After 16-year-old Langley resident Kitty Liu was invited to perform at a senior’s centre, she realized the importance of sharing music and how that simple act can help brighten someone’s day.
Liu was inspired to form the West Coast Youth Music Society (WCYMS), a registered non-profit organization in 2017. In just that first year, Liu said her group grew from 10 members to 80 and counting.
“Music has always been a big part of my life – I’ve been playing piano since I was eight,” Liu explained. “Music can do so much, so our goal has been to spread joy to the public, performing for seniors while providing students with an opportunity to play.”
Liu said WCYMS holds concerts every month, performing at senior’s lodges all across the Lower Mainland, and even at YVR airport for their “Sounds of the Season” show.
Now, Liu and her group have turned their attention to helping B.C. Children’s Hospital with “Melodies for Medicine,” a concert held at Langley Community Music School (LCMS) on Oct. 18 where Liu previously studied.
“I started teaching a student, Kelsey Chen, who lost her sight to cancer when she was just three years old,” Liu said. “She has overcome a lot and has a beautiful sense of music and outlook on life.”
Liu said Chen has relapsed for the third time and continues to undergo cancer treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Seeing her and so many kids go through their own health battles, Liu knew she had to do something.
“Not everyone can be a doctor or a government official, but we all want to what we can to help families in need,” she explained.
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For $10 a ticket, audiences can help support BC Children’s Hospital. Proceeds will be split, with one half going towards the oncology department and the other half supporting the musical therapy program.
“There will be 15 performers playing a variety of instruments like piano, cello, violin, saxophone, base, and even a Chinese instrument called the Guzheng. We also have musicians that have performed at Carnegie Hall and Canadian Music Competition winners,” Liu added.
If her health condition permits, Chen will also be performing at the concert as well.
A raffle will also be held at the fundraiser with headphones, a ukulele, and other donated items from WCYMS’s sponsors up for grabs.
Liu said after the concert, her group will continue to perform at Lower Mainland senior centres, including Langley’s own Chartwell Gardens.
Liu was also quick to point out that she does not operate the organization alone; thanking her executive team Annis Lee, Tina Yong, Gabrielle Wong, Lilly Ko, and Rose Oh for helping put on this fundraiser and all other WCYMS events.
“Melodies of Medicine” will be held at LCMS, 4899 207 St, Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
Tickets and information are available at www.wcymusicsociety.com.
Liu added that WCYMS is looking for stage and decorating volunteers; anyone interested is asked to email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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