|Posted by Caitlin on August 14, 2017 at 12:55 PM||comments (1334)|
When I was invited by my sponsor from the Lin Yaoji Music Foundation, Mrs. Jessica Hong, to perform at the graduation ceremony held at the HHCKLA Buddhist Chan Shi Wan Primary School in Hong Kong (香港香海正覺蓮社佛教陳世宏學校;), I was excited, but at the same time also felt a bit unease. I was excited because I could take part in celebrating such an important event in these children’s young lives. It reminded me of my own high school graduation ceremony at San Domenico School located in California. It was the most special and unforgettable moment in my life, when all the graduates dressed in white gowns gathering together and cheering the important milestones in our lives. However, I also felt a bit uneasy because of my religious background. I am a Christian and I did not know what to expect by attending an event at a Buddhist school. Additionally, I felt unsure about the pieces I planned to perform, as they were composed by Bach. Bach was a devoted Christian and most his pieces were written for God. Would there be a conflict? That was my initial concern.
However, the moment I arrived at the school on July 14, 2017, my uneasiness started to slip away quickly. It was drizzling that morning, and the moment we got off the car, we were greeted by the headmistress Ms. Tze Hang Fong along with some other faculty members holding umbrellas to keep us from the rain. I was touched by their hospitality and kindness. When I entered the building, a giant Buddha painting on the center of the wall caught my eyes. It was surrounded by candles and flowers. The atmosphere was peaceful and quite. This reminded me of San Domenico school’s campus where chapels with Mother Mary Statues could be seen easily.
While waiting for the ceremony to start, I had a chance to meet with the Supervisor, Rev. Sik Ku Tay and shared with him my concern about being a Christian. I asked him if it was appropriate to play pieces composed by Bach at the event. He told me that the majority of the students attending this school do not have faiths in Buddhism. It was absolutely okay to play something inspiring for the students on their gradation day. In our conversation, I realized that Rev. Sik Ku Tay was born and raised in a Christian family. It was in his teens that he got to know Buddhism and eventually decided to follow his belief and joined the HHCKLA, which is a registered charity organization in Hong Kong. He seems to be very wise, knowing the main principals of both religions and understanding the common values of the two religions.
At 10:30 am, the ceremony began. I was seated in the first row, along with Ms. Hong and other faculty members. Because my performance was the last item on the program, to conclude the ceremony, I sat through the whole process: the award ceremony, reflections, and gift presenting. The unicycle riding show performed by the students was the most splendid part of the ceremony. Skillful and agile, they changed from one pattern to another by holding each other’s hands with precise skills and artistic formation which demonstrated a well collaborated team effort.
When my turn came, I introduced myself as well as the pieces I was going to play. The first piece was a slow Largo from the C Major Violin Sonata, BWV 1005. At the beginning, I sensed lots of movements and whispers; the room was stirred up by the previous sport show and the young audience have not yet calmed down from the excitement. After I played few lines, they seemed to get into the peaceful world that Bach created. Because of the two pieces are actually two consecutive sections from the C Major Sonata, I did not give a confident ending gesture before I ended the Largo, the audience got my intention and did not interrupt with the inopportune applause. Followed, I started the rapid Allegro Assai. Going through all the patterns and musical structural points of the piece, the image of the unicycle riding show recurred in my mind. Packed with concise and yet creative designs of the structure along with artistic and beautiful imagination, I realized both music and sports had something in common. After my strong ending, they all gave me very warm applauses, and I also smiled at them to show my gratitude to this unusual opportunity they provided.
Maybe it was fate that I was invited to perform at this school. At first, my personal bias might play a part in being hesitant to accept this invitation. However, once I got to know the school, headmaster and students, I realized actually both religions share some common grounds that is to teach people to be kind and loving to other people regardless their backgrounds. The followers from the two systems are mostly humble and caring. I was touched by the power of the two religions and witnessed how two different religions could produce similar "fruits". That is to make the world better and amiable. This performing opportunity made me open my mind and see the world from a different angle. It was definitely an important lesson I have learned in my life.
|Posted by Aurora Schünemann on September 11, 2015 at 10:30 AM||comments (189)|
On May 19, 2015 Children in Need Club had our annual concert. It was held on a Tuesday evening and we were thrilled to see a fairly large turnout, almost 50 people. The goal of the concert was to raise money for our upcoming Stanford Trip. A very talented graduate of San Domenico and former president of the club, Chener Yuan, returned as the star of our concert. She played multiple pieces including a Mozart sonata as well as works by Elgar, Bach, and Li. We featured a quartet playing Mozart consisting of Mirah Ray, Linda Li, Sophie Ahn, and Aurora Schünemann. Linda and Mirah also played solo works. Additionally, Chili Ekman played some solo repertoire. The concert was a great success and Children in Need is happy to announce that we reached our fundraising goal!
|Posted by Linda Li on April 19, 2014 at 3:45 AM||comments (262)|
On April 14, 2014, Cherry Yuan and I went to the Stanford Children's Hospital to perform for children on dialysis machines. It was one child's birthday, so we opened by playing Happy Birthday . Before playing our prepared pieces, we gave the children a short introduction about the pieces and the composers. We then played several short, lively duet pieces written by I.J.Pleyel. After that Cherry played three solo pieces: Love's Greeting by E. Elgar, Meditation by Jules Massenet and part of La Ronde des Lutins (The Round of Golins) by A. Bazzini. Our little audience members seemed to enjoy the music very much. There was one little girl who was sitting up in her bed and staring bright eyed at us through to the end of the performance. We hope that our music brought them happiness, hope and energy.
