Showcasing the Arts

May/June 2017 Featured Artist:
Hong Shao


Constance Alexander
Hong Shao instructs student members of Georgetown’s Garth Elementary School Pipa Club. She helped found the club in 2006.
Hong Shao of Nicholasville is a professionally trained pipa player and Chinese musician. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education with a concentration in pipa, a four-stringed, pear-shaped lute, from the Harbin Normal University School of Music in Harbin, China. The pipa is considered one of the most intricate traditional Chinese musical instruments.

For five years following her graduation, Shao taught music and worked for the Heilongjiang Province radio station in China as music editor, later becoming the station’s music department head. In the United States, Hong was hired as patron service coordinator for the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts. She also taught Asian music classes at UK as a part-time instructor and is a juried member of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Teaching and Performing artists directories.

Since 1993, Shao has actively promoted Chinese culture in Kentucky through music education and performances. She has offered pipa concerts and Tai Ji fan and sword dances, organized music and culture events, and given workshops and seminars to students, teachers and the general public across Kentucky and several neighboring states.



Shao founded the Chinese Music, Dance, and Arts Program (CMDAP) in 2004. The program has educated hundreds of children about Chinese culture, performing and visual arts. She also serves as the program director and artistic director, as well as teaching pipa, Chinese martial arts dance, children’s dance and the Chinese musical instrument Gu Zheng.

In 2006 Shao cofounded the Pipa Club at Garth Elementary School in Scott County with Garth teacher Kellie Moses and has been volunteering as a teacher in that program, which has exposed Chinese traditional music and culture to more than 50 students.

Since 2004, Shao has continuously organized the annual Chinese New Year Celebration, which has included the CMDAP annual concert titled "Beauty of Jasmine" for the past seven years. She also organized annual performances for patients at UK Healthcare. Students from the CMDAP and Garth Elementary School Pipa Club have been the major performers in these concerts.

Shao has performed at many events, including the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games, Folk Life Festival in Frankfort, Georgetown’s International Kite Festival, Lexington’s MayFest and UK School of Music’s “World Music” Concerts. KET recorded the 2012 “Beauty of Jasmine” concert and other performances by Shao as a references for Kentucky teachers.

Hong Shao loves Kentucky and looks forward to continuing her Chinese music and culture educational and performing activities, as well as providing music for community cultural activities.


Hong Shao
Nicholasville, Ky.


Page last updated: February 14, 2019
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