Sherlyn Chew, Artistic Director, taught Chinese music and opera at Laney College from 1973 to 2017. She also served for 30+ years as a bilingual classroom teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. She holds an MA in Music Education from University of California, Berkeley and studied Chinese opera and folk music in Taiwan. A professional musician, she has performed worldwide.
In May 2013 President Obama invited Ms. Chew to the White House to honor her for her work in the Asian community. In October 2015, she gave a presentation on Fostering World Peace through Chinese Music: The Power and Educational Value of Teaching Chinese Music in a Multicultural Setting at the 19th Chinese International Music Educators (CHIME) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The Journal of Literature and Art Studies invited her to submit a full article for publication.
Ms. Chew was born and raised in Oakland, before moving to San Francisco. She attended Lincoln Elementary School in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood where she taught for 30 years.
Victor Siu, Music Director, is a graduate of the Great Wall Youth Orchestra and Chorus. He worked as a Purple Silk Music Education Foundation (PSMEF) music coach for 15 years, from 1999 to 2014, serving as the conductor for the Intermediate students and coordinating PSMEF’s school residency program. He holds a BA in Music with emphasis in Jazz Studies and a Minor in Chinese, and a teaching credential in Music Education from San Francisco State University. Victor Siu has a MA in Afro-Cuban Music from California State University-Los Angeles.
He assumed the position of Music Director in 2016 after completing his graduate degree and was recently hired as a faculty member in the Music Department at Laney College, where his responsibilities include managing the Chinese music classes that form the core of PSMEF’s weekend music program at Laney.
Wanpeng Guo, Conductor, studied at the Beijing Conservatory of Music and is an expert player of the sheng, suona, guanzi and dizi. He studied with sheng master Professor Xhongfu Wu and became the principal sheng player of China’s Central National Orchestra, performing throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe. He was also a member of the Asia Orchestra, an ensemble of musicians from Japan, Korea, and China that performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall.
Lily Li, Music Coach, received her musical training at Hunan Arts Academy in China and continued her studies at China’s Guangzhou Music Institute, majoring in cello. She was a member of the Hunan Opera Symphony from 1990 to 1994 and currently serves as the cello teacher for the Great Wall Youth Orchestra .
He Cheng Liu, Music Coach, is a pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso who began studying music when he was five years old. At age 11, he was accepted as a gifted student by the Junior Division of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and in 1980, he graduated with honors. He continued to study the pipa and the gu qin at the Central Conservatory of Music, where he earned his BA in 1984. Mr. Liu has taught extensively and performed as a soloist worldwide.
Qiaowu Liu, Music Coach, specializes in teaching the guzheng (21-string Chinese zither). She studied and performed with the famous Chinese musician Wang Zhongshan in the Shandong province of China where in 2009 she also took first place in the CCTV National Folk Instrument TV Competition. She has a BA in Music Performance from Ocean University of China and is currently pursuing a MA in Music Production and Sound Design for Visual Media at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Xian Lu, Music Coach, specializes in Chinese wind instruments, including the dizi, xiao, bawu, and xun. He studied flute with Chengiong Zhou of the Shanghai Folk Music Orchestra, flutist Jingsheng Dai, and Chunling Lu, revered flutist of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 1979, Mr. Lu entered the Nanjing Normal University to study under the famous flutist Keren Lin. Xian Lu’s mastery of the dizi and other wind instruments has received critical acclaim in China and worldwide.
Lu Peng, Professor, specializes in the yang qin (hammered dulcimer). She began performing at the age of six and, in 1978, entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she studied under Minqin Guo and Shengmao Hong. In 1984 her performance in the Fourth Shanghai Festival of Spring was broadcast by Radio Beijing and Radio Shanghai. She has performed with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and the Traditional Orchestra of Hong Kong, and here in America at Carnegie Hall.
Tao Shi, Head Music Coach, started studying the erhu, a traditional Chinese string instrument, at age seven. In 1984, he won the First Performance Award in China’s National Folk Instrument Contest. In 1990, he earned a degree with honors from the prestigious Nanjing Normal University, where he double-majored in erhu and piano. During his career as an erhu performer, Mr. Shi won national awards on many occasions in China. A music educator for many years, he serves as a Music Coach for Purple Silk Music Education Foundation’s core program at Laney and as the Lead Teaching Artist for five school-day and after-school residencies, including three school sites in Oakland.