The serene and melodic sound of the Guzheng can be heard along the White Rock promenade on many Sundays, making for a peaceful afternoon stroll.
The 64-inch-long stringed instrument comes from China. The Xiang Sihua (Guzheng player), meanwhile, is a Grade-5 student from Southridge School named Annie Qi.
Annie started playing the instrument – sometimes called the Chinese zither – three years ago, but she could easily fool passersby into thinking she’s a pro.
She often plays on weekends along the beach promenade.
The Qi family’s Chinese heritage is also expressed through Annie’s clothing — a traditional dress, which she wears when she plays.
“It matches the instrument because they’re (both) very traditional,” said Annie’s father, Eric Qi.
Her hour-long sessions typically draw a crowd, with the hundreds of patrons stopping along their walk to enjoy her sound.
As the plucking of her strings draws an audience, many stop to listen and give her money, which Annie donates in its entirely to the BC Children’s Hospital.
So far, Annie’s musical performances have raised over $3,500 for the hospital, earning her recognition on Sept. 30, with a certificate.