The JU PERCUSSION GROUP (JPG), founded by percussionist Tzong-Ching
Ju in January 1986, is the first percussion ensemble established
in Taiwan. It consists of 13 talented percussionists and one composer
in residence. The members possess transcendental virtuosity in
playing Western percussion instruments as well as Chinese gong-drum
music, and other form of Asian traditional music. This is a group
devoting itself in performing, education and percussion promoting.
Following the direction of Tzong-Ching Ju, the JPG has become
well-known around the world for its innovative blending of East
and West, traditional and contemporary. The JPG has pioneered
the development of the percussive arts in Taiwan, and through
its more than 100 domestic and international performances annually
and reaching approximately 150,000 audiences has put Taiwan’s
name on the international percussion map.
Since its establishment, the JPG has performed in Asia, Europe,
Australia and the America. Since 1993 the Group was joined by
leading percussion ensembles from the United States, Japan, Korea,
France, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands
at Taipei International Percussion Convention (TIPC). The JPG
was invited to perform at Percussive Arts Society International
Convention (PASIC) in Dallas (Texas) and Louisville (Kentucky),
U.S.A., in 2000 and 2003. The JPG collaborated with the world-famous
Les Percussions de Strasbourg (France) on a cultural-exchange
project, Les Douze Lunes du Serpent, premiered in December 2001.
Invited by the Budapest Spring Festival, the JPG and the Amadinda
Percussion Group of Hungary jointly presented the grand percussive
work Stoicheia, written by James Wood, in 2002. In the same year,
the JPG participated in the Beijing Music Festival in China and
the year followed, the Group was invited to take part in the Chekhov
International Theatre Festival. The participation in both events
received great critical acclaim.
from being featured in the percussion concerts, the JPG has also
performed with the Cloud Gate Dance Theater and the Lanling Theater
Workshop, touring nationally and internationally. In 1992, the
JPG undertook a series of experimentation in music theater, which
resulted in three major multi-media productions, Fantasia, in
1993, and Dream of Chimes in 1994, and See the Music in 2001.
These productions incorporated other art forms and created a new
audio and visual ambiance.
In July 1989, four years after Ju Percussion Group was found,
the Ju Percussion Group Foundation (The Foundation) was established
to be in charge of the administration of the Group. The mission
of the Foundation is to make music universal and readily accessible
to the public and to enhance the percussive arts in performance,
composition and research in Taiwan. Currently, the Foundation
includes a Board of Directors, headed by Chairperson Mr. Hsin-Ho
Lin. The administration is lead by Executive Director Shu-Kang
Liu and operated by five divisions, with 20 professional staff
of art administration. Besides the JPG, the Foundation is also
in charge of the performances of the JPG 2, Jumping Percussion
Group and Juvenile Percussion Ensembles.
The JPG has released 15 highly acclaimed recordings. Two of them
have been honored with the Golden Tripod Award. They are Keep
the Fire Burning for Best Performance in 1988 and the Mountain's
Beat for Best Musical Publication in 1990. The live recording
of the 10th anniversary concert in 1996 was released as a special
double-disc set. This recording received the 1997 Golden Melody
Award, an equivalent of the Grammy in Taiwan, for Best Performer.
In the same year, “Beat the Drum” won the award for Best Composition
in the classical music category. In 2002, the JPG releases its
15th anniversary CD set Shiny Days.
The JPG has actively cultivated the percussion music environment
by regularly commissioning and premiering the compositions written
by Taiwanese very own composers, such as Nan-Chang Chien (whose
Beat the Drum has become a classic), Hwang-Long Pan, Shui-Long
Ma, Loong-Hsing Wen, Ting-Lien Wu, Gordon S. Chin, Chien-Hui Hung,
Wan-Jen Huang, Chung-Kun Hung and Kuen-Yean Hwang. In addition,
the arrangements of numerous traditional Chinese/Taiwanese folk
tunes and children’s songs by the Group have contributed to the
steadily growing popularity of percussion music in Taiwan.
Tzong-Ching Ju has played a significant role in enhancing
the wide interest in percussion music in Taiwan in the last two
decades. The wide popularity of percussion music in Taiwan owes
a great deal to Ju for his pioneering efforts in music education.
Upon graduating from the National Taiwan Academy of
the Arts, Ju continued his percussion study with Walter Veigl and
Richard Hochrainer, former principal percussionist of the Wiener
Philharmoniker, at the Vienna Academy of Music. Ju received the
diploma of Music Performer in percussion in 1982.
Upon returning to Taiwan, Ju served as principal percussionist
of the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. He founded Taiwan's first percussion
ensemble, the Ju Percussion Group (JPG), in January 1986. Three
years later, Ju Percussion Group Foundation was formed to handle
JPG's administrative work.
In 1992, Ju established the Ju Percussion Music School,
the first domestic-developed educational system and the fastest
channel to promote the percussive arts in Taiwan. In 1994, he initiated
another project, The Traditional Percussion Center, with its mission
of preserving traditional percussion music. In 1998, he launched
the Arts Circle, a magazine to further promote percussion music
and the arts.
