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  • Music Composition | Bree Zhang

    Guzheng Solo Guzheng with Vocals Orchestral Compositions Compositions by Bree Zhang Spotify Guzheng Solo Growing Up This song addresses the joy, sadness, and beauty of growing up. It begins with a prelude of introspection and then transitions to the main melody filled with fun and playfulness, representing the innocence and unreserved happiness of our childhood. The melody gets faster and faster, just as we barrel through life faster and faster from crawling to walking, to running, to sprinting, but then…⁣ ⁣ Suddenly, our childhood is shattered. Suspended in uncertainty, we glance around, realizing that the world as we know it isn’t the same. Moving forward, the song takes a deeper tune, one that may be filled with shades of sadness, guilt, heartbreak, anxiety, fear. Yet we still advance forward, step-by-step. We grow, finding strength in our weaknesses and fears, learning how to live with our own inner demons, creating beauty from shattered glass: that's what’s called maturation. And, sometimes, we may look back to our old childhood memories with a bittersweet yet hopeful smile. It’s never the same but we can reminisce and appreciate our old memories. Metamorphosis Just as a caterpillar transforms to a butterfly, this piece describes my metamorphosis from a fumbling young girl into a determined young woman. I used to have confidence issues and always felt like a secondary character. However, music, art, story-writing, and my interactions with my culture helped to provide stepping stones which I slowly climbed until I gathered enough “nutrients'' to crystallize and form a cocoon of confidence. In this song, my moment of “metamorphosis” begins (2:08 to 3:14) when I realize how far I’ve come. It’s like an awakening, building to a point where I break free from my chrysalis with newfound wings, flying through the world with speed, energy, and power (represented by the song’s sudden increase in tempo and excitement from 3:16 to 4:13). As I fly, I realize how vast the world is, how many infinite possibilities exist for me to explore. However, the most important part of my metamorphosis (represented by the song’s slower finish 4:38 to end) is remembering to rest my wings at the end of the day so that I have time for reflection and introspection. Thus, as I wrap up my song with a slower yet purposeful finish, I am filled with a satisfaction of how much I’ve grown. Returning Home When I was younger, my grandma came all the way from China to help raise me. Not only did she ensure I was healthy and happy growing up, she also taught me about my Chinese culture and heritage, instilling in me values of gratitude, patience, and resilience.When I was 10, however, my grandmother had to return to China due to her declining health, and she never came back to America again. I missed her very much for several years, wishing I could see her again and show her how much I’d grown since she left. And in 2017, I was given the perfect chance: I found out I was returning to China for a guzheng talent competition and that I would be able to reunite with my grandmother before the competition. I was so elated and excited that I decided to write a song dedicated to my grandmother called “Returning Home.” The first section of my song (0:00 to 2:39) symbolizes my longing for my grandma. The allegro portion (2:39-4:00), which features my technical skills, symbolizes my excitement and anticipation of meeting her after so many years of separation. I also paired artwork with this piece. The first three works in this sequence show key points of my relationship with her, whether it was feeding fish above a pond in my hometown, blowing candles during my birthday, or simply laughing together. The last work features my happy reunion with her. That day, I was able to perform the song for her in person, and the smile on her face was another moment that I wanted to capture in memory forever. Guzheng with Vocals Guzheng with Vocals Daydreams It was very difficult writing, singing, and making art for this song because it brings me back to a time filled with insecurities, fears, loneliness, and self-loathing, a time when I didn’t know who I was, when I pretended to be someone I wasn’t, floundering in search of an identity, surrounding myself with people but feeling quite lonely, chipping away at myself with sweet lies until I almost believed them. However, I’m really glad I finally finished it because now I’m able to look back and confront it. To the girl in this song (Me Of the Past), she would’ve never imagined herself living the life featured at the end of this song (artwork which I paint in saturated beautiful colors), so it’s just yet another “daydream,” a beautiful lie she repeats to herself in hopes of seeing change. But someday, it will come true, someday :) In Ten Years “In Ten Years” is about facing rejection, standing up from it, and moving forward with no regrets. I was inspired by the many college rejections I received over the course of December to early March my senior