Some of BWYA’s talented Grade 10 musicians recently organised and performed in a special charity concert based on music from the Oscar winning movie, La La Land. Here, one of the organisers, Flora Tian, tells us about the experience.

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Beijing World Youth Academy’s Sophomore Students Present:

The Fools Who Dream Fundraising Concert

The Fools Who Dream Fundraising Concert was a music concert performed by musicians and vocalists from Grade 10 in Beijing World Youth Academy on Friday, June 2nd to fundraise for the cause of helping children with Autism from the aspect of music therapy. The concert included an orchestral ensemble of music pieces from the Oscar-winning movie La La Land and performances of all music genres, ranging from solo performances to Kpop dances to orchestral assembles, with a French canapé themed self-serving buffet at the end. The participants in this event strived to help those suffering with Autism from an early stage through sharing their self-composed or arranged music pieces and contribute to the cause by spreading awareness of the issue through public campaign platforms. In the end, we raised and donated 3209.97 RMB to the Beijing Stars and Rain charity.FWD3

The Cause of the Fundraising Concert

The cause and inspiration for this fundraising concert was to express our passions towards music performance and service action by helping children with Autism in China through the aspect of music therapy. The inspiration behind the idea of music therapy first came to us when we came across an advertisement for a song concert hosted by a renowned Chinese singer to fundraise for the cause of children with Leukemia. We thought about connecting our talents and skills in music and applying them to service action. After conducting further research of music therapy, we found out that it is actually implemented in many clinical hospitals, especially for children with Autism. Children with Autism are suffering significantly from the inability to communicate with others and stepping out of their comfort zone. The idea of music therapy provides indicated treatment to young teens through platforms such as singing, creating, composing, performing to improve and maintain their physical, mental and psychological health. Even though we as students are not eligible to volunteer as music therapists because of our lack of experience and professionality, we decided to take our own pathway to fight against the cause of Autism and express our love for music through a fundraising concert, where we began communicating with the first non-profit organization supporting children with Autism in China: Beijing Stars and Rain.

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Beijing Stars and Rain

Beijing Stars and Rain is China’s first non-governmental educational organization dedicated to serving children with autism. Founded in 1993, it has helped over 6,000 autistic children and their families through their unique parent-training course, which gives parents the skills necessary to educate their own children. It has also recently opened a group home for six teenagers with autism and related disabilities. Stars and Rain is a pioneer within China and welcomes all kinds of support, whether financial, in skills and expertise, or as a volunteer working one-on-one with an autistic teenager in our group home.

*For more information, please visit their official website: http://www.guduzh.org.cn/default.aspx?alias=www.guduzh.org.cn/english

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The Story Behind the Name: The Fools Who Dream

Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread.” – Alexander Pope

This quote, despite its satirical diction, is perfect for our performance. When we encountered La La Land, mesmerized with its music and driven with ardor, we immediately decided that we would have our own performance of La La Land. Slowly though, as the zealous first few weeks passed by, it settled on us that La La Land performance was not only about fiddling with the tunes. It also required charismatic organization along with fastidious planning. It was as if we were the fools who fell in to a trench which all wise men safely tread past. However, in La La Land, Mia performs a piece The Audition: The Fools Who Dream. In the piece, she sings “Here’s to the ones who dream, Foolish as they may seem.” She reminded us that 16 is an age where we explore, experience, and aspire for our dreams. To struggle is not being foolish. We were greatly encouraged by this line, and finally came to title our performance: The Fools Who Dream.

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End of Concert Thoughts

“Being able to organize a live fundraising concert was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and it wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable input of all my assistant organizers, performers, supervisors, technicians and principals. The concert was an integration of music performance, service action and the result of the hard work of a group of talented musicians, vocalists and dancers in Grade 10. I was honored to be a part of this strongly bonded group of students with such diligence and perseverance.” – Flora Tian

“The Fools Who Dream fundraising concert was a valuable experience for me, for the concert played La La Land music which I was passionate about, but also because I saw how passion and ardor could integrate every individual’s talent in to a flawless result. It was amazing how all participants showed up in rehearsals and successfully completed tasks they are responsible of, despite the absence of authority-driven obligations. I think the concert not only satisfied avid music fans, but also every participant in general.” – Angel An

“I feel like this is one of the few projects that I was ever part of where everyone involved were all so determined to do their very best, despite the amount of work we have on our shoulders. And everyone brought their A game, and this was an amazing experience and I feel so glad to be part of this team!” – Gordon Chan

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