Benefit Concert for Children in Nepal

Posted by Cherry Yuan on April 23, 2013 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (233)

On April 14, 2013, Children in Need held a benefit concert at HOTA in San Domenico School. The concert started at 7:00 pm while members showed up after 6:00 pm to set up the place and rehearse their pieces. Club members executed themselves professionally from reception to performance. The overall concert was filled with high spirits and enthusiasm.

The concert started with Kuni’s introduction and Fiona’s short speech about the purpose of this concert. That was to raise money for the orphanage in Nepal where she would represent our club to teach art and English this summer. After the brief introduction, the concert started with Mirah's playing of a cello suite by Bach. Then the club musicians brought audience an array of classical music including pieces by Beethoven, Liszt, Sarasate, Kreisler, Kuhlau and Zili Lee. Freshman, Linda Li, performed for the first time at our club’s event. Club members are multi talented such as Amanda’s and Elena’s flute playings as well as Amanda’s piano and Elena’s violin performances. The high point of the concert was RJ’s playing of a piano piece by Franz Liszt, “Mazeppa”. His spirited performance was spectacular and impressive. Cherry’s sensational playing of a violin piece by a Chinese composer, Zili Lee, also brought a different flavor of music to people.

We especially like to thank Miles Graber for contributing his time and efforts in accompanying the performers.


Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude and Courante – Bach

Mirah Ray, Sophomore - Cello

San Domenico School


Violin Sonata, No 8, 1st Mvt – Beethoven

Cherry Yuan, Junior - Violin, San Domenico School

Miles Graber - Piano


Trois Duos (Rondo), Op 80 – Kuhlau

Elena Kim, Junior - Flute, San Domenico School

Amanda Tsai, Junior - Flute, San Domenico School

Siciliana and Rigaudon – Kreisler

Linda Li, Freshman - Violin, San Domenico School

Miles Graber - Piano


Zigeunerweisen – Sarasate

Elena Kim, Junior - Violin, San Domenico School

Miles Graber - Piano


Pathetique 1st Movement – Beethoven

Amanda Tsai, Junior - Piano

San Domenico School


Song of Fishermen’s Harvest – Zili Lee

Cherry Yuan, Junior - Violin, San Domenico School

Miles Graber - Piano


Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa” – Liszt

RJ Pearce, Senior - Piano

The Branson School


Navarra for Two Violins – Sarasate

Cherry Yuan, Junior - Violin, San Domenico School

Elena Kim, Junior - Violin, San Domenico School

Miles Graber - Piano


Dorothy Lee, Susan Sun, Nicole Wu, Grace He, Rita Hu, Sandra Liu and Fiona Wang

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Concert for Cambodian Orphans with SEAPC

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on January 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (286)

On Friday, December 21, Children in Need hosted its final concert for the year at San Domenico’s Peformance Hall. The club’s last concert for 2012 was intended to raise money for SEAPC - Cambodia, an organization that raises money to build schools for orphans in Cambodia. The club members were delighted to welcome Matt Gepert, a representative from SEAPC, as the concerts’ official guest of honor, as well as Caitlin Gowdy, founder of Children in Need and current club Ambassador.

The concert began with a brief introductory speech by outgoing club President, Gaby Berbey. She then beckoned Mr. Gepert on stage to say a few words about the purpose of SEAPC. For anyone who attended the concert, they can attest to the fact that Mr. Geppert demonstrated the power of fulfilling one’s passion as his speech illustrated just some of the spectacular projects he has witnessed at SEAPC.