year (prior to getting into Brown, which I honestly never expected to get into given my college track record). Each result I received was a blow to my confidence, and I started to question whether I was really capable or talented or intelligent. However, I eventually knew I needed a change, and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to channel my feelings into an actual song and do something productive with it. This song, “In Ten Years,” was born as a result. It was my first time composing a song that included vocals, singing while playing the guzheng, and shooting and editing the film. In the end, I was able to learn many new things, and I will continue to move forward with my head held high. Orchestral Compositions Orchestral Compositions A Mother's Love 🥰This music composition and series of 12 art pieces (titled “A Mother’s Love”) is a tribute to my mother and all the other beautiful mothers in this world who have given us irreplaceable support, wisdom, care, and love since the day we were born, from changing our diapers, to teaching us how to walk, to comforting us when we are sad, to cheering on our successes, to supporting us even when we leave home to explore the world. No matter how old I become, I will always keep my mother in my heart and remember all the sacrifices and hardships she endured to provide me opportunities to grow, learn, and love. I love you 妈妈. Dancing in Snowflakes - Bree Zhang 00:00 / 00:00 A Journey in Retrospect - Bree Zhang 00:00 / 00:00 Dancing in Snowflakes “Dancing in Snowflakes” is written for my chinese orchestra, Music From China Youth Orchestra. It describes the care, grace, and empathy we must have to interact with snow without breaking its purity—whether we are in elation and power or in stillness and quietude. Although the song does have western elements, it takes on a predominantly ethnic theme from the pentatonic scale. Furthermore, it features several individual solos, from Hulusi to Erhu to Liuqin to Guzheng, and these instruments build on each other in layers and layers, accumulating in volume and power just as snowflakes quietly and seamlessly decorate a landscape in their beautiful coldness. A main melody is integrated 5 times throughout the song, but it is rendered differently each time, sometimes appearing as a solo, other times being played by the whole entire orchestra. Regardless, the last melody (m. 60) is played by all the instruments that complement and support each other as one unit—just as snow sticks together and embraces the world in a single color of white. ​ When I began this piece, I was also inspired by one of my favorite figure skaters, Evgenia Medvedeva, so I created an artwork that goes with it. See here for the time lapse drawing of the piece. A Journey in Retrospect “A Journey in Retrospect” was my first attempt at composition. I wrote it December 2016 for my orchestra (Music From China Youth Orchestra), and it was performed on June 3rd, 2017 at Drew University. Mixing elements of western and traditional pentatonic music, this song reflects the journey of a person’s life—and my own journey through composing. It begins with a prelude that introduces the central motif to set the mood and pace of the song, in the same manner an author would preface his story with some background. The prelude is followed by a jumpy innocent melody first played by plucked instruments—representing our shaky little steps at the beginning of a journey (m. 9). The melody is then repeated more richly and melodically by string instruments—representing out gradual maturation and development in our journeys (m. 17). Eventually, the song changes into a more powerful theme (m. 33) that is characterized by strength and willpower in the face of trial and tribulations- the melody builds in momentum until it reaches a climatic direct modulation key change (m. 44). Following the key change is a rich intersection of three different melody lines, and the song slowly falls in power until it repeats the prelude (m. 53), returning full circle, but this time, the prelude sounds different: it is deeper, more experienced, more reflective tone- just as we when we look back at the end of our journeys. For more info about me, check out: About Me Time Lapse Art Artwork My Guzheng Story Music Arrangements Other Performances Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more music updates! Follow me on Spotify! Spotify

  • Why Dentistry | Bree Zhang

