In a world full of noise, M-W faculty offers music for a cause

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    CENTRAL VALLEY-Music has often been called "the universal language." To celebrate this global communication medium, the 16th Annual Monroe-Woodbury Faculty Recital "A World of Music" will be presented on Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Among the selections from around the world, M-W Middle School string teacher Huadong Lu will play "Spring Arriving on the Meadow" by Ma Yoa Xian, while his wife Sarah (Minyi) Xu will perform a Chinese composition, "Diving Girls," on the Yangqin, an indigenous Chinese instrument similar to a hammer dulcimer or a string-based xylophone. It is one of the most important instruments in a Chinese ensemble. Minyi began her study of the Yangqin in the music conservatory in Guangzhou, China, in 1970. After graduation, she joined a professional Chinese ensemble and has performed regularly in many Chinese cities as well as in Southeast Asia. She and Huadong met at the conservatory, where he had begun his violin studies. After graduating in 1975, Lu became a violinist of the Guangzhou Symphony, playing Western classical music under many internationally well-known conductors. In 1990, Huadong came to America to work on his masters degree in violin performance at Kent State University in Ohio, graduating in 1993 with two masters degrees, one in music performance and one in teaching. Prior to joining the staff at Monroe-Woodbury, he was string orchestra director in the Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska for 11 years. While working as a full-time string teacher there, he was also the music director of the Lincoln Youth Symphony and violinist in the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. He accompanied the Lincoln Youth Symphony to perform overseas several times, in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (his hometown) in 1990 and in Beijing in 1993. Lu and his wife have one daughter, Becky Lu, who, in carrying on the family musical tradition, is a graduate student at Yale University, majoring in piano performance and political science. "This is my first year teaching in Monroe-Woodbury and I really enjoy working with our wonderful students everyday," Lu said. "The music programs receive great support from the community and from school administration. We have a very strong music department in the middle school. I am very happy here." He is not the only one. "Each year, our faculty just amazes me with their willingness to share their talent with our community to help raise money to help develop the musicianship of Monroe-Woodbury students," said Linda Dziuban, the district's music coordinator. "Thus far, over $140,000 has been awarded to our students to help them achieve their dreams of becoming fine musicians." Tickets for the 16th annual Monroe-Woodbury Faculty Recital are $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. All proceeds will benefit the Monroe-Woodbury Music Boosters and the Souza Scholarship. For more information on this event, consult the M-W district's Web site at