Twelve Girls Band (simplified Chinese: å¥³ååäºŒä¹åŠ; traditional Chinese: å¥³ååäºŒæ¨‚åŠ; pinyin: NÇšzÇ shÃ'Ã¨r YÃ¹efÇŽng, sometimes abbreviated to å¥³æ¨‚ or å¥³ä¹) are an all female Chinese musical group that initially consisted of twelve members before the addition of a thirteenth. Twelve Girls Band use traditional Chinese instruments to play both traditional Chinese and Western music. Formed on June 18, 2001, the women were selected by audition from more than 4,000 contestants. Each woman is classically-trained, and the band members come from various conservatories in the People's Republic of China (PRC), including the China Academy of Music, the Chinese National Orchestra, and the Central Conservatory of Music http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Girls_Band While Chinese music still maintains its gentle and elegant flavor after thousands of years of cultural heritage, the emergence of a new genre in Beijing has made its mark. Twelve young, attractive Chinese women clad in trendy clothing present "New Folk Music" of various Chinese traditional instruments. Dubbed the 12-Girl Band, the group presents traditional Chinese music mixed with modern pop, jazz and rock. The band's birth and rapid development is not accidental. According to the band's engineer and builder Wang Xiaojing reforms must be made to make Chinese folk music more enjoyable and to help it enter the international market. As a result, the 12-Girl Band, which incorporates China's traditional musical characteristics with western skills, was formed with Wang's impulse and vision. The idea of forming a musical group like the 12-Girl Band had long been brewing in Wang's mind, although it wasn't until June 2001 that the band was officially established. The recruitment phase was full of bustle and excitement. A great number of campus students and graduates from three major professional musical academies -- the Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music and Central University for Nationalities -- participated in the competition. But the 12 young women emerged triumphant. All of the members of 12-Girl Band grew up in musical families and began practicing traditional Chinese music at the ages of six or seven. Having graduated from the top arts universities in Beijing, all of them have won musical awards in various instrumental competitions. The women not only excel in traditional music instruments like the gu zheng, pi pa, er hu and yang qin, but can also master some less familiar instruments like the du xian qin, tu liang and ju chi qin. Wang also noted that besides musical skills and accomplishments, another important requirement for recruitment was style and charisma. The 12-Girl Band not only provides audiences with modern Chinese folk music, but also emanates visual appeal. The band's stage presence diverges greatly from that of traditional Chinese musicians, as well. Traditionally, performers played various instruments while seated; the women, however, stand tall and use their body language to emit a strong atmosphere of youthful vigor. The musical production team is composed of the leading domestic musical producers. The adapted folk music incorporates the percussion and electronic music from the West, which makes the traditional Chinese vibes more rhythmic and enthusiastic. Chinese national music, woven with elements of western pop music, has made the band very popular, especially among young people everywhere. The band cooperated with a Japanese company to debut their first album on July 24, 2003, which had already sold 1.8 million copies, winning a great honor for China's national music. The band has delicately combined traditional Chinese sounds with modern popular elements, creating a kind of new folk music that surpasses boundaries yet still maintains the flavor of the Orient. This brand-new musical form and its unique stage manner and charm have made the band a new emerging star in music circles.