Tzong-Ching Ju received a Youth Medal in 1983 and
was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Taiwan in
1988. He was honored with the National Award for Arts of the National
Culture and Arts Foundation, R.O.C. in 2000.
The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) gave him special
recognition for his devotion to the percussive arts and for organizing
the Taipei International Percussion Conventions (TIPC) in 1993,
1996, 1999 and 2002. In addition, he is the recipient the one-year
Fulbright Grant, to support his further percussion research in the
United States from 1996 to1997.
Ju served as the board members of the PAS from 1998
to 1999. He also served as the dean of music department of the Taipei
National University of the Arts from 1997 to 2000, and the Director
of National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, and following as the Director
of the National Chiang Kai-Shek Culture Center ROC, National Theatre,
National Concert Hall in Taiwan from 2001 till 2004. He is at present
as Professor at the music department of the Taipei National University
of the Arts and the Artistic Director of the Ju Percussion Group,
and Ju Percussion Group Foundation.
Composer in Residence
Chien-Hui Hung, a leading young composer in Taiwan,
is one of the founding members of the Ju Percussion Group. She studied
composition with Shiu-Long Ma and Yen Lu ; at the same time studied
percussion with Tzong-Ching Ju and Kwang-Yuan Kuo. During her further
studies in France from 1987 to 1995, Hung studied composition with
Yoshihisa Taira at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where
she received Diplome Superieur of Composition, and with Zbar at
the Conservatoire National de Boulogne. She also studied composition
with Alain Bancquart, Paul Mefano, and electroacoustic composition
with Laurent Cuniot at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique
de Paris, where Hung received Diplome Superieur of Composition in
1995. In November of 1997, Hung presented one “All Hung’s Music”
concert at the National Concert Hall. Currently she teaches at the
Taipei National University of the Arts, where she is pursuing Ph.D.
as well. Her composition Les Douze Lunes Du Serpent (2001), is a
project collaborating with the French composer Franscois Bernard
Mache. The work, commissioned by Les Percussions de Strasbourg,
was premiered at Les 38e Rugissants in Grenoble, France in 2001.
Shih-San Wu joined the group in 1989. She graduated
from the Taipei National University of the Arts and studied percussion
with Tzong-Ching Ju. Wu later learned percussion and theatre music
with Gaston Sylvestre at the Conservatoire National de Region
de Rueil-Malmaison in France. While there, she received Prix de
Virtuosite a l’Unanimite Felicitations and Prix d’Excellence a
l’Unanimite Felicitations. In 1995 and 1996, she gave several
recitals in France and Taiwan. Wu is full-time facaulty at the
Taipei National University of the Arts, where she is pursuing
her doctor’s degree as well. She currently serves as the director
of the Ju Percussion Group.
Ho, Hong-Chi joined the group in 1987, graduated from National
Taiwan University of the Arts (TNUA) and received his master’s degree
at the TNUA in 1999.Ho was enlightened the ability of percussion
by professor Ju, Tzong-Ching and later learned more skills from
Richard Holly and Robert Chappell to specialize in Latin percussion
instruments. In 1992, Ho went to Northern Illinois University in
USA to pursue advanced study in percussion and Latin percussion
instruments; two years later, he continued to study log drum pedagogy
in Germany. His achievement in rhythm training and music education
is well-known in Taiwan. In addition, his works, such as “Dancing
Rhythm” and “Drumming Fest“, have been performed on international
stages. At present, Ho serves as the associate director of Ju Percussion
Group, and the lecturer of the TNUA, Shih Chien University, Taipei
Physical Education College, Kuang Jen Catholic High School, National
San Chung Senior High School.
Pei-Ching Wu, a founding member of the Ju Percussion
Group, studied percussion with Tzong-Ching Ju, Keiko Abe, Robert
Chappell, Richard Holly and Tim Peterman. As the Principal of Ju
Percussion Group since the age of 18, she has been touring with
the Group to the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia for more than 1500
concerts. She collaborated with several world well-known musicians,
such as Martha Argerich, Keiko Abe, and Dave Samuels. She also performed
with many famous artistic groups, such as Cincinnati Pop Orchestra,
Amadinda Percussion Group, etc. After graduating from the Taipei
National University of the Arts in Taiwan, she received her master’s
degree from the Northern Illinois University, and won her doctorate
degree at West Virginia University, U.S.A., in 2005. She teaches
at the Taipei National University of the Arts and Shih Chien University.
Kuen-yean Hwang, who has been working with the Ju Percussion Group
since 1988, joined the group full-time in 1992. He graduated from
the Taipei National University of the Arts and studied percussion
with Kwang-yuan Kuo and Tzong-ching Ju. He received his master’s
degree in percussion and jazz from the University of Southern California.
In 1999, Hwang went on a recital tour in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
Hwang shows great potential as a performer, an arranger and a composer.
