Music Collaboration for a Cause

A collaboration among international school music groups in Beijing is helping to promote a local charity.

Students in Western Academy of Beijing's Chinese ensemble joined three other schools on Thursday, October 12, for the first concert in a year-long series that aims to raise money and awareness for Roundabout.

Roundabout is an NGO based in Beijing that opened in 2008 to serve people in need. The organization of volunteers accepts clothing and toy donations, cash contributions, and sells second-hand items to raise money for children in China, Inner Mongolia and Mongolia.

"WAB has always emphasized making contributions to our local and global communities, and the students who are taking part in this concert series are a shining example," Head of Music Mark Armstrong said. "We are so proud of the students and feel lucky to be connected to a group who is doing such great things for people in need."

The series was organized to include 15 minutes of performance from each group in each of the concerts, putting the depth and breadth of Beijing's international school music programs in the spotlight. Thursday's concert was a wonderful evening of music-making by a talented collection of young people.

The program featured the wonderful Honor Choir and Senior Orchestra of ISB, DCB's newly formed Female Voice Choir, tier male voice and chamber choirs, a range of vocal and instrumental solos from Keystone students, and WAB's stunning Chinese Ensemble. The schools collaborate as much as possible throughout the year for events including WABX to the Max, Beijing Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Young Musician of the Year Competition. This is yet another outstanding event for the students to make a difference.

WAB's Chinese Ensemble features Fuuka Enyo, Sophia Liu, and Rhiann Jiao - all on er hu. Fiona Wang played gu zhang, and Sophie Xie was on pipa. Along with her performances on piano and Chinese drums, Brightney Peng acted as MC for the WAB segment and had the audience in raptures. Special thanks go to Wang Huajin and Joyce Zhu for their direction of this ensemble.

WAB has a history of working with Roundabout on several events and initiatives. One of the organization's side projects, Helping Hands, supports parents of children with leukemia by teaching them to make handicrafts they can sell. WAB's microfinance student group supports Helping Hands, and their products were on sale at the concert, with money going to these parents who often leave their jobs to stay at the hospital and care for their children.

Thanks to everyone who supported this great event. The next concert in the series is set for December 8, at WAB. Stay tuned for more details.