By: Lucia Zhang
This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity of participating and performing with the Jenny Lin Music Foundation’s youth summer music camp. This outstanding and unique organization was established in the mid 1990’s in memory of a talented young teenager.
The Jenny Lin Foundation was founded in 1994, after the cruel and tragic murder of Jenny Lin, a vibrant and musically talented fourteen year old girl. This organization’s mission is to raise awareness for child safety while educating young, talented musicians. The foundation sponsors many music and safety events that help out the local communities. One of the biggest activities hosted by this foundation is the summer youth music camp that I was a part of. It is open to all teenage musicians in the area. This is a cost free program, and includes band, full orchestra, and choir. The band, orchestra, and choir were directed by Mr. Greg Conway, Mr. Cary Nasatir, and Ms. Diana Ryan, respectively.
As a saxophone player in the Jenny Lin band this summer, I definitely had an unforgettable experience. Two days a week, for six weeks, musicians from all around the bay area would drive to Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley to rehearse for three hours at a time. All the camp members bonded as time passed. I met a lot of new friends from all around, and became closer with old friends. We would have spirit days, potlucks, and bonding activities throughout the program. Not only did I get the chance to play my instrument with a talented group of musicians, I also had lots of fun and met lots of new people.
After hours and hours of rehearsal time for all three music groups, it was finally time for us to perform to an audience. On Friday, July 31, 2015, we performed on the stage of Chabot College. In the past, I had attended Jenny Lin Concerts as an audience member. I remember looking longingly at the performers, wondering when I would get a chance to be in their shoes. This time, I was on the stage. It felt amazing as I realized that we were going to play music for the community, giving something special back to the society. The entire theater was filled with eager people, awaiting beautiful music. After the performance, everyone was so thankful and satisfied by our music. I knew then, that every piece of hard work we put in was worth it.
Any aspiring musician should be able to participate in something as great as Jenny Lin Foundation’s music program. If you are interested in learning more about the foundation, feel free to visit their website at http://jennylinfoundation.org/ or contact their Music Program Manager Mrs. Jan Steinhoff. I can wholeheartedly say that I am so glad I participated in the Jenny Lin band, and I look forward to it next summer!