A member of the Class of 2005 at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts will return to Natchitoches to perform and visit with current students.
Slater Rhea, a native of Alexandria, is a singer and personality on national television in China, where he is known to millions of fans as Shuài Dé.
He will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Magale Recital Hall located on the campus of Northwestern State University. The event is free and open to the public. The next day, Wednesday, Feb. 28, Rhea will visit with LSMSA students enrolled in Chinese, perform for the students and end with a question-and-answer session.
Rhea is a regular performer on music and variety shows on various CCTV (China Central Television) channels, CETV (China Education Television), as well as other nationally broadcast networks including Jiangsu, Beijing, Yunnan and local and provincial stations including Beijing Arts Channel, Xi’an TV, Wuxi TV and Jiangsu International Channel.
He performs in Chinese (Mandarin and Shaanxi dialects), Mongolian and in his native English, and in genres ranging from American jazz standards, folk songs and rock and roll ballads to Chinese pop and art songs. He is best known, however, for his renditions of Chinese folk tunes of various traditions, which he is able to perform with native-level fluency.
Rhea is a National Merit Scholar and holds dual master’s degrees in China studies and international politics from Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University as well as bachelor’s degrees in Chinese and Asian studies. He is known in China as a cultural ambassador and musical diplomat, and he has met and entertained high-level diplomats and leaders of the United States and China, including former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Ambassador to China Max Baucus, as well as numerous other officials of both countries.
Aside from his performance career, Rhea holds a position as lecturer in international students at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, China’s top-ranked international studies and foreign language university.
During his time in Natchitoches, he studied the violin at NSU and played with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Douglas Bakehus.