|Hoang Vu (second from left) teaches amateur singing at his home.
Emeritus Artist Hoang Vu was born Nguyen Hoang Vu in 1958 in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre. Vu’s father, an amateur singing performer, often took young Vu to rehearsals of the local art troupe of which he was a member.
In 1973, Vu began studying with Bui Tan Quoi, a famous singer who could play all the musical instruments used in amateur singing. When he completed his studies, Vu performed with the local art troupe in Ben Tre for a while before moving to Kien Giang, where he founded the Silt Amateur Singing Club. The club’s membership has included some of Vietnam’s most renowned amateur singers, included Hoang Thang, Thanh Dang, Ly Ngoan, and Huu Nghia.
"The club has been a wonderful venue for us to share our love for amateur singing, and seek ways to promote it to future generations. Since 2013, the club has been part of the Arts Division of the Kien Giang provincial Radio and Television Station," said Vu.
| Emeritus artist Hoang Vu
The Silt Amateur Singing Club has cooperated with Kien Giang’s Culture College and Ho Chi Minh City’s Theatre and Cinema University to organize classes on amateur singing and traditional opera. Several of Hoang Vu’s students have gone on to become well-known performing artists. One of them is Huynh Thi Thuy Quyen.
"I knew nothing about amateur singing in the beginning, but now I’m able to sing pretty well, thanks to my teacher, Hoang Vu. I have also become passionate about it and am determined to master the art," said Quyen.
Nguyen Thien Can, Deputy Head of the Kien Giang provincial Party Committee’s Education and Communication Board, said Hoang Vu has done a great job of getting young people to love amateur singing and introducing the art form to the public.
"Vu has written lyrics for many amateur songs which have been performed at national festivals, competitions, and other events, making the art form familiar to a wider public," said Can.
More than 20 songs with lyrics written by Vu have won awards at national amateur singing festivals.
"It’s difficult to preserve and promote this art form without bringing it into the modern context and renewing it with fresh lyrics. Traditional and modern attitudes are combined in my songs, which makes them more exciting and accessible to the public," Vu told VOV.