Submitted by ub on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 22:41

St. Paul's Church in Mt Vernon, New York hosts several special events during the year for visitors to experience history and culture firsthand. Guided tours, costumed demonstrations and special events explore the site's rich history.

Today, Chinese musician Chen Yirong performed classical music from Korea, Japan and her native People's Republic of China. Maestro Chen, who also plays the Cello and was born in Shanghai was able to captivate her diverse audience this afternoon by brilliantly playing the world's oldest guitar. This ancient classical Chinese instrument, which is called Guzheng is over 2500 years old.

Her modern playing technique is using the left hand to provide harmony and bass notes, heavily influenced by the theory of Western music. This allows for greater flexibility in the instruments musical range, allowing for harmonic progression. This however also has its limitations, as it prevents the subtle ornamentation provided by the left hand in more traditional music. Ms. Chen, who studied the Guzheng at the Shanghai Academy of Music Conservatory was required to learn a repertoire of pieces utilizing traditional and modern techniques.

Take a look at her Chinese New Year performance at Albany State University