Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio

Dong Jun
During the COVID-19 outbreak, some elderly music fans gathered under a highway bridge in Xinzhuang and used the space as a studio to practise. 
Dong Jun

As public parks were closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, many elderly music fans struggled to find a place to play their instruments. But they wouldn’t be beat and many gathered under a highway bridge across the Dingpu River in Xinzhuang and used the space as a studio to practise. Shanghai Daily photographer Dong Jun went along and danced to their tune. 

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Mr Wang, 70, is the only trumpet player under the bridge, while all the other musicians play saxophone. Wang said senior people need more to their cultural life than just taking care of the grandchildren. 

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ms Liu bought her first saxophone and started to play four months ago. With the help of her friends, she can now play several different pieces.  

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Mr Wang, 65, has been playing under the bridge for more than a year. He said he enjoys the space’s sound effects. “If parks are our stage, the bridge is the best studio for practicing,” he said. 

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Mr Zhang, 78, who used to be an engineer before retirement, is a jazz fan and has played saxophone for three years. It takes him 20 minutes to reach the bridge on his bicycle. Once there, he can practice without worrying about neighbors’ complaints or rainy weather. 

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Mr Fang, 70, said he comes to the bridge to meet more friends with the same hobby. 

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ms Zhu (left) and Ms Liu are the only two female saxophone players under the bridge.

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Two elderly players read a music score on a mobile phone while playing.  

Aged musicians find rhythm under highway bridge studio
Dong Jun / SHINE

Most days every player has his own time schedule and practices alone, but on weekends, they arrange a time to play together.   

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