    Why Dentistry? I decided to make an artwork to answer the question Watch my TedXTalk for a more personal version of the story To me, dentistry is like painting an artwork or composing a guzheng 古筝 song: both require sensitivity of touch, creative visualization, and the ability to sculpt not just the intricate details but also the larger symphony of what our mouth’s blank canvas can become: the smile. 😁 Dental art is also a science. It requires a thorough understanding of how dentistry’s “paints” react, solidify, and set according to different temperatures, moisture levels, time frames and mixtures, whether it is the chemical reaction of alginate (drawn as d-mannuronic acid and l-guluronic acid ), or the blue-light stimulated 3d polymerization of composite resin in restorative fillings. That's when my organic and inorganic chemistry knowledge 🧪 merges with my love for biology🧬 , from the aromatic ring in lidocaine improving lipid solubility, to fluoride-assisted remineralization of enamel (depicted as Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 +2F− → Ca10(PO4)6(F)2 + 2OH− ). ​ One of my favorite “biologies” is microbiology. 🦠 The oral cavity is an entryway, living environment, and source of replication for millions of microbes (I’ve drawn a few: SARS COV-2, HIV, E. Coli, Pneumococcus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, etc ), some of which have sparked major epidemics and pandemics. This oral-systemic link is where my interest in science “flows” into the heart and lungs of my passion for public health. 🏥 I’ve seen how the mouth is often the first place to detect disease, cancers, and immune system dysfunction; how poor oral health is linked with heart disease, diabetes, COVID-19, Alzheimer's, and other synergistic diseases rooted in socioeconomic circumstances. 😷 ​ Given that dental decay is the most common disease in the world, and that cumulative national costs 💵 for dental treatment in many countries are higher than those for cancers and heart disease, I hope to be advocating for policies that not only increase upstream prevention and integration (depicted by superior vena cava flowing up to globe ) but also prioritize resource conservation and our fragile relationship with Planet Earth. 🌎 ​ Public health cannot be improved without improving oral health, but the “heart” 💗 (aortic artery flowing upwards in "Why Dentistry" artwork) of our health is also connected to our brain, which is where my love for psychology comes into the picture. 🧠 Our mental health influences oral health through biological channels (systemic inflammation and hormonal imbalance) and psychosocial channels (motivation, social habits, dental fear and anxiety). Meanwhile, our oral health reciprocally affects our mental health by impacting our ability to eat, talk, work, sleep, and smile: a key to confidence, identity, and social mobility. As a dentist, I hope to use tools of psychology to restructure phobias and integrate art and music therapy into dental settings--returning full circle to my favorite multi-colored “hues'' and “melodies.” 🎨🎵 ​ The dental field is growing at such a fast rate. With a passion for teaching 📚, I hope shape the dental curriculum so that cultural competency is not just a strength but a fundamental core principle. So that mental-health informed dental care is always built from acknowledging social determinants of health. So that we can work collaboratively with all disciplines to tackle the global burden of oral disease. ​ So when people ask me “why do you want to be a dentist?” I say that “not just a dentist but an oral health physician 🩺, an oral health advocate 💪, and an oral health educator 📖." And who knows--maybe I’ll be adding more pieces to my “why dentistry” painting in four years. About Me as an NHSC Scholar On September 8th, I received my official award letter from the National Health Corps Scholarship!! The National Health Corps Scholarship provides financial support for full-time enrollment in an eligible primary care health professions degree training program between 2 yrs and up to 4 school years, covering tuition, reasonable educational costs, and monthly stipends for living expenses. After graduation, scholars devote time practicing in a HPSA (health professional shortage area) for the years they receive the scholarship. I am very blessed for this unique opportunity. Dental disease is a neglected epidemic: more than 1/3 of low-income adults avoid smiling and face employment difficulties due to the state of their teeth. Dental pain has been reported to affect up to 30% of adults, which also impacts their ability to sleep, eat, work, and take care of their children. Right now, about 49 million Americans live in communities that have been designated dental professional shortage areas. It’s so important to address and fix the geographical shortages of dental providers, BUT we must also think about the roots of the problem: a segregated healthcare system, a treatment over prevention culture, policies that perpetuate other social disparities in education, food access, & more. Beyond just practicing in a HPSA, I hope to continue pushing for increased dental access and prevention/education on the upstream policy level. NHSC Scholarship NHSC Scholarship NHSC Scholarship NHSC Scholarship 1/6 Click to see full perspective. Infographics explaining more about NHSC Scholarhip Learn how I've tackled global oral health Learn about my work in prevention and education Learn how I've merged art and music with dentistry . Learn how I conceptualize patient-centered care For more info about me, check out: Art Portfolio Time Lapse Art Music Compositions My Asian Identity About Me My Guzheng Story Contact Me Contact Me Send Success! Message received.

