• Connecting the Beauty of Great Music, People

    by Winston Chua

    San Marino-based Musical Connections recently performed their annual benefit concert in Alhambra’s Atherton Baptist Home.

    The group, founded in 2001 by Jessica and Brenda Ou of San Marino, features about 60 members, the majority of which are from San Marino and roughly a dozen or so who hail from Temple City, San Gabriel, Pasadena, La Cañada and Arcadia.

    “I enjoy performing and sharing my joy of music with the seniors and making friends with those who are a part of the group,” said Musical Connections Public Relations Director and performer Angie Liu.

    To date, Musical Connections has touched more than 5,000 seniors with its concerts. This year’s benefit concert was the 13th annual event for the organization, and the group raised more than $2,000. Previous monies collected have been used to donate pianos to nursing homes. Since its founding the organization has donated 10 pianos and raised more than $60,000.

    Musical Connections, whose current presidents are Ben Yee of San Marino and Melody Wang of Temple City, serves a variety of purposes to its surrounding communities in addition to benefit concerts and piano donations.

    One goal is to bring classical music concerts to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and give live music to places that one might be deprived of such quality. The group performs at nursing homes about eight times a year.

    “It makes older people happy when the students share their music and interact with them,” observed Angie, a freshman.

    Musical Connections also offers free weekly music lessons to children with special needs, to people who might have autism, Downs Syndrome, ADHD or cerebral palsy.

    The program pairs its young musicians with special needs children for music lessons. To date, about 600 lessons have been provided.

    Finally, Musical Connections offers a three-day camp in San Marino called Hearts in Harmony featuring lessons in guitar, piano, percussion, singing, music theory and performance. The camp provides attendees with positive emotional and mental stimulation in a fun setting.

    To learn more about Musical Connections, please email musicalconnections@gmail.com.

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