To organize charity concerts to enable classical musicians to collectively advocate for meaningful causes
Be the platform that establishes community service as an integral and rewarding aspect of a musician's career
Originally a local charity concert series in Buffalo, NY that started in 2015, we have developed into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with centers in Houston, TX and Buffalo, NY. Our roster consists of over 200 musicians hail from 15 different countries and 4 continents. We welcome all sorts of musicians to participate in our charity concerts, including prizewinning string quartets from the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, engineers from Tesla, and beginning students who need opportunities to explore their budding passion. Together, we have raised thousands of dollars for important causes, such as COVID-19 relief, food insecurity, and racial justice. Our next goal is to make a tangible impact through our music by interacting more directly with our target population via music outreach programs in addition to our charity concerts.
Our platform exists for musicians to explore new and unconventional ways for them to use their craft to better their community. We organize our charity concerts so musicians have full agency over every step of the process. First, the musicians in each center vote on a cause they would like to support for the yearly season (August-May). Accordingly, we partner with a relevant organization and generate our music outreach project in a community-based participatory approach. Then, at charity concerts, the musicians choose their own repertoire. This contrasts to typical gigs where musicians are often assigned pieces. Therefore, our charity concerts let musicians play the music they love while supporting causes that actually mean something to them. Ultimately, we hope these experiences help our musicians realize how they can advance their career trajectories towards increased happiness and stability.
Our goals this year include developing a stable budget to pay our musicians, raising money to run our new and improved scholarship competition again, and building our reputation as the platform that organizes charity concert performances for classical musicians across the globe.
MEET THE TEAM
Chief Executive Officer
Pianist Jarod Yap is a Master's student at The Juilliard School studying Collaborative Piano with Dr. Lydia Brown. Previously a Rice-UT Public Health Scholar, he has a MPH in Health Promotion and Education and a BM in Piano Performance where he studied with Professor Jeanne Kierman Fischer.
JI HOON CHOI
Jihoon Choi is a student at Southern Methodist University double majoring in Bachelor of Arts in Music (Piano) and Bachelor of Business Administration Management. He has been playing the piano since he was 7 years old and was born in South Korea, although he lived in the Philippines for most of his life.
David Danjul is an audit associate at PwC. He graduated from the Jones School of Business with a Master's of Accounting in 2021 and from The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University with a Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance in 2020.
Jodi Liu began her passion for music at a young age. She can play piano, violin, guitar, ukulele and electric bass, using them to serve in school and in the community. Aside from music, Jodi is interested in artificial intelligence and hopes to integrate music and technology for future opportunities.
Social Media Coordinator
Danielle Guo studies at Williamsville East High School. She is currently the Class of 2024 President, Asian Culture Club Co-President, and Symphonic Orchestra Vice President at East. In her free time, she enjoys playing cello and tennis.
Connie Yap is a Presidential Scholar at the University at Buffalo Honors College. She majors in Child & Family Studies and loves working with children at Buffalo String Works and SABAH. Connie also teaches piano and serves as a respite worker.
Violinist Samantha Choo is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music. She currently resides in the Dallas area where she works in marketing analytics and performs with several local symphonies. In her free time, Samantha enjoys hiking, photography, and crocheting.
Media Communications Chair
William Oh studies at Canisius High School, where he is a member of the varsity rowing team. He enjoys playing music and has been playing the cello since he was 4 years old. In addition to the cello, he enjoys playing the piano. William has been a member of several orchestras, including GBYO and NYSSMA ensembles.
Brianna Poon studies at Coppell High School in Coppell, TX. Growing up in a musical family, she began playing the piano and violin when she was 4. Her mom, a piano teacher, always inspires her.
Sean Chan-Lam is studying medicine at UCD in Dublin, Ireland where he is a member of the medical society and volunteers at events. He performed at Carnegie Hall for the Tri-State Certificate of Excellence Recital as a result of his top scores in conservatory examinations.
Rachel Yap is a student at the University of California, Davis studying Psychology and Design with a concentration in Interactive Design. She is currently an associate at Design Interactive and where she conducts interdisciplinary research and uses human-centered design to create positive change.
Hannah Haberstroh studies at Independence High School in California. She has always had a passion for music and started playing the violin at the age of seven. She also learned a few other instruments over the years, such as flute, piano, ukulele, and guitar, and she is a part of the Nova Vista Symphony in the Bay Area.
Xu Peng started playing piano at the age of four. In 2008, he entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he studied with Prof. Zhang Zhiwei. He received his BM in piano performance with a minor in French Studies from Rice University. He is currently pursuing a MM at the same school under Prof. Jon Kimura Parker.
Mary Handley is a respected pedagogue and pianist, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Symphony, and San Francisco State Orchestra, and in numerous solo, collaborative, and chamber music recitals in the United States and Canada.
JEANNE K. FISCHER
Jeanne Kierman Fischer, Artist Teacher of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, specializes in contemporary American piano music and has presented solo recitals in Africa and North America.
Bovey Lee is a Hong Kong born, Los Angeles based visual artist known for her highly intricate cut paper works. Prior to her professional art career, Lee was an art professor for nearly a decade. As an artist, she regularly gives artist talks and conducts workshops at educational institutions.