Following Mr. Geppert’s introduction, club member, Tyler Leswing on piano and special guest, Randy Plummer, on saxophone, kicked off the concert with The Beatles’ beloved Hey Jude as the sound of the saxophone engulfed the hall with its deep definitive tone. RJ Pearce and Gaby Berbey then transported the audience back to the sounds of the early 1800’s with Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, capturing the elements from both the Classical and Romantic Period with musicality and fine balance. Remaining on stage, RJ Pearce then performed Liszt’s Transcendental Etude, leaving the audience on the edge of their seat with every theme, both new and recurring. Kuni Migimatsu then performed Chopin’s Ballade No. 2, catching the audience off guard with his masterful transitions between light tones and deep emotions throughout the piece. With immense grace and elegance, Hayaka Komatsu diverted the concert back towards string instrumental pieces with Shostakovich's Sonata Op.147 as she let the viola’s sonorous voice fill the hall, as well as the hearts of the audience members. Returning club member, Kenji Bellavigna introduced the light and gentle tone of the clarinet with Messager’s Solo de Councours, skillfully utilizing the clarinet’s tone to its full potential. Special guest, Alexandra Simpson, followed Kenji with Bach’s Prelude to the 3rd Suite on viola, impressing the audience with her sustained phrasing and rich sounds.

Providing a different cultural and musical setting to the concert, incoming club president, Cherry Yuan then performed Zi Li Li’s The Song of Fisherman’s Harvest, adeptly capturing China’s musical and cultural features in the songs as a virtuoso. Concluding the concert, Toki Migmatsu performed both the first and second movements of Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 101, providing an exceptional aesthetically pleasing balance between musicality and technicality.


The concert was followed by a lovely reception with food and beverages, courtesy of the parents. All the performers are beyond grateful for all the support we have received throughout the year, and we look forward to the concerts in store for 2013.


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Raphael House Charity Holiday Concert

Posted by Tyler Leswing on January 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On december 16th, I hosted a concert supporting the Raphael House, a non-profit charity organization. This organization was the first homeless shelter in SF that works w/families and children in which to "achieve stable housing and financial independence, while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity" (mission statement). I chose to support this cause because I am passionate about supporting homeless and poverty-stricken people. At first, it was difficult finding the right charity, as there are so many in need but I feel I have chosen a solid organization in the season of giving.


The evening was fantastic. Over 80 guest came to support. The food was delicious and the music was great. The program consisted of a fusion of classical and jazz music. The classical musicians were Kuni Migimatsu, Kenji Bellavigna, RJ Pearce, Gaby Berbey, and Toki Migimatsu. Amy Kwon started the set w/a hearty holiday song. The jazz musicians were Randy Plummer, Cory Broad, Jason Zucker, Aaron Kats. and myself, Tyler Leswing. I was honored to host this concert and to play amongst such talented, committed musicians.


We really appreciate and thank all the many donors, who gave generously to the Raphael House. At last count, we were at $3,490! I would also like to give special thanks to all the musicians that participated in this note worthy cause.


Thank you,


Tyler Leswing 

Vice President, Appassionato Music Group

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Music for Children at Stanford Children's Hospital

Posted by Joyce Kwon on November 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (334)

On October 28, 2012, Children in Need held a benefit concert at Tamalpais Methodist Church in Mill Valley. This concert was to raise money for the uncompensated children who receive dialysis treatment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.


The club’s musicians and helpers started to come to the church around 5 pm to rehearse and set up the reception table and food. There were a lot of energy and cooperation among the students despite the fact that they come from different high schools. At 6:30 pm, Joyce Kwon started the concert by giving an opening speech. Then Kuni took the piano seat and started his melodic interpretation of English Suites by Bach. Cherry also played a Bach’s Partita No.2 in D minor for violin with impeccable techniques and tone quality. Then, Cherry and Sandra together played a violin and piano duet, Sicilienne by Maria Theresia von Paradis. Following was Gabrielle’s melodious Bruch Concerto in G major. Matthew then played Beethoven Sonata Op.81 “Led Adieus” with his flawless musicality. A new club member, Nayvin, also a member of San Francisco Youth Orchestra, played a soulful violin piece by Bach with a beautiful tune. Then, a gifted piano player Sandra played Brahms Rhapsody in G minor, wonderfully and gracefully. Cherry, once again, took the stage and enchanted the audience with her Kreisler’s Recitativo & Scherzo. Katarina, a virtuoso pianist, then played Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieuses Op. 51 with energy and fire. The concert ended with San Domenico Virtuoso Chamber Group played by Niki, Elena, Matthea, and Joyce. The four-girls’ energetic playing of Brahms’ C minor Quartet and “Por una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel resonated within the church and ended the program on a high note.


By the end, the concert was able to raise $500. Proceed will be sent to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health designated to the children at the Dialysis Center. After visiting these children in September, we hope our efforts could help those children financially during the long treatment process while waiting for their kidney transplants.

Through this concert, Children in Need was not only able to raise money, but also able to reascertain the cooperation and the spirit among the club members. Each and every individual member is invaluable to Children in Need and the club is thankful to have such supportive and committed members working diligently for a better cause.



English Suite No.3 Prelude (BWV 808 by Bach……Kuni Migimatsu, piano

Partita No.2 in D minor (Allemanda and Corrente) by Bach……Cherry Yuen, violin

Sicilienne by Maria Thersia von Paradis……Cherry Yuen, violin/ Sandra Liu, piano

Concerto in G major (Vorspiel: Allegro Moderato) by Bruch)……Gabrielle Berbey, violin

Sonata Op.81 “Les Adieus” by Beethoven……Matthew Lee, piano

Sonata No.1 in G minor (Adagio) by Bach……Nayvin Chew, violin

Rhapsody in G minor by Brahms……Sandra Liu, piano

Recitativo & Scherzo by Kreisler……Cherry Yuen, violin

Variations Serieuses Op.54 by Mendelssohn……Katarina Lee, piano

Quartet No.1 in C minor Op.51 (IV. Allegrao) by Brahms and “Por una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel……Niki Fukada and Elena Kim, violins/ Matthea Rile-Schmidt, viola/ Joyce Kwon, cello



Announcement…..Joyce Kwon

Stagehands…….Peggy Cui, Nicole Chang

Front Desk/ Sales……Joanna Lu, Nicole Chang, Peggy Cui

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Resonance at Saint Mark's

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on August 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (28)

On May 11, 2012, Children in Need members who graduated from Saint Mark’s School held a concert and reception for the eSicabazini Girl’s Scholarship Program. Held at the Saint Mark’s gym, the concert had a very good turnout, ranging from alumni, to parents and teachers. With the help of Saint Mark’s Director of Special Programs, Jenny Getz, the concert is considered a big success. It brought in over $3,000 for the Girl’s Scholarship Program.


The concert started off with Gaby Berbey delivering a speech to provide information about the club, its cause, and the drive of the alumni to go back to their roots and help through their music. The first performer, Caitlin Gowdy, a graduate of 2008, played her wonderful interpretation of all five movements of Pablo de Saraste’s Carmen Fantasy. Saint Mark’s fourth graders Hunter Hulsebus and Jacob Hershman, were the special guests of the evening and performed their piano and violin pieces at very high levels. Matthew Speigel, class of 2010, then directed the theme of the performance from classical to jazz with F.W. Ferling’s Study in D Minor. This is Matthew’s last performance until he gets back from London where he will spend his third year in high school. After Matthew’s lively performance of the Study, Tyler Leswing, class of 2010, impressed the crowd with his very own unique composition entitled Shining Darkness. As usual, we enjoyed Tyler’s distinctive style and original work. Gaby Berbey, also class of 2010, took the stage with her passionate interpretation of the Bruch Violin Concerto’s 2nd movement. Everyone truly enjoyed her soulful performance. Following Gaby’s Bruch violin concerto was Toki Migimatsu, class of 2008, playing Liszt’s Transcendental Etude No.10. Again, he managed to amaze the crowd with his impeccable technical and musical talent. Hayaka Komatsu, class of 2009, concluded the performance with her beautiful rendition of Weiniawski’s Concerto No.2 in D minor Op. 22 3rd movement.


Having the alumni perform not only allowed the student musicians to reconnect with the Saint Mark’s community, but it also gave them a chance to be student models and to give back to the community which provided them with endless care and support throughout their middle school years.