In June, 1995, commissioned by Japan Percussion Society, he composed
Formosa, which was premiered in 1995 Japan Percussion Festival.
Pacific Image, composed in 1998, was premiered by Seoul Percussion
Group in the Taipei International Percussion Convention in 1999.
In 2005, his composition Rhapsody of Amadinda was premiered in Africussion,
a collaborative production of the Ju Percussion Group and Harambee
Dance Company. He is at present teaching at the Taipei National
University of the Arts, where he is pursuing the doctor’s degree
Huei-Chen Wu has been a member of the Ju Percussion
Group since 1992. She was graduated from the Taipei National University
of the Arts in 1996 and studied percussion with Tzong-Ching Ju.
In 1999, She received her master’s degree from the same university.
Her diverse experiences have included participation in the performances
of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and the Godot Theatre Company. She
studied pei-kuan percussion with the master Hou-jung Chiu in 1997.
Wu went on her recital in Taipei and Kaohsiung in December, 2000.
She is current the member of the Ju Percussion Group and teaches
at National Sun Yat-sen University and several high schools in Taiwan.
She is persuing her doctor’s degree in the Taipei National University
of the Arts.
Pei-Shun Lee received her master’s degree from the
Taipei Taipei National University of the Arts in 2004. She studied
percussion with Chin-Hsiang Hwang, Pei-Ching Wu, Kuen-Yean Hwang
and Tzong-Ching Ju. She won the competition of “Guandu New Voice”
and played in the concert of “Guandu New Voice” in 1999. At the
same year, she performed the percussion music in Legacy with the
Cloud Gate 2. She is at present the member of Ju Percussion Group.
Chin-Hua Lin has been the intern member of the Ju
Percussion Group since 1998 while following Shih-San Wu to study
percussion. Lin won her master’s degree from the Taipei National
University of the Arts, advised by Tzong-Ching Ju. In 2000, Lin
toured with the Ju Percussion Group in mainland China, and at the
same year, performed in the Children’s Concert Tour Summer Sky all
over Taiwan. Since 2001, she performed in Japan and Germany, and
with the Ju Percussion Group in Mainland China, U.S.A., Australia
and Japan. She is at present the intern of the Ju percussion Group.
Huan Wei Lu graduated from the Music Department of
the Taipei National University of the Arts after following Bo-Nien
Hsu, Kuan-Yuan Kwo and Shih-San Wu, and at present follows Tzong-Ching
Ju, and majors in percussion as a graduate student ay the Taipei
National University of the Arts. He performed percussion music in
Legacy with the Cloud Gate 2 in 1999 and in Cloud Gate’s 30th anniversary
in 2003. In 2001, he performed in Japan and Germany, and toured
with the Ju Percussion Group in mainland China in 2002. In the same
year, he performed with Taipei Wind Orchestra and Symphonic Band
in America. In September 2002, he performed with the Theater Department
of Taipei National University of the Arts in mainland China. . In
2005, his composition polychrome was premiered in Africussion, a
collaborative production of the Ju Percussion Group and Harambee
Dance Company. He is at present the intern of the Ju percussion
Hung-Yueh Chen is at the present studying
at the first grade of graduated school at the Taipei National University
of the Arts, studying percussion with Pei-Ching Wu. He won the competition
of “ Kuando New Voice” in October, 2002. He is at present the member
of Ju Percussion Group 2.
Huang graduated from the Taipei National
University of the Arts, majoring in percussion. She has studied
with Mr. Y.H. Chou, H.M. Lin, J.W. Chang and currently T.C. Ju.
During high school years, she toured with the school orchestra
in Europe and U.S. In 2001, she toured with Jumping Percussion
Group in Japan. She currently serves as leader in Ju Percussion
Group 2. Currently she is a student in Graduate School of Orchestral
and Percussion at the Taipei National University of the Arts.
Hao-En Chen is at the present studying
at the first grade of graduated school at the Taipei National
University of the Arts. He has studied with Chi-Hung Cheng, Cheng-Hsin
Hsu, Teh-Hua Shih, Yon-Sheng Chen and Pei-Ching Wu. He won the
competition of “ Kuando New Voice” in 2003. In August, 2004, he
participated in the performances with Ju Percussion Group in USA.
He is at present the member of Ju Percussion Group 2.
Chen graduated from National Taipei
University of the Arts, majoring in music. She has studied with
C.S. Hwang, P.C. Wu, and currently T.C. Ju. In 2001, she participated
in Ju Percussion Goup Music Theatre “See the Music”. She teaches
Ju Juvenile Percussion Group and is the member of Ju Percussion
Group 2. She currently studies at Graduate School of Orchestral
and Percussion at at the Taipei National University of the Arts.
I-Lin Lee is at the present studying at the second grade of Taipei
National University of the Arts majoring in percussion music.
She has studied with Yo-Hung Chou, Che-Ming Tsai, and Shih-San
Wu. She is at present the member of Ju Percussion Group.