  • Guzheng Performance | Bree Zhang

    Solo Duet and Ensemble Other Instruments Traditional Chinese Pieces Performed by Bree Zhang Guzheng Solo Spring Comes to the Snowy Mountain - Unknown Artist 00:00 / 00:00 Spring Comes to the Snowy Mountain ​雪山春晓 Composer: 格桑达吉,范上娥 Recorded on October 15th, 2017 The Peacock Flying Southeast ​孔雀东南飞 Composer: 郑德渊 Re-arranger : 邱大成 Drew University Concert Hall June 3rd, 2017 Music From China Youth Orchestra Rainbow Concert Spring Comes to Lhasa ​春到拉萨 Composer: 史兆元 Drew University Concert Hall May 31st, 2015 Music From China Youth Orchestra Rainbow Concert Gui Zhou Yao 贵州谣 Composer: 姚宁馨 The College of New Jersey Concert Hall November 8th, 2014 NJMTA Young Musician's Competition Winner's Recital ​ Xiang Shan She Gu 香山射鼓 Composer: 曲云 Hong Kong, China August 13th, 2013 The 3rd International Zheng Contest 11-14 Age Group Guzheng Duet and Ensemble Duet and Ensemble The Dance of the Amei Tribe ​阿美族舞曲 Composer: 台湾民谣 Rearranger: 顾冠仁 The Hindu Temple Society of Northern America in Flushing, NY February 25th, 2018 Chinese New Year Festival 春节晚会 Additional Performer: Emily Yang Hanging Red Lanterns 挂红灯 Composer: 周成龙 McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ February 8th, 2014 Chinese New Year Festival 春节晚会 Additional Performer(s): Grace Chen, Jennifer Zhang, Joyce Lu, Emily Yang, Angela Weng, Sabrina Ngan, Jiongnan Liu, Jacqueline Hua, Bonnie Hu. The Song of Spring 春节序曲 Composer: 李焕之 McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ February 8th, 2014 Chinese New Year Festival 春节晚会 Additional Performer(s): Grace Chen, Jennifer Zhang, Joyce Lu, Emily Yang, Angela Weng, Sabrina Ngan, Jiongnan Liu, Jacqueline Hua, Bonnie Hu. Guzheng with Other Instruments Other Instruments Fisherman's Song at Dusk 渔舟唱晚 Composer: 曹正,朱郁之 Huaxia Bridgewater Chinese School January 31, 2016 Chinese New Year Festival 春节晚会 Violin: Joyce Lu For more info about me, check out: About Me Time Lapse Art Art Portfolio My Guzheng Story Music Compositions Music Arrangements Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more music updates! Follow me on Spotify! Spotify

  • Art Commissions | Bree Zhang

    Commissions by Bree Zhang Time Lapsed Art Buy Artwork Commissions What I Offer Digital Artwork: landscapes, portraits, animals, figures, t-shirt designs, posters, backgrounds, photocopies, book covers . I am also able to record myself drawing and compile the video into a time-lapse for you to see my art process. Payment Method PayPal, Vemno Cash or Check Pricing Pricing will depend on how long the project takes to complete, the level of difficulty, and additional add-ons such as time-lapses. Price negotiations are available. Please message me if you are interested! Contact Me Instagram: direct message my art account at breez_art Email: Click here for more contact methods Past Commissions For more info about me, check out: Art Portfolio Time Lapse Art Music Compositions My Guzheng Story Music Arrangements Other Performances Follow my art instagram account at breez_art_ and deviant art account at bubba-bree for more updates!

