Culture\Cultural Exchange

Welsh singer hits all right notes in Chinese

By Li Wensha in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-23 07:25

A Welsh folk singer won first prize on Saturday in the Chinese Song UK contest, in which Britons who are not native speakers of the language belted out traditional songs in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Alec Loane impressed the judges with his lively performance and affectionate rendition of the Chinese love song The Moon Represents My Heart at a packed theater in Manchester.

"I have sung Chinese songs for many years, and my friends have always enjoyed my singing," Loane said after the tournament.

Loane said he was pleasantly surprised that his hobby, which he picked up while hanging out with friends from Hong Kong, eventually brought him plaudits, and the 3,000 pound ($3,900) prize.

"I'm over the moon," he beamed.

Loane, 58, is a big fan of Chinese culture. He said his daughter plans to participate in the competition next year.

Ten contestants, from the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland, reached the final round of the Chinese Song UK contest, performing before an audience of about 1,000 people at the Manchester Central theater.

Singers entertained the crowd with hip-hop songs, pop tunes, rock anthems and folk ballads.

Gabriel Mayoral-Galindo, 21, who learned to speak fluent Chinese through visiting the nation, sang the ballad You Exist in My Song and impressed people on social media, who voted him their favorite.

His interest in Chinese language started in secondary school, when he got an opportunity to visit China through the Confucius Institute, which promotes Chinese culture around the world.

"My brothers and I sang in Chinese to Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, when he visited the UK, and that encouraged me to put more effort into learning Chinese," he said.

Mayoral-Galindo, who is a student at the University of Leeds, said he will study for a postgraduate degree at Shanghai Drama School.

David Geary, 24, won a prolonged round of applause from the audience for his original composition The Dialect. A past winner of the Chinese Bridge Mandarin speaking competition, Geary rapped in Chinese - in both the Guizhou and Beijing dialects.

Sun Dali, China's consul general in Manchester, congratulated the winners and noted that music has no boundaries and "amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states".

Yang Jing contributed to this story

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