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Performance at The Bocce Ball Tournament

Posted by Niki Fukada on May 6, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (41)

   On May 5, 2012, Children in Need performed at the Bocce Tournament at the Saint Vincent De Paul Conference in San Rafael to raise money for the needy families in Marin County. The performers; Caitlin Gowdy, Niki Fukada, Jacqueline Reese-Mikula, and Joyce Kwon  from San Domenico performed as a quartet under the bright sun of the afternoon. They were greeted by the smoldering smell of the freshly barbecued chicken, the lively crowd playing Bocce Ball, and friendly faces of the hard working fundraisers. At first, everything went well until the quartet had realized that there were no stands to place their music! With a hectic struggle, the quartet scrambled to do their best to assemble the stands and music needed to make the event happen. Finally after numerous phone calls, and back and forth texting everything came together and they were able to begin their performance.

   The performance kicked off with the quartet playing the arranged version of Por Una Cabeza (Tango) by Carlos Gardel in which they filled the event with an upbeat energetic spin. Next they assembled to play the Smetena String Quartet No. 1 in E minor however with the strong wind they were immediately faced with music flying everywhere. So with no other option, one of the girls opted a way of securing their flying music by breaking the ends of plastic forks and weaving it through their music to their folders. Next, the girls played the Prelude by Maurice Moszkowski and then moved on to playing the Carmen Fantasy by Pablo de Sarasate with Caitlin Gowdy playing the solo. Their performance ended with a replay of their tango and with the crowd roaring into applause of immense appreciation. The performers were able to experience a tight knit environment that came together to help those in need and the event emphasized the importance of helping out the people in the community and the importance of giving back.


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Performance for the Saint Mark's Board of Trustees for Chronicle Season of Sharing

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on December 31, 2011 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (354)

On December 16, 2011, Children In Need was invited to the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Leswing to perform for the Saint Mark’s Board of Trustees and the newly appointed headmaster of Saint Mark’s School, Mr. Joe Harvey. Four Saint Mark’s graduates namely, Toki Migimatsu, Matthew Spiegel, Tyler Leswing and Gaby Berbey joined by their special guest, RJ Pearce, represented the club for the evening. Gaby acknowledged the presence of another Saint Mark’s graduate and the founder of Children In Need, Caitlin Gowdy. The private concert began with Tyler Leswing playing the piano. Following Tyler was Matthew, who, despite the fact he hadn’t touched his saxophone for four months, played with immense musicality and poise. The sound of his saxophone filled every room in the house with its rich and grand sound. RJ Pearce then performed Chopin Nocturne in C Minor Op 48 No. 1 with such grace and smooth texture. The people in the audience couldn’t help smiling at his outstanding musicality throughout the piece. RJ and Gaby Berbey then performed the Brahms’ Sonatensatz. Its fast-paced, yet rich tone had the audience totally captivated. To further reach out to the audience, Toki Migimatsu performed Transcendental Etude No 10 in F Minor by Franz Liszt. His perfect balance of technicality and musicality left the audience stunned, and made him the star performer of the night. The concert was then concluded by Tyler Leswing playing one of his own compositions entitled Australia. Its sweet and relaxing theme was a perfect way to end the concert.


During the night, Gaby Berbey, raised awareness of the need to help the destitute Bay Area families and children by encouraging the guests to donate to Chronicle Season of Sharing. The group was able to raise $331 for this worthwhile cause.


This performance was a unique experience for all the performers, as it emphasized the importance of giving back to the immediate community. Performing for the Saint Mark’s board and the new headmaster, Joe Harvey, reminded the members not to forget about the school that helped them grow and flourish for nine years. The performance also helped the immediate community by funding bay area food banks and needy families, a different approach to the usual overseas donations. 


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Villa Capri Performance for Chronicle Season of Sharing

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on December 31, 2011 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (147)

On December 2, 2011, Children in Need held a concert at Villa Capri in Santa Rosa. The event was sponsored by Cioppino’s restaurant in San Francisco which donated $3,000 to Chronicle Season of Sharing in honor of the club. The extensive program included six pieces and had a diverse range of music and instruments. The program started with Matthew Lee performing a wonderful Toccato from Partita No.6 in E Minor by J.S. Bach. Gaby Berbey followed with the upbeat and playful Violin Concerto in E Minor, by Felix Mendelssohn. To direct the tone of the concert to a more serious one was Kuni Migimatsu, playing Sonata N.2, Op. 14 by Sergei Prokofiev. Following Kuni’s performance was Lianne Pearce, who did a beautiful rendition of the Concerto in E Minor, Allegro Moderato by Pietro Nardini. RJ Pearce then performed his amazing solo, Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No.1 by Frederic Chopin. To conclude the classical portion of the evening were Gaby and RJ performing Sonatensatz byJohannes Brahms. The mood of the concert then shifted to a more relaxed pace with Cory performing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Ralph Bland, putting all of the residents in a cheerful holiday mood. Ending the benefit concert was talented Tyler Leswing playing one of his own compositions, entitled Australia.


The club members left the venue with a light and festive feeling of being able to spread holiday cheers to the residents of Villa Capri.


This was the third time Children in Need performed at Villa Capri, and it truly touched the hearts of everyone in the club to see all the residents still so enthusiastic about the club. The members greatly enjoyed performing at Villa Capri, as they always feel welcome and the audience always makes performing a memorable experience due to their appreciating for the music itself.


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ABS-CBN Performance

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on December 31, 2011 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (23)

On December 21, 2011, Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey represented Children in Need where she performed at ABS-CBN Foundation’s 3rd Sagip Kapamilya Sa America Graduation Ceremony. ABS-CBN Foundation is the philanthropic arm of ABS CBN International, the largest media company in the Philippines. Gaby was invited to perform at the graduation ceremony of the Filipino nurse scholars who went to the American College of Nursing sponsored by the foundation. During the ceremony, a minute of silence was observed to remember the hundreds of lives lost in the Typhoon Sendong tragedy. Gaby dedicated her performance to the Filipinos who are affected by this calamity. She played Jules Massenet's Meditation from Thais and John William's Schindler’s List. Following her performance, she was interviewed by an ABS-CBN reporter where she spoke about her role in the club, as well as its purpose. She also mentioned the importance of keeping her ties with the Filipinos here and in the Philippines.


Before her performance, Gaby wrote to some prospective donors and asked for donations for the Sendong victims. She was able to raise more than $2,000 for this cause. The donations will go a long way in helping those who desperately need assistance in the affected areas in the Philippines.


This performance was a very personal experience for Gaby, as it brought her closer to her Filipino roots, and meant a lot for her to donate to the Filipino victims. She cares deeply about the country, as well as its people, making the performance much more meaningful than standard recitals. In 2009, Gaby visited the Philippines, immediately falling in love with the country, and she viewed this performance as a way to give back to the people that brought her so much joy during her visit.


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Christmas Party Concert for Chronicle Season of Sharing.

Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on December 31, 2011 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On the evening of December 17, 2011, two representatives from Children in Need, RJ Pearce and Gaby Berbey performed at a private holiday party hosted Mr. and Mrs. David Butze. The performance started with Gaby performing Jules Massenet’s Meditation from Thais, accompanied by RJ. The calm, yet heart-warming piece was a perfect way to start the program. She was followed by RJ playing the Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No.1 by Frederic Chopin. The technicality and musicality required to play the piece completely captivated the audience. To end the performance, Gaby and RJ played the Sonatensatz by Brahms. This lively and fast-paced piece, along with the balance between the violin and piano left the audience greatly satisfied with the performance.


In lieu of getting paid, RJ and Gaby, asked the hosts to donate to Chronicle Season of Sharing during the holiday season.


This performance brought RJ and Gaby much closer to the Branson community. Their goals going into the performance were to raise awareness about Children in Need, receive donations for Chronicle Season of Sharing, and provide quality music for the audience. By the end of the night, all of their goals were successfully accomplished. Not only did they receive several generous donations, and also spark the interest of many Branson families towards Children in Need, but also left the audience genuinely impressed with all the performances.

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