  • My Asian Identity | Bree Zhang

    Banana Bree Love & Hate Not Like Other Asians Why am I Lonely? Claiming Soil What's Next? Just Like Other Asians My Asian Identity Banana Bree Phase Growing up, many children want to be astronauts, teachers, doctors. I wanted to be a “banana.” Yellow on the outside by default of genetics, white on the inside by choice. My mother always told me, “You can’t change your skin, but you can decide how you act." Living in a very white town, I took that as encouragement to push away my Asianness away. Asians = nerdy? I pretended to be stupid. My Chinese food = smelled "weird"? I ate school lunches. Asians = "unathletic”? I made volleyball my life. ​ I called myself Bree Zang, the Americanized pronunciation of my last name “Zh āng” 张 (pronounced: J āhng). It never occurred to me to say it any differently. Why pronounce it correctly when people make a weird face then ask “why do you spell it Zhang when it’s not pronounced that way?” Funnily, the closest an American came to pronouncing my last name was when they asked “Did your parents drop pots and pans down the stairs and listen to the sounds to name you? Ding dong. Ching Chong. Bree Jong ?” I don’t name this experience to get pity for myself because this is a common Asian American experience. (“Oh, you got the slanted eye jokes?” “I got the jokes about eating dogs.” “Oh! You wanted to have blonde hair too?” “Blue eyes for me.”) I name this experience because I want to tell the story of how I tripped, fell, and found my way to my identity. It started with the 古筝 (guzheng). Love & Hate Love, Hate, Gaslight Up until highschool, I was always ashamed to let others know I was playing the guzheng, but things changed in 2014 when I began teaching guzheng at my Chinese School. There, I realized that if I wanted my students to be proud of themselves, I first had to first at least accept my Chinese background myself. So I started playing the guzheng in front of white friends, bringing it out during volleyball sleepovers as they recorded me on their snapchat stories. But instead of fully accepting my Asianness, I weaponized my Asianness. I used “I’m so Asian!” and as a way to be funny—a knife against myself. I acted in ways to jokingly confirm Asian stereotypes because at least I was getting attention from people, and didn’t attention mean that I wouldn’t be alone? ​ Instead of fully accepting my Asianness, I commodified my Asianness. During college application season, I wrote my common app essay about teaching my guzheng students and spreading my Chinese culture. I painted myself as a girl who celebrated herself and the Chinese heritage sung by her students’ guzheng strings. ​ I wasn’t lying. Everything written in the essay was true. But it’s funny how I could simultaneously love my Asianness yet be ashamed of it. I embraced my Chinese culture—calligraphy, music, history, language—but I was ashamed that my parents had accents or that I watched anime. I loved my guzheng, but still, I avoided performing solos in “Qipao” or traditional chinese wear because I thought Western gowns fit me better, made me look more beautiful. It was as if I selectively compartmentalized my Asianness into different drawers, rejecting, accepting, and hiding different slices of myself. "I'm Not Like Other Asians" This simultaneous self-love and shame led me to adopt a “I’m not like other Asians” attitude in college, similar to the “I’m not like other girls” attitude. Yes, I was proud of my Asianness, but no —I wasn’t like those other Asians who just hung out with their own Asian friends. I thought was different , I was “special.” I played the guzheng, not the piano or violin. I was heavily invested in arts and humanities, so not the typical Asian STEM pre-med (reflecting back, this fixation is extra r idiculous because almost every Brown pre-med I know is so multifaceted and eloquent in science and humanities). ​ To assert my Asian-but-not-Asianness, I talked often about my guzheng, but I avoided large Asian gatherings and parties. I gravitated towards friends who were either white or other people of color. I even told myself “I can't have more than 1/5 of my close friends as Asians, but I can’t have 0 or else I’m too blatantly white,” as if my identity was a calculation, rather than an existence. Perhaps this is why, as a first-year, I started to feel a bit alienated and distant from my fellow Asians. Not Like Other Asians "Wait, why am I lonely?" It took little steps. ​ It took reflecting on myself through art and music composition. Why I was lonely. Why I felt compulsions to avoid or seek out certain people. Recognizing these compulsions. Acknowledging that I was still on a journey to find peace with my identity, that I wasn’t the proud girl I wrote about in my common app essay. Why am I Lonely? Daydreams, 2020 It took meeting friends who were genuinely interested in not Bree Zang but Bree Zh āng. who were willing to venture beyond the tasty flavors of my culture but also the deeper grittier, darker parts. Who found pride in parts of me that I wasn’t proud