Tibetan vocalist wants to help others achieve their dreams

Tseten Dolma, the 81-year-old vocalist of Tibetan ethnic group, will again sing for Shanghai audiences.

81-year-old vocalist Tseten Dolma of the Tibetan ethnic group rehearsing with her students. 

Tseten Dolma, an 81-year-old vocalist from the Tibetan ethnic group, will again sing for Shanghai audiences tonight at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of her teacher Wang Pinsu’s birth.

It is also a commemoration concert of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music's national vocal major.

More than 20 teachers and students of the conservatory will present works like “Horizon” featuring Mongolian vocal arts, “Tanhua Mountain Is a Good Place” featuring Yi ethnic vocal arts, and “Folk Song Brings Good Omen” featuring the Hakka folk music style from southern China. 

Vocalist Tseten will present one of the biggest hits of the 1960s, “Sing a Folk Song for the CPC,” with her signature voice and vocal characteristics.

Entering the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1958 as one of the first ethnic students, Tseten knew little about professional vocal arts, and could not even speak Mandarin at the time.

“I was like a blank sheet of paper — it is Wang who helped shape me and my art and career wholeheartedly,” Tseten said.

Though she could naturally sing Tibetan folk songs, Tseten often found her voice "awkward" when singing in Mandarin. To help her overcome the obstacle, Wang studied Tibetan language himself, analyzed the differences between the two languages, and thus guided Tseten to improve her Mandarin singing. Wang also encouraged Tseten to learn from all kinds of vocal arts, so as to find better methods when singing national folk songs.

“I am willing to share what I have with more ethnic vocal talents to help realize their dreams, just like how Wang helped me,” Tseten added.

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