, at First Presbyterian Church in Kingsport, a large crowd welcomed the American Spiritual Ensemble as its inaugural Arts Series performance. The voices were amazing, the musical selections deeply moving.

The concert was wonderful, even more so because the evening was filled with educational information about Spirituals. Some were familiar, many were not, but the history of the songs gave such depth and gravitas to the songs that I will never hear one without remembering the historical information shared or the poignant melody sung by deeply moved singers.

The singers had been traveling and performing for 21 days and this was the final concert of the tour. Watching them interact with the music, the conductor and each other was inspiring as well. Reading the biographies of the musicians in the program, many singers were listed as voice teachers and coaches at the college or professional level. Our young performers are truly in wonderful hands!

I was so glad the conductor shared music history with us. It was fascinating. For a concert to educate as well as entertain, well, that is the best of both worlds. Thank you for bringing this phenomenal group of superb artists to our community - and please do so again soon.

Coming Up

* The Kingsport Art Guild announces its upcoming Appalachian Art Show on April 7. Registration deadline is March 21. Register online at www.kingsportartguild.com.

* Also coming up is “Watercolor Flowers” with Renee Pitts on March 23. Contact [email protected]

For more information about classes and events, please visit www.kingsportartguild.com or the Guild’s Facebook page.

Until next time, here's hoping I see you "out and about" real soon.

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. To share photos from a community event or invite Katherine to attend your event, email Sunday Stories editor Carmen Musick at [email protected]

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