of. ​ It took meeting inspiring peers who were unapologetically wearing their own skin and identity. Listening to their struggles. Their realizations. Claiming Soil That's Not Solid One of my proudest moments in college was sophomore year when I made an artwork . selected for Brown University Science Center’s Annual Art Exhibit. At the exhibition’s opening talk, I decided—for the first time in my life—to say my last name 张 “Zhang” the real way. ​ What does it mean to claim your name? To claim your space that—yes—you can belong here. Claiming Soil Sides of Me You Don't See , 2020 But what does it mean to return home every semester break and watch my mom trying to decide what food she can’t bring to work because 香菇 and 猪耳朵 “smell weird” to her American co-workers? What does it mean to still fight feelings of shame when my parents take too long pronouncing the words on a restaurant menu—and to remind myself that they’re not stupider because they have an accent. In fact, their accent makes them wiser and stronger. What does it mean being catcalled on the street and yelled at to “Go back to china?” and to be asked “do you eat bats?” while still feeling pressured to fit the model minority myth, which upholds a system that pits us against other people of color? What's Next? I still have a long journey ahead of me. While I fight for space, I must simultaneously recognize the space I take up . Being Asian, I have privileges that have been used to perpetuate racism and fabricate a racial hierarchy in America. Being East Asian, I have privileges that allow me to be represented and portrayed in the majority of the “Asian” experience, which tends to erase and marginalize other subgroups within the pan ethnic Asian narrative. I must continue to grapple with a history of colorism that persists in my own culture. I must continue to grapple with the concept of being Asian American not as a singular story but in a web of gender, sexuality, class, neurodiversity, generational trauma, and more. It’s a long journey ahead, but for now, I just want to focus on how far I’ve come. I no longer think “I’m not like other Asians .” ​ What's Next? Stop Asian Hate, 2020 I Want to Be Like Other Asians I want to be like every other Asian because we’re all so cool, different, talented, inspiring, unique--and none of us are the same, and we can be hurtful, and we can be cruel, but we should be appreciated as human beings who encompass all these intersecting qualities. ​ I know many of us are at different stages with our identity. I still struggle. Oftentimes, I feel the creeping fear as I slowly lose my language, as I forget certain words on my tongue because I haven’t used them in a while, and because I’m no longer speaking Mandarin with my parents as often. I try to remind myself to hold onto my words, to play the 古筝 more often, to savor my parents' cooking. ​ Sometimes, I realize that my beliefs do not always align with some of the traditional Chinese values of our parents' generation. I realize I cannot deny their traumas and struggles that solidified their beliefs about conflict, social mobility, and equity. I realize I also cannot easily change their beliefs about mental health, gender, and sexuality. But I continue to have conversations to unpack, communicate, and translate. To understand them and have them understand me. ​ It's an honor to be Chinese American, but it takes effort and intentionality to exist within both the "Chinese" and "American" without losing one or the other. ​ That's the beautiful part of it as well. Just Like Other Asians Leveled Up! 😊 For more info about me, check out: Art Portfolio Time Lapse Art Music Compositions My Dental Journey Music Arrangements Buy Artwork Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for art/music updates! Follow me on Spotify! Spotify

  • My Music Story | Bree Zhang

    Music Bio - Bree Zhang My Guzheng Story How it all began... When I was 5 years old, I heard beautiful plucking sounds coming from a next door classroom. Discovering that the music was produced by the guzheng 古筝, I begged my mother to let me learn how to play. Unfortunately, I was too young at the time to be accepted by the teacher, Yang Yi 杨艺, so I eagerly waited for three years and finally got the chance to learn at 8 years old. L ittle did I know that 古筝 would become one of the most formative parts of my life. ​ With any instrument, no one starts out a master. Sometimes I practiced a lot. Other times, I got frustrated and didn't practice, leading my mom to sign me up for performances, which often forced me to practice since I didn't want to embarrass myself onstage. My teacher was wonderful. High expectations yet so caring and kind. Slowly, I improved. As clumsy plucking strung together, my performances locations gradually improved from cramped local churches to concert halls. As I learned about each song's history, culture, symbols, and emotions, I learned how to express myself. My 古筝 became a safe space where I had control and agency over each note, where I could de-stress and release emotions. Local