By Gracia Lei
Boston, Nov. 15, 2016, — The fully-packed, sold-out performance hall at BSO was packed with over 2,500 Sunday night. They embraced Wang LeeHom, who received an honorary doctoral degree from Berklee College of Music, along with the array of orchestral, vocal, and Chinese drum performers, many of whom are current students or faculty of world-renowned Berklee College of Music.
Warmth and excitement permeated the evening as the Chinese “Music Man” played crowd favorites including Descendants of the Dragon, Big City, Small Love, and Forever Love, saving his best for last.
Fangirl JingHan Ni’s 20th Birthday poster can be seen in the far-left side of the photo above.
The show concluded with all of the performers uniting on the raging piece Bo Ya Cuts the Strings, but not before LeeHom performed one of his recent hits Open Fire- a song titled to match both the name of his world tour and his soon-to-be-released documentary. After its’ initial premiere in Canada at Toronto’s International Film Festival, “Open Fire” has left many fans speculating when the film, which depicts the hardships he faced preparing for his world tour, will hit theatres across the world.
LeeHom first publicly announced his tour date in Boston in last September on live video stream through both Facebook and Weibo (China’s equivalent of Facebook) by answering a fan’s eager comment on his Facebook status. But little did LeeHom know that the date would be the same day as the birthday of this lucky fan, JingHan Ni.
JingHan Ni tells Bostonese exclusively, “I commented something along the lines of “Greetings from Boston’ and never dreamed that he would even mention my name. He accidentally called me ‘Mister Ni’ at first.”
She called this her best birthday: “The date of LeeHom’s show coincided with my birthday, so how could I not visit from Michigan and support him? I am a singer-songwriter and have been a fan for almost a decade now. It’s a total dream come true!” She hopes to one day perform for the legend himself.
Jing Han stands in front of the Boston Symphony Hall stage with what she claims was the only poster in the crowd. *This poster can be seen in this article’s cover photo on the far-left side (Photo credit: JingHan Ni)
You can find the video with Mr. Wang mentioning JingHan Ni’s name below. He says her name 32 minutes and 43 seconds into the video at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/leehom/videos/?ref=page_internal .
We found out about another dedicated fan’s interesting journey to make it to LeeHom’s awards show. Gracia Lei is a local music teacher as well as an advocate for Boston’s music programs and says: “As an Asian- American and also a member of Boston’s music community, I am so proud of [LeeHom’s] accomplishments. He gives me hope that I can accomplish my dreams despite many statewide statewide budget cuts in music.”
Although she found out about his show only the day beforehand, she still managed to get ahold of a ticket. She tells Bostonese, “If I found out earlier, I totally would have gotten a VIP ticket because I’ve actually prepared small gift to celebrate his achievements.”
Gracia put together a package of a t-shirt and trucker hat purchased from the Encore Apparel Company, the first apparel company which specializes in just music designs with a portion of their proceeds donated back to Boston’s music programs.
Did she get the gift to LeeHom you ask? Well, she tells Bostonese, “I sincerely hope I got his shirt in the right size but I did kind of break the rules by thrusting my bag of items in his vehicle after hours. Encore just has such retro designs and supports such an important cause of the music programs.”
She did state that it was not her “proudest fangirl moment” but she believes that “if he receives the message, it is all worth it.”
Gracia stands here wearing a matching tank top with the t-shirt she got for LeeHom, which is a part of the gifts she prepared for LeeHom from the Encore Apparel Co.
You can find the same shirt here at www.EncoreApparel.com
Since LeeHom’s first album came out 21 years ago, or as he put it during the concert “a blast from the past”, he has been on tour for years until finally visiting Boston to receive an honorary doctorate from Berklee. He is the best selling Mandarin artist of his generation, a recipient of of eleven Chinese music awards, a multi-recipient of the Golden Melody award- the Chinese version of the Grammys and his concerts have sold out on four continents. In addition he has appeared in or collaborated in more than 13 films. He’s now been married for three years with two children. We are glad to see him happy and doing well.
On this evening, he performed alongside a wide variety of artists and talent from around the world ranging from Italian violinist Giulia Duchi, JunShu Zheng from The Voice of China, Malaysian music director and arranger Louisa Foong, to Berklee sophomore Zach Brody from Massachusetts, on the stage playing with Chinese drummers.
Louisa Foong, opening conductor and arranger of Descendants of the Dragon is grateful for the “professionalism and respect” LeeHom has shown to each musician regardless of their background, and she feels privileged to work alongside China’s King of Pop. She personally experienced how “His faith in our abilities is more than just the relationship between a working professional and a student.” Great job- we wish you well Louisa!
We are also grateful to Music King Wang LeeHom for representing the best that Asian-Americans have to offer in the States as well as within the music scene. Congratulations from the Bostonese on receiving the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Music Degree, given only to a handful who have advanced the music culture of this day and age. He depicts what America’s biggest multicultural and bi-lingual magazine- Bostonese, stands for within our society as well as of a leader in the world. We hope birthday girl NiJingHan and others, including Wang LeeHom himself enjoyed themselves on this celebratory day.