water cube

by Arleen Faustina

2015 MCC Scholarship Winner Competes in China’s Water Cube Cup

Selena Siri wins in Washington, DC and competes in Beijing

Selena Siri, one of Monmouth Civic Chorus’s 2015 scholarship winners, traveled to Beijing this summer to compete in China’s Water Cube Cup (Shui Li Fang Bei) Chinese Song Contest for Overseas Chinese Youths, held at the famed Water Cube, officially the Beijing National Aquatics Center, which was built for the 2008 Olympics.

The competition, sponsored by the Chinese government in collaboration with the All China Youth Federation and the China Affairs Office of the State Council, welcomed vocalists from 36 countries. The purpose of the competition is to encourage overseas Chinese youth to learn Chinese and to promote traditional Chinese culture. It is one of the most important brand cultural activities of the overseas Chinese people and one of the most popular competitions in China.

To qualify for the Water Cube Cup competition, contestants must be of Chinese descent, and reside somewhere outside of China. Chinese proficiency is not mandatory; however, all the songs must be sung in Chinese.

This year, more than 1,500 competitors from all over the world competed for only 72 spots, and those 72 singers were flown to Beijing to compete in several days of intense competitions. Twelve finalists were selected for the final round for the gold, silver and bronze medals. Judges for the competition are famous Chinese singers, actors and public figures.

Selena won 1st place in the Washington, DC, competition and entered the Beijing portion of the contest as one of the 72 worldwide “zone” winners. Selena was able to choose her own music for the Washington, DC, portion of the contest; however, when she went to Beijing, all contestants were given several new songs to prepare for each round and were assigned partners for the duet pieces.

Just like the contestants in “Dancing With the Stars,” the competitors had to learn new repertoire for the final round! Selena won several of those early rounds and moved up to the fourth and final round of 12 contestants. She was even featured on live Chinese television during the semifinals and finals.

What an incredible experience for Selena, and what a testimony to her determination and talent. All voices of MCC join in congratulating Selena Siri on her amazing adventure!

with contributions & edits by Jennifer Hom

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