Church 2011 Young Musician's Showcase Grand Prize Showcase Carnegie Hall 2015 Music From China Youth Orchestra In 7th grade, I joined Music From China Youth Orchestra (MCFYO). My time at the orchestra was marked by a series of firsts. It was my first time playing under a conductor, Wang Guowei 王国维. My first time being exposed to so many Chinese instruments, such as the Erhu 二胡, Yangqin 扬琴, Liuqin 刘琴, Zhongruan 中阮, Dizi 笛子, and Hulusi 葫芦丝, all with their own quirks and sound qualities. ( 二胡 is like a two stringed fiddle, 扬琴 is a hammered dulcimer, 葫芦丝 is like a recorder made from a gourd). Best of all, it was my first time meeting a community who were all passionate about Chinese music and their culture. MFCYO Carnegie Hall 2014 Teaching the Guzheng 古筝 In 2014 of my freshman year in high school, I co-founded a 古筝 class at Huaxia Bridgewater Chinese School with Joyce Lu. Being a first-time teacher, I went through rough waters, but the first times always do--that's what's special about them. Teaching is like taking what you know and translating it into 20 different languages . It's difficult when your students get frustrated or don't practice ( haha now I understand my teacher's pain ), but it's so rewarding see that spark in my students' eyes when they master a skill . Eventually, I got to bring my students to perform in places like the Somerville Heritage Festival and Bridgewater Rehabilitation Center. Even though I do not teach anymore (my mother has taken over the class), I still stay in contact with my students. Each year, we have an annual New Years Potluck event where all my old students (and their parents) gather at my house to eat, celebrate, and catch up. We also hold a performance in which everyone plays a 古筝 song they have been learning so we can see each other's improvement over the years. I always tend to premiere my new compositions on this day :) Bridgewater Rehabilitation Center 2015 6th Annual Potluck Gathering 2020 How I Started Composing In 2016 of my sophomore year in high-school, I took AP Music Theory. This class, combined with my experience in Music from China Youth Orchestra, jump-started my interest in music composition. Exposed to different time signatures, chord progressions, scales, music styles, and instrument capabilities of both eastern and western music, I decided to try composing my own song for MFCYO. My first song was called "Journey " and the whole composing process was a long journey. I learned to understand the limitations of each instrument, balance and maximize the each performers' dynamic capabilities, and convert western score to Chinese numerical notation. I am thankful for my conductor (Wang Guowei) who wholeheartedly support me. "Journey," which debuted in Drew University June 3rd, 2017. The next year, I composed another orchestral song "Dancing in Snowflakes " which debuted in Drew University during my final concert on June 2nd, 2018. Both songs mix western elements with traditional Chinese elements, combining not only two different styles but also two cultures. ​ The summer of 2017, I was also inspired to compose a 古筝 piece, "Returning Home " dedicated to my grandma. I used this song to compete in Central China Television’s National Talent Competition in Beijing and won 4th place, and I also used my piece to win Gold Prize in the Sinovision Television (Cable Channel 73) Competition: the first time since the competition started in 2010 that a non-western instrument was able to obtain Gold in the Teen’s 14-18 age group. ​ In 2018, I decided to try combining vocals with 古筝 (which functions almost like a guitar), culminating in a project called “In Ten Years ” about college rejection (ironic, yes, I know, but it was composed before I discovered I got into Brown ). I also began to cover modern pop songs such as “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever ” with guzheng. Drew University 2017 Sinovision Television Teen Talent Competition 2017 "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" Cover 2018 College, Spotify, and More! At Brown, I composed 2 new 古筝 songs, "Metamorphosis " (2020) and "Growing Up " (2021), both of which reflect on my growth as an individual over the years. I also have been looking to integrate more western classical elements and contemporary jazz and blues elements into my music, which led me to take "Theory of Tonal Music" and "Jazz and Pop Harmony" at Brown. During the Spring semester 2020, I started an independent study with Professor Wang Lu to work on my compositions, playing around with jazz chords, altering the tonality of the instrument, exploring new 古筝 sounds such as scratching or hitting or swiping. ​ Later that year, I wrote another song combining vocals with guzheng, "Daydreams " which reflects on my struggle with my identity and culture. This song, in conjunction with my art piece "The Sides of Me You Don't See ," were formative in my journey navigating what it means to be Asian American and Chinese American. Read my full story at My Asian Identity . Metamorphosis 2020, Spotify Daydreams 2020, Spotify Trying