GW student wins Chinese Voice of D.C. competition held at AU
Competition brought together students from across the District
Five American University students and four George Washington University students faced off in the 2019 Chinese Voice of D.C. singing competition held at AU on March 2.
By the end of the night, GW student Qianyu Zhao won first place following her performance of “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor and “On My Own” from Les Misérables.
“I’m actually very calm but I’m very happy too,” said Zhao, a senior in the George Washington School of Business who won the first place with the award of a Sonic music box.
Zhao said she’s glad that she had a chance to be in the competition in her last year of college.
“It is the first time I ever sang with my own piano accompanist,” Zhao said. “Every process that I take, every technique that I do and the way she goes with me, she’s the greatest privilege. I’m very grateful for that.”
The competition had been underway for about a month, beginning with internet auditions and a preliminary contest, said Jia Gao, the president of the Chinese Student & Scholars Association at AU. From there, they moved on to the finals, which was held in the Kay Spiritual Life Center.
There were few attendees in the audience, with most guests there to support their friends who were onstage. Some students sang songs by American artists, while while others sang contemporary songs by Chinese artists, including Hacken Lee and Tia Ray.
While the competitors’ grade completely depended on audiences’ vote in the preliminary contest, the finals competition also included the judges’ votes. Each vote from the judges was worth 10 audience votes, Gao said.
Xueer Luo, a student pursuing a degree in the Doctor of Music Art at Catholic University, was one of the judges.
Based on what she’s learned about vocal performance, Luo said she understands that singing is difficult and requires higher emotion performance and vocal technique. Still, Luo said she was impressed by all the performances, which made it hard to choose a winner.
The event was hosted by AU’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association and was open to all students from different universities in the D.C.-area, including Georgetown University and George Mason University, Gao said.
“I think the event is meaningful because it brings us all together,” said Evan Xi, a senior in the Kogod School of Business. “It also strengthens the communication between the Chinese student community at AU and at other universities.”
Because having an opportunity to perform is limited, it is important for young musicians to take a chance and perform whenever they can, Gao said.
“I think [the event] provides a chance for the music lovers, the singers, and the performers, who [would] like to shine on the stage,” Gao said.
She said the event also creates a platform to bring students from other universities who share the same hobby: singing together.
“As we call it: ‘[Making] friends over music,’” Gao said.