Indianapolis Chinese Orchestra to set stage for Shaolin Warriors


Bai Ling, with the microphone, sings along with the Indianapolis Chinese Orchestra at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi



The Indianapolis Chinese Orchestra will put its unique blend of music with Chinese instruments on display to set the stage for a Palladium show.

The ICO will perform in the East Lobby of the Palladium, starting after 7 p.m. March 18. The appearance, approximately 30 minutes, will be to set the mood for Shaolin Warriors, featuring Kung Fu masters in a theatrical performance set for 8 p.m.

The ICO was founded in 2010 by Master Ka Leung Ching, known as Teacher Ka, who is an expert in performing music using traditional Chinese instruments.

“Our group is very different from most Chinese orchestras in the country or China,” said Kwan Hui, a percussionist who lives in Carmel. “Our performances include not only Chinese music but we also play international music, cross-cultural music, religious music, mostly Christian music, and movie theme music. We play American patriotic music like ‘God Bless America’ and  “America the Beautiful.’”

For the lobby performance, however, Kwan said the ICO will focus on Chinese music at the request of the Palladium staff.

For the Palladium performance, the ICO, which will be joined by a soprano, will play seven pieces.

“To celebrate the event we’re going to start with two celebrated Chinese pieces. One is called “A Joyful Celebration” and the other is the ‘Dance of the Golden Snake,’” Ka said, with Kwan serving as interpreter. “The third piece is a well-known Chinese folk song called ‘Jasmine.’ Many well-known vocalists have sung it at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center.”

This will be a more modern version of “Jasmine.”

Ka said the next three songs will complement the Shaolin Warriors show.

“Those songs will be martial arts-oriented music,” Ka said.

The final song will be what Ka describes as a folk song medley, featuring music from the East and West.

Kwan said it was specifically composed by Ka.

“It’s taken the most important section from each part of the song put together into one pierce,” Ka said.

Kwan said the most important aspect of the group’s mission is educational.

“We work very closely with Indianapolis Children’s Museum,” Kwan said. “We welcome people interested in learning Chinese instruments to join us. We are not only cross-cultural but a multi-ethnic group of amateur musicians with the exception of one professional.”

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See the shows

Indianapolis Chinese Orchestra performance

When: 7 p.m., March 18

Where: Easy Lobby of the Palladium

Shaolin Warriors

What: Kung Fu masters in a theatrical performance

When: 8 p.m., March 18

Where: Palladium in Carmel

Cost: Tickets start at $30.


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