out Improv! During my final semester at Brown, using what I learned from Jazz and Pop Harmony and Professor Wang's independent study, I joined MEME ensemble, where I learned to let go of my anxiety of perfecting music and enjoy the process of creating music. Improv is like sketching a rough draft of an idea with a permanent marker and unapologetically owning every single mark and every empty space because these are all parts of the music-making process. Improv gave me comfort in forming ideas but never rehashing or going back because no creation is a mistake, and no mistakes are intentional or unintentional because every note is stuck in a raw, messy, unfiltered, yet beautiful in-between. Most importantly, it erases the distance between the audience and me because the audience is also part of the music-making and storytelling process—and together we have fun. At the 2022 Senior Talent Show, I was able to explore this collaborative improvisation for the last time at Brown. Together with the audience, we played 2 games: ​ Game 1: Opposites Attract, inspired by “MEME ensemble” The audience suggested 2 random emotions (“sad” and “wondrous relief”) that I would express on the guzheng. Then two audience members volunteered to say “sad” and “wondrous relief” back and forth, controlling the time I played these emotions. Game 2: Improv Storytelling Members of the audience shouted out 3 random words, and my task was to spin together a story on the spot using these 3 words: Blueno, Poono, and guzheng. Flyer I Made for MEME Ensemble Final Concert: Ordinary Improvisation Learning to Fly More Guzheng Memories Music Accolades Performance Locations Carnegie Hall (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015, 2016) McCarter Theater (2015) Drew University (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) Rutgers Nicholas Center (2014, 2018) Westminster Choir College (2016, 2017) Awards and Honors Brown Commencement Baccalaureate Soloist Performer (2022) ​ Gold Prize, Sinovision Television Teen's Talent Competition (2017) ​ Self-composition "Journey" and "Dancing in Snowflakes" performed by MFCYO Orchestra at Drew University (2017-2018) ​ 4th Place, Central China TV Talent Competition (2017) ​ Grand Prize, National League of Performing Arts Young Musician's Showcase Competition (2015) ​ 1st Place, Princeton International Chinese Music Competition Award (2014) ​ 1st Place, New Jersey Music Teacher's Association Young Musician's Competition (2014-2016) ​ ​ What is Guzheng? Guzheng is an ancient Chinese instrument with more than 2,500 years of history. It has twenty-one strings and movable bridges that enable the musician to change scales. The melody is played on the right side of the bridge; the left side is normally reserved for vibratos, slides, and other ornamentations to the music. Playing requires finger picks that are wrapped with tape around the tips of the fingers. Some techniques include tremolo, arpeggios, glissandos, vibratos, and harmonics. The music is read in simplified numerical notation. For more info about me, check out: About Me Time Lapse Art Art Portfolio Music Compositions Music Arrangements Other Performances Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more music updates! Follow me on Spotify! Spotify

  • Buy Artwork | Bree Zhang

    Buy Artwork - Bree Zhang Time Lapsed Art Portfolio Commissions Brunoscapes are now for sale via Brown University Bookstore ! Order Your Artwork Here Please reference MY PORTFOLIO for the name of the artwork you want to order. If you want to buy multiple pieces, please fill out the form multiple times (once for each artwork)! Please note the discount option if you are a Columbia or Brown student/faculty ! First Name Last Name Email Name of Artwork Choose a Canvas Size Choose an option arrow&v Delivery method Choose an option arrow&v Special Requests Include Hand-Signed Signature Yes (Additional $6) No Address (if applicable) Order Your Artwork Thanks for submitting! You will receive an email in the upcoming days with more details More About Me My Publications Harvard Global Health Starter Kit co-author, 2nd author of bottle feeding case study My Infographics Advocacy infographics featured on Columbia and Harvard ASDA pages. My Asian Identity Reflections on what it means to be Asian American and my struggles with my identity Why Dentistry About me as an NHSC Scholar, TedX Speaker, Advocacy Award Recipient Dental Art & Music How I combine music therapy and art to heal and educate patients! College Reflections My five key takeaways + lessons from Brown University: the goods, bads, and funs! Music Compositions Performed in Carnegie Hall (5 times), Metropolitan Museum (2 times), McCarter Theatre (2 times) Pageantry Miss Chinese Pageant 2018 2nd Runner up, Miss Talent 2018, Laihing Jewelry Winner My Art Portfolio Sold by Brown Bookstore. Featured on Columbia Global Consortium of Climate Health ABOUT ME Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more music updates! Follow me on Spotify! Spotify

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