Monthly Updates


We are partnering with Ombudsman Services, Creating New Hope, and East Bay Community Energy to help a variety of facilities. This Friday, we will volunteer at this incredible event, distributing our PPE to the Alameda County.

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Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Chloe Jeon (11th Amador Valley High School)

Practicing my song for this concert wasn’t easy. Right when I thought I had gotten it down, my fingers would slip and hit the wrong note, or sometimes, even if I got everything right, something just felt.. off. I told myself, “Just enjoy the music. Just feel it. You’ll do fine.” But there was something inside me that was saying, “You have to finish this today. Quick. Get it right. No mistakes.” And that was stressful. When I tried to make it musical and beautiful, I messed up the notes. When I tried to play the notes correctly, it ceased to be music. And sometimes, both would go wrong. In the end, I just couldn’t play it to my satisfaction. However, knowing that the hard work would help us to acquire a few more masks and help a few more people encouraged me to keep going.

Practicing for concerts … making masks … packaging PPE … it wasn’t easy. However, the gratitude we receive each time we donate PPE is more than enough reward for the effort we put in to acquire funds and donations. I loved watching how the recipients’ faces lit up with joy and excitement as they explained how important the PPE meant to them. In particular, donating to SEBPMG, my pediatrics clinic, rang especially close to my heart. Reading their handwritten thank you card, signed by the various pediatricians, sincerely warmed my heart, and I look forward to continuing to donate to those in need.

Andrew Choi (11th, Amador Valley High School):

From the continuance of COVID 19, we have also created a virtual concert for May. I feel that as we continue to become more accustomed to less traditional methods of interacting with our community without in person contact, the process becomes easier. This month, I felt that recording and editing our virtual concert went smoother than previously because it was less foreign to us. Furthermore, we donated PPEs to 4 different organizations and, from the genuine gratitude they expressed, it was easy to see that our donations were truly making a difference in our community. The staff were always very appreciative and I hope that we can deliver to more organizations and centers that need PPEs. Knowing that our donations were impacting peoples' lives makes me feel proud of the work that we put into our virtual concerts and making/packing our PPEs because I know that people who really need them are going to be receiving them. Hopefully in the future, we can find more organizations to donate to and continue our work to make a positive impact in our community.

Ella Jeon (7th, Pleasanton Middle School):

As our second virtual concert, I personally felt it was slightly easier than last month, since we already had some experience and knew what to do for the most part. Similarly to April, we packaged items, sewed more masks, and delivered our donations. This month, we delivered protective equipment to 4 organizations. It was great to talk with the staff and it made me feel helpful and glad when they expressed their appreciation for our deliveries. My favorite part was hearing that our work would be put to good use and that it truly would ease the struggles of others. The recording process for the virtual concert was familiar, although it still took time. I feel that since it is a recording, you have many chances to listen to it, re-record it, and hear mistakes, so it naturally makes you feel pickier. As a result, it takes quite a bit of time to record and get it to sound just right. This is probably what makes it most difficult in my opinion. However, it was still fun to play and practice the songs, knowing that our music would ultimately support others. Again, I hope COVID-19 and quarantine will end soon, while still looking forward to more ideas for virtual concerts in the future.

Erin Yang (10th, Mission San Jose High School):

I realize now that recording pieces can be quite frustrating, and sometimes you just need a little break to get it right, rather than playing repeatedly without stop. I had performed this song a while ago and I kept messing up while recording, which was a bit disheartening. However, after a quick rest to pull myself together, I was able to play through with few mistakes and although it was a little slower than I had wanted, I was satisfied with it. With the donations from our wonderful virtual audience, we were able to get more equipment to make masks, face shields, etc. I really enjoyed packaging and making the PPE, but seeing grateful people during the actual donations felt even better. I had a lot of fun with my friends packing supplies together and when we tried to pack equipment as quickly and efficiently as possible, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride. I especially liked going to East Bay Pediatrics because I’ve gone there for so long and it’s cool to donate to doctors that I personally know and who’ve treated me themselves. I actually just asked my doctor when I was recently there for a physical if they were interested and she seemed very excited about it. So we got that done pretty easily! It feels good to give back to them especially when they’ve been working extra hard and need more PPE to stay safe and keep us all healthy.

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Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Andrew Choi (11th grade, Amador Valley High School)

As unfortunate as the circumstances were, our April virtual concert was a fun way around in-person concerts. Because we recorded instead of performed, there was less stress on the performing aspect that in-person concerts have. Although performing in front of a live audience is always much more personal than having a recording in a video, I think the virtual concert worked well enough to still have a similar impact of spreading our music making and our hard work. I think putting together the virtual concert, especially during COVID 19, was a fun way to interact while also creating something for our community.

Chloe Jeon (11th Amador Valley High School)

Although COVID-19 clearly posed many challenges, I also see it as an opportunity to open our eyes to try something new. A problem arose; we found a solution. We can’t do in-person concerts; we switched to doing virtual concerts. Of course, that in turn produced more problems, but we solved them one by one to produce a finished piece: our very own virtual concert, uploaded to YouTube for the first time. And in the end, all our hard work paid off. Having seen how much viewers enjoyed our first performance, we are now motivated to continue giving what we can to our community.

Erin Yang (10th grade, Mission San Jose High School)

In all my time playing the piano, a virtual concert like this was definitely a first. It was actually quite a pleasant experience to record the piece at home because I wasn’t as nervous and had the luxury of being able to try again if necessary. As the great Vladimir Horowitz once said, “If you want me to play only the notes without any specific dynamics, I will never make one mistake. Never be afraid to dare.” I definitely focused a lot on implementing rubato into the song and trying to achieve greater variation in my dynamics, and I think those did help

my piece. This is a fun way to interact with my friends a bit even during quarantine, and it's even better that it’s all for a good cause! All in all, I’m very satisfied that our concert, albeit virtual, could have a direct impact towards raising money for PPE.

Ella Jeon (7th grade, Pleasanton Middle School)

Dealing with COVID-19, it was interesting to find methods to work with the struggles of quarantine, and put together a virtual concert. The preparation for the video was definitely long and not easy, but it turned out better than I’d expected. On the other hand, the safely-distanced packaging session was easier, as we worked on wrapping the items that would be delivered as donations to those in need of such protective equipment. While I look forward to next month’s video, I still hope the COVID-19 situation will improve soon to the point where the shelter-in-place order is lifted.

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