US military singers sing "Xin Chao Viet Nam"
(VNF) – The U.S. Seventh Fleet crew members arrived in Da Nang on the USS Carl Vinson on Monday afternoon, when the supercarrier started its five-day visit to Vietnam. In addition to military exchange, the trip consists of various cultural exchange, including music performance by the U.S. Seventh Fleet band.
Upon their arrival, the band, consisting of more than ten members, treated locals to a two-hour performance with full joy and enthusiasm at a riverside park under the city’s iconic Dragon Bridge.
Crowds of audience flocked the bridge to watch and cheer for the show, where the U.S. artist-soldiers performed songs of peace and love themes, particularly the “Noi Vong Tay Lon” (The Great Circle of Vietnam) and "Xin chao Vietnam" (Hello Vietnam).
On the occasion, The world and Vietnam recently has an interview with Emily Kershaw, the key singer of the band regarding her thought on music and the Vietnam – US cultural exchange.
In Da Nang, you have performed famous songs such as “Noi vong tay lon”, “Xin Chao Vietnam” in Vietnamese. How long have you picked up the language to sing?
Actually, I cannot speak Vietnamese. What I did was simply learning the pronunciation of Vietnamese, in order to be able to dedicate my performance to the local audience in their mother tongue during this tour. Speaking Vietnamese is tough, but singing in the language is much easier.
How long did it take you to rehearse singing?
It took me around 2 weeks to practice singing. Since I didn’t have any instructor on the phonetic, I had to listen to the songs over and over again to memorize the lyrics.
Emily Kershaw, key singer of the 7th fleet music band (Photo: Q. Chinh)
Why did you decide to sing “Noi vong tay lon” and “Xin Chao Vietnam” for the audience in Da Nang?
Last year, in a music performing tour in Da Nang, some of the Vietnamese co-performers recommended me the song “Hello Vietnam”. I later tried to search for it on the Internet, and it had amazed me.
From my points of view, "Xin Chao Vietnam" is a special song, because it was sung by a Vietnamese girl who was born and brought up overseas, but always wishes to get closer to her roots.
This reason has pushed me to bring this song to the show this time.
Meanwhile, “Noi vong tay lon” (The Great Circle of Vietnam) is a nice and popular song in Vietnam. Through performing this song, I would love to convey the message of connection between the Vietnamese and American people that music can bring about.
The people in Da Nang were very pleasant with the shows brought to them by the U.S. Seventh Fleet music band. How do you feel about the audience’s positive response?
That was absolutely amazing, since the audience in Da Nang city enjoyed every show we performed. Their affection gave us a great source of encouragement.
I believe that music will give the Vietnamese people chance to gain deeper insight of American culture and language.
In your opinion, what is the role music plays in connecting Vietnamese and US people?
I think music plays a significant role in connecting American soldiers and the local people. When I sang in Vietnamese, I might not be able to pronounce every word correctly, and I might not get all the meaning of the lyric, but I still can feel the melody, the emotion the song conveys, and the love of the audience. Music has transcended the language barrier between people from different countries.
The band performs in Cau Rong on Mar 5. They have dedicated various fascinating arts performance to local audience. (Photo: Q. Chinh)
USS Carl Vinson is making its historic visit to Vietnam. What do you think about this event?
This is a significant milestone in bilateral ties, which have been witnessing various stages of development in recent time.
During the visit to Da Nang city, American military officers have been taking part in a variety of exchange activities, including visiting patients in psychiatric hospital, disadvantaged children in SOS village. What do these activities mean to you?
They were meaningful community works which I enjoyed being a part of. Instead of getting to know Vietnam via news and media, we now can interact with Vietnamese people personally. I am glad that we had the chance to sing to people in every place we’ve been to. That's a great way to explore Vietnamese culture and understand the people.
The band performs at the SOS Children’s Village in Da Nang on Mar 6. (photo: Q. Chinh)
What do you think about Vietnam, the country and its people?
Vietnamese people are very hospitable and friendly. They are always keen to introduce to us the exotic culture of Vietnam. For instance, when we visited the SOS village, we were strongly impressed by the folk songs and dance performed by the kids there.
Thank you very much!
( Translated by Phi Yen )