Campus band discovers life through music

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 4, 2012
Adjust font size:

Remin University’s Friday night ‘Guitar Corner’ gives students a chance to reinvent themselves through songs.

Remin University’s Friday night ‘Guitar Corner’ gives students a chance to reinvent themselves through songs.[Photo/]

A string of energetic melodies broke the tranquility of a tree-lined, moonlit campus boulevard Friday night at Remin University.

On Sept. 28, three days before the start of the mid-autumn festival, a traditional holiday for Chinese families to reunite as the moon waxes to full size, a band of young men sat on a column near the velvet-like grass of the campus quad, plucking their guitars and beating the Djembe, a kind of African drum.

The revelers, most of whom are the sophomores at Renmin University, Beijing, relish the ‘Friday Guitar Corner’ as something completely their own – a celebration of the coming weekend and of their own independence.

“Friday is the most anticipated day of the week, not only because it is right before the coming weekend, but also because it is the time we can be here at the ‘Guitar Corner’,” said drummer Lin Huidong, a sophomore at the university’s International Relations School.

“We like a group of evangelists summoned by our strong beliefs and passions in music,” Lin said.

Part of the Society of Music Aficionados (‘Aiyue Society’) on campus, the band players on Friday are usually the most skilled from the club’s approximately 400 members in total, said Che Yujia, executive director of the society.

According to Che, many of the participants in the society were like her, who joined simply due to their passion for music. A layperson herself, Che said she was elected as the head only because of her enthusiasm and trustful organizing abilities.

“As long as you are a music lover, you are accessible to the society, even if you know nothing about the fundamental music knowledge and relevant performance skills,” Che said.

“The guitar corner on Friday is merely a spontaneous show which is organized just for fun,” she said.

A junior in the university’s Human Resources Management School, Che said she greatly values the Friday Guitar Corner as a chance to unwind after a stressful week of classes.

“I’m really getting puzzled at the year when being a junior and don’t know what my future will be like,” she said. “But whatever the academic route or career path to be, I’ll keep on listening to my heart and pick up the hobbies I truly love.”

The spirit of the Remin University Friday Guitar corner is inspiring not only current students, but also alumni and other music lovers from around the city. Many former society members who graduated several years ago have been turning up at the event to relive the energy and spirit of their youth.

“I joined the Society of the Music Aficionados as early as in 2004, right after I entered the university as a freshman,” said Zhang Yu, a leather-jacked clad music fan who now works for an education website.

“I keep coming back to the corner each Friday, both for the music and the friends that I have cherished.”

Although club members often differ in their musical taste, such as Zhang’s preference for mellow tunes, Lin’s indulgence in sarcastic folk music, and others’ frenetic zeal for Western bands like Oasis, Friday Guitar Corner participants always respect each others’ requests to a play any particular style of song.

One of the funniest songs played at that night was a testosterone-fueled ballad composed by some of the male players. “I love you so much, but you love a moron in return,” the song began, continuing with “The moron doesn’t love you, which proves that you are much stupider than the moron.”

After hearing the lyrics, Che protested, telling the guys to stop singing, because she was worried it would offend some of the group’s female members. The guys responded with wry smiles and continued to play.

The spontaneous performances at the Friday Guitar Corner have also inspired many members to compose themselves. And the music society has their albums uploaded at its website: Much of the material is steeped in the memories of the club’s predecessors.

For newcomers to the club, who only applied to join the society that night, the relaxed confidence shown by the band players encouraged them to join the group.

He Yangfan, a sophomore who recently transferred from the School of Psychology to Classics due to his insufficient interest in mathematics, said the music sessions are bringing him a newfound peace.

Shi Weiyan, a sophomore, majoring in mathematics from the Information School, filled out her name on the application form with a guitar perching on her back. She said she hopes to play as some of the senior band members, though now she’s just a clumsy beginner.

Despite the various personalities of group members, which range from extroverted to introverted and mature to immature, the music at the Friday sessions helps them form emotional bonds with both the music and each other.

“Actually, as long as you are sincere in life, you would eventually discover life is indeed beautiful,” Zhang said, with his guitar lying below a poplar tree rustling under the clear dark blue sky.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from