|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Upon arriving, I was directed to head upstairs and begin setting up for my audience. I adjusted the tables and chairs with some of the maintenance workers. As my audience is very important to me, I was happy to arrange some furniture. Unfortunately, when I started to warm up on the piano, I could tell it was partially out of tune and the pedal didn't work too well. I would just have to make due with what I had. After my first song, I received a large applause and accepted it graciously. The audience didn't have too many questions for me like the other homes I've played at, but I could tell they were enjoying my music from their smiles and engaged demeanor. After the show, the audience gave me more comments and questions, and I enjoyed interacting with them. I left the home feeling gratified, feeling I had made an impact on these seniors lives.
|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (3)|
Around 20 people were present, just like the last homes I've played at. This residence hall had a little lapdog that walked around and it was a very charming addition. It was an after dinner performance and I can tell they were ready for me. By that time, I was comfortable with my 5-6 pc repertoire and I made time for personal exchanges between songs with my audience which I know they enjoyed as much as hearing me play. About 1/2 hr into the performance, I saw a women off to a corner tapping one finger on the table as I played. After I finished the piece I was on, she asked me to play a jazz piece, which i was happy to do. I played "Take the A Train." At that point, she started to get really into the music and started tapping again. I felt great to bring the music to her. I walked out, feeling great about my audience, the tapping of enjoyment that my performance gave her and couldn't believe how fast the 45 min went by.
|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (156)|
There were around 20 residencies at this assisted living center, and they were very lively and warm, just like Acacia Assisted Living. After I played my first composition, the seniors seemed very pulled back, with large smiles on their faces. They started asking me several questions about me and my associate, my mother - who they were very pleased to know. They were happy to learn about children-in-need club and asked a lot of questions. I found it very easy to play for them as they seemed very engaged and curious about me and my music. A defining moment in the show was when one woman commented that my music has eased the pain in her back. Moments like those really make me proud to be a musician. The moment definitely made me think of my audience more and less about myself and my own insecurities. The experience as a whole was enjoyable and helped me learn to play better for the sake of others.
|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (142)|
There were about 20+ residencies present and waiting. Acacia is a warm and friendly place. It is not a stately or quiet Assisted Living Home as some of the others I've played at in NorCal; the seniors were definitely more vocal and energetic and wanted to engage with me. I found it a joy to play there as they seemed genuinely interested in my music and wanted to speak to me. They took a real interest in what I composed, and asked me many questions about my background as a musician and what I wanted to pursue in the future. We interacted between songs and the seniors gave me their comments and questions. After the show, I talked to several of the seniors and received a lot of feedback. One man said that one of my pieces should be part of a soundtrack to a movie and I was very flattered. Another woman said that I should name one of my untitled pieces after Acacia. There was a lot of great and interesting feedback. Overall, it was a very nice and pleasant experience that I hope everyone enjoyed. The residencies seemed very appreciative of the music. Some wanted to shake my hand at the end and it was a great honor. I was invited to come me back (: I realize how fortunate I was to be able to perform solo for 45 min to such a receptive audience.
|Posted by Tyler Leswing on November 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (210)|
My first solo performance at a neighboring cafe to school, on behalf of Children In Need. The proprietress was kind enough to allow me to play for donation for my Children In Need Club (CIN). Not having done a solo for CIN, I was a bit soft initially and then warmed up after my 2nd song. I realized that after I am warmed up, my playing got progressively louder. As I got more excited and more at home on the piano, I started to significantly increase my volume. This ramp up of volume however was not well received and I was asked to bring the volume down. I realized my audience was here to have their own private conversation and that I was to be the background rather than the main conversation. Swallowing my pride, I switched gears and played softly, more soothing and less dramatic music. One man who didn't seem to be enjoying his conversation at his table very much was looking over and smiling at me a lot, and later gave me a tip (the only person who did). At the end of show, I received a free meal and was thinking a lot about my performance. Even though it only seemed like I truly made an impact on one person with my music, I still had made a difference and I couldn't be happier.
|Posted by Cherry Yuan on October 15, 2013 at 2:50 AM||comments (153)|
On October 13, 2013, club members performed at SF Towers for the 5th time. This time we added new blood to the performance and they were Shinda Huang and Henry Smolen. Both Shinda and Henry are pianists. Shinda is 6th grade while Henry is 10th grade. The program started with Cherry’s violin playing of Bach in G minor. Her superb performance attracted many people’s attention and came to listen by the door. Then Shinda played Pour Elise by Beethoven which lured the audience to hum along with his playing. Cherry’s playing of Mediation by Jules Massenet and Melody by Jacqueline kept the audience mesmerized in the beautiful melodies. Shinda played a piano piece by Bach which was short and sweet. Then the highlight went to Henry’s piano playing of Beethoven’s "Appassionata", 3rd movement. After his performance, he received many applauses. The program ended with Cherry’s playing of Sarasate’s Zigeunerweise with Henry’s accompaniment. Their passionate performance won many bravos and praises from the audience. While people were reluctant to leave, we promised them we will be back next month.
|Posted by Caitlin on September 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM||comments (97)|
On September 7th, 2013, we concluded the Celebration of Hope tour in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Webster’s House in Palo Alto, California. The day before, club member Ethan Tsai performed at two retirement centers in the south bay with the New Hope orphans. When we arrived to the Webster’s House, the place was nicely set up. We ran our normal repertoire, after which the dancers received a huge applause. Matt interviewed multiple dancers during the performance. Most of the children interviewed wanted to be doctors in the future, since the healthcare system is extremely poor in Cambodia, so they want to help. The audience was intrigued by their stories, and even by their hairstyles.
After the performance, club members Cherry and Caitlin had to say goodbye forever to these lovely children. It was hard because they had formed a real friendship among them. They exchanged email addresses so they can keep in touch in the future. Hopefully, Children in Need members can perform in Cambodia and meet them again.
|Posted by Caitlin on September 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
On September 5, Children in Need hosted another concert on the Celebration of Hope tour, this time at SF Towers. When we arrived, all the residents were already prepared for the performance. To begin the performance, club co-founder Caitlin Gowdy held a short talk about Children in Need and its connection to SEAPC and the Cambodian orphans. The dance group performed its three cultural Cambodian dances as well as one of their hip-hop dances. In between each of the cultural dances, club president Cherry Yuan played a piece for the audience. In total she played Salut d’Amour by Elgar, Gavotte en Rondeau, Gigue, in E major by Bach, and The Song of the Fisherman’s Harvest by Zi Li Li. During the performance, Matt also interviewed one of the Cambodian children, Deborah, asking what she hoped to be in the future. She replied she wanted to be a traveler, but it seems she is already on her way as she has spent 6 weeks in America on this tour, visiting Washington D.C., Florida, Pittsburg, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
After the performances, the children walked up to the audience and gave the residents hugs, and practiced their English with them. The dancers also bonded with Children in Need members Caitlin and Cherry. They called the two teenagers sister, asked them countless questions, and took turns hugging them. It was hard to say goodbye to the smiling faces, but the dancers were tired and hungry after days of performing. We had no choice but to break the party and say goodbye to each other.
|Posted by Caitlin on September 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM||comments (276)|
On September 3rd, Children in Need and the New Hope for Orphans dance group held their first concert in the Celebration of Hope tour around the Bay Area. The performance took place at St. Paul’s Towers in Oakland. The concert was a huge success, with 80-90 people attending. That day, dance group had traveled 8 hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and arrived at the place around 5 pm.
At 7:00 pm, the room was all full. When the dancers started performing their first traditional Cambodian dance, the beautiful costumes, beautiful dance formation and beautiful Cambodian music were well received by the audience. The second dance was called the Coconut Dance, after which Children in Need’s president, Cherry Yuan, was introduced by Matt Geppert and performed Gavotte en Rondeau, Gigue in E major by Bach as our tribute to this dance tour. After the third traditional dance, the audience was shown a video clip about the testimony of Pastor Sinai Phouek who grew up in the border of Cambodia and Thailand, a place full of land mines and poverty. Because 11% of Cambodia’s population are orphans, Pastor Sinai decided to begin an orphanage, starting with just 5 children, but has now grown to supporting 350 children.
After the video clip, the dance group performed 3 modern songs. Between each dance, the founder of SEAPC, Mark Geppert, interviewed some of the dancers and asked them about their dreams for their futures. One wants to be a future governor and another wants to be a medical doctor. At the end of the last performance, dancers gave hugs to the audience. Their shyness and natural manners drew a lot interest and curiosity from the audience. Some of them were asked for their autographs. Numerous audience members even asked how they could help these children. This was a great night with lots of energy and support.
On the next day, September 4th, I met with the dance group at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. We were honored to be chaperoned by people who work at Google. First we had breakfast at their cafeteria, then we toured the compound. After that, we all sat down and chatted with our speaker about what Google does around the world. It was a very special experience, and we would like to thank Google for giving us this wonderful opportunity.
|Posted by Cherry Yuan on August 29, 2013 at 2:25 AM||comments (20)|
On August 25, 2013, I went back to perform at SF Towers again. This time I started pieces from Salut d’Amour by Elgar, Violin Concerto 3rd Movement by Mendelssohn, Schindler’s List by John Williams, No 2 Partita in d minor by Bach and ended the performance with Song of Spring by Mendelssohn. I wanted to entertain the seniors with pieces from different periods and styles. They seemed to enjoy my performance because every time I finished a piece, they gave me warm applause. All of them were on wheelchairs with nurses by them. They could barely move their bodies so giving me applause meant a lot to me. I wish my music could bring happiness and fond memories to them. Before I left, they were asking when I would come back already. It was a short but sweet performance. It is always good that I could connect with them with my music.