Zenkora: A Brief History

May 14th, 2016, 8:30pm

Brown Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston

Zenkora Philharmonic Orchestra

I. Darkness

The Zenkora: A Brief History concert of May 2016 began with a solo piano introduction by Wesley Chu. As the title of the piece implies, the entire hall was shrouded in darkness, illuminated only by the faint enigmatic figure of a great purple dragon upon the screen. As the music progressed, the figure gradually came into view, along with the sparkle of a background of stars. This was music for Sallim the Darkest, one of the Evergen, primordial divine beings of Zenkora.

Music, art, and piano performance by Wesley Chu

II. Of The Earth

A short animation follows, made in the style of an Internet informational video. Inside, an imp named Inyalismé gives basic information on the setting of Zenkora from an in-universe perspective, including details of the world's geography, ancient myths, and supernatural phenomenon.

Narration by Tong Wang, music and art by Wesley Chu, animation by Tucker Williams

III. The Corsair And The Hunter

An emotional story of two best friends-turned-pirates, the tale of The Corsair and the Hunter, excerpted from The Feather Saga, comes to life via narration and live programmatic two-piano music. This is the story of Scarlet Everest and Rowan Nightingale.

Story by Leah Dominy and Wesley Chu, music by Wesley Chu, art by Connie Kim-Sheng

Narration by Leah Dominy and Hilary Ortiz, piano performance by Leah Dominy and Jingxuan Zhang

IV. The Law of Hearts and Promises

The story of Queenie Corazon, told through music and dance. Born into a large, aristocratic, wealthy, and darkly influential family, Queenie was as beautiful as she was spoiled, and lorded her prestige over the lives and wellbeing of all around her. A chance encounter with some extraordinary individuals eventually gave her a new perspective in life, one that led her to question the truth behind her family's strength, and eventually to great sacrifice.

Story by Tong Wang and Wesley Chu, music by Wesley Chu, dance performance by Michelle Bangalisan

V. A fair Dream

The soft stirrings of a small ensemble, conducted by Kens Lui, and beautifully narrated by the New England Conservatory's poet-in-residence Ruth Lepson, tell the tale of Wilhelm Sabilisk. This is a boy who has it all - good looks, great grades, and the heart of many a fine young lady.

But what lurks behind those golden curls, those sea-blue eyes, and that constant unwavering smile?

Story by Tong Wang and Wesley Chu, poetry by Ruth Lepson, music by Wesley Chu, conducted by Kens Lui

VI. Delirium Aflame

The dramatic and fiery tragedy of Cassandra Mobius is presented by the glamorous movements of the TODOS Dance Studio. Cassandra is one of the world's premier experts on enchantment, but a brief illicit tryst with a student combines with a sudden mental illness into a massive conflagration.

Story by Tong Wang and Wesley Chu, art by Connie Kim-Shengconducted by Kens Lui

Dance performance by Valerie Dubinsky and Murat Medzhidov


ViI. The Flower Club Fantasy

The five musical themes of the Flower Club girls are combined into this fantasy, a beautifully whimsical introduction to these young magical ladies. The Flower Club is a detective group of five students, each a student at a college-level magic school. Each possesses a unique set of skills - and social dynamics - guaranteed to turn every day into a fun-filled adventure!

Story by Tong Wang and Wesley Chu, art by Michelle Bangalisan, conducted by Kens Lui

ViII. The secret lives of Stars

Jamina Yesfirova and Oswald Emerson are star-crossed lovers. Jamina's rich and powerful family forbid her romance with the fun-loving and talented, yet ultimately penniless Oswald. A heartbreaking drama unfolds, as Jamina and Oswald make their final pledge to one another, followed by a musical re-imagining of their plight in the form of a miniature piano concerto.

Story by Tong Wang and Wesley Chu, conducted by Kens Lui

Dramatic performance by Julia Cohen and Will Anderson, directed by Patrick Keppel

IX. Project Curio

A thrilling tale of interdimensional exploits and shadowy organizations, this orchestral adventure takes you on an adventure with the daring crew of The Last Pioneer, culminating in a disastrous encounter with the mysterious Project CURIO.

Various advisory members of NEC, students and faculty alike, make cameo appearances voicing various characters.

Story and art by Wesley Chu, conducted by Kens Lui

Voices, in order of appearance: Jonas Tarm, Wesley Chu, Tucker Williams, Tong Wang, Alexander Zhu, Guang Yang, Kristo Kondacki, Lyle Davidson, Eva Heinstein, Thomas Handel, Hugh Wolff

X. Light the Way

As the concert began with one of the Evergen, so it concludes, with music for Nosbah of Unyielding Light, the brightest of the primordial gods.

Story by Wesley Chu, art by Esther Chu, conducted by Kens Lui