|Posted by Linda Li on April 19, 2014 at 3:30 AM||comments (181)|
On April 13, 2014, Cherry Yuan and I went to perform at the SF Tower. First, we introduced ourselves to the audience and gave a short introduction about the pieces that we were able to perform. Cherry and I then opened with some short, lively duet pices written by a composer who was born during the Baroque Music time period. After that, Cherry played two short solo pieces: Love's Greeting by British composer Edward Elgar, and Meditation by French composer Jules Massenet. These two pieces are very sweet and gentle. The listeners seemed to enjoy the music a lot. We were glad that our music was able to bring happiness and joy to the people of San Francisco.
|Posted by Linda Li on February 21, 2014 at 12:30 AM||comments (283)|
On Feb. 16, 2014, Jo Griffin and I took the Bart and met with Gaby Berbey to perform at SF Towers. This was our first time performing there. At first, three of us introduced ourselves to the audience. Then Gaby started playing a solo piece by Kreisler. Her dramatic and emotional performance gave a good start to the program. After Gaby, I played a piece, Allemanda, by Bach. Followed me, Jo also played a solo piece, Gavotte en Rondeau, by Bach. Then Jo and I performed several duet pieces by I.J.Pleyel. These pieces are lively with familiar tunes. The residents seemed to enjoy them a lot. We were happy to be able to entertain them with our music.
|Posted by Cherry Yuan on January 22, 2014 at 8:20 PM||comments (5)|
On January 19th, 2014, Irene Jeong and I performed at SF Towers. I started the program by playing Bach’s Sicilian and Presto in g minor. Then Irene gave a short introduction to Haydn Cello concerto 1st movement, which she was going to perform. Her sensitivity and musicality were expressed in her playing beautifully. After Irene, I played a technically difficult piece named Caprice No. 2 by Paganini. At the end, Irene and I performed the first movement of Ghost Trio by Beethoven. Without the pianist, we transformed Tiro to Duet but it still turned out nicely. Though the program was short, we were glad to be at SF Towers and performed for the audience who seem to come to our performance every month. We wish them well and will come back again next month with different repertoire.
|Posted by MIRAH RAY on December 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM||comments (1)|
For families out there, kids are fortunate to go home for the holidays and enjoy. On December 23, 2013, the members of the CIN wanted to bring a special gift for those who were on dialysis at the Stanford Children's Hospital. We had wonderful members playing solos and trio work: Cherry Yuan as Solo violin and 1st violin, Mirah Ray as second violin, and Sophie Philips on cello. We started with Cherry playing wonderful solo Christmas tunes Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Next, we had our trio music:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring-Bach
Divertimenti from London Trio- Haydn
Hungarian Dance #5- Brahms
Por Una Cabeza (Tango)- Williams
Moon River- Mancini
Finally to conclude our performance, Cherry Yuan played Ave Maria and Silent Night. For these kids, we wanted to send the Christmas spirit of music for the holidays and with the members' spirited energy, they were successful!
|Posted by Cherry Yuan on December 24, 2013 at 7:15 PM||comments (204)|
On Dec. 22, 2013, Children in Need members, Cherry Yuan, Mirah Ray and Sophie Phillips spent early Christmas with residents at SF Towers by performing holiday songs and classical music. Cherry started the program by playing Ave Maria by Shubert. Then, three of the members, Cherry (1st violin), Mirah (2nd violin) and Sophie (cello) played a slew of trio pieces:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Badinerie by Bach
Humoresque by Dvorak
London trio by Haydn
Hungarian Dance #5 by Brahms
Edelweiss by Rodgers
Por Una Cabeza by Williams
Moon River by Mancini
“All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera by Webber
With high energy and beautiful musicality, CIN members gave a wonderful performance which was well liked by the residents. We were glad that the residents had a taste of early holiday joy from our music.
|Posted by Cherry Yuan on November 26, 2013 at 12:30 AM||comments (1)|
On November 24, 2013, Club President, Cherry Yuan and guest performer Irene Jeong performed at SF Towers. This concert was dedicated to the typhoon victims in the Philippines as the club’s first fundraising effort for this cause.
Both Cherry and Irene are students of San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division. Irene started the program by performing Après un Rêve by Gabriel Fauré and The Swan by Saint-Saens. Before each of her performance, she gave some background information on the composers and pieces. Her matured and artistic performances had warmed the audience. Then Cherry played Fuga in g minor by Bach. Her flawless playing made the difficult piece sound pretty and fascinating. After Cherry, Irene played a piece by Astor Piazzolla called Le Grand Tango which had a different flavor from the rest of the program. Cherry concluded the program by playing a touching and enchanting piece called Estrellita by Manuel Ponce. The audience was greatly captivated by Cherry’s beautiful music.
|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (202)|
I was greeted right away by a lady who asked if I was Tyler. The audience was all sitting and anticipating the performer. I stepped "on stage" and gave an introduction to the Children in Need (CIN) club. After playing at many of these homes, I made sure to speak loudly and clearly so that the seniors could hear me (as their hearing is not always so good). After I played a few compositions, a woman in the back raised her hand and began asking me several questions about myself. She seemed very interested in my background as a musician; I could tell she really wanted to get in my mind and see how I wrote music. I have to remember what comes easy for some may be a mystery for others. In this case, as was the case this whole week, my audience was most fascinated with how I compose. The is no one secret I have with writing music, I get inspiration from all different areas, and sometimes the music just comes and I cant explain why. It's a beautiful mystery that I love to embrace.