In-person concerts become more common for service clubs

December 3, 2021 — by Mitchell Chen and Jonathan Li
Sophomore Minh Do plays "Christmas Festival" by Leroy Anderson on a violin at the Thankful Hearts concert at the Villa of Saratoga senior center on Nov. 28

With Thanksgiving festivities complete and Christmas right around the corner, service clubs around campus are performing holiday concerts at local senior centers, many of which have opened up for in-person events.

 

Tri-M 

The school’s Tri-M Club, a chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, provides jazz and classical music for the Bay Area? community. This holiday season, Tri-M has upcoming gigs both on and off-campus. Their first live performance of the year is on Dec. 20 at the Sunny View Retirement Community in Cupertino. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there are limited performance slots, according to senior Tri-M vice president Marcus Kuo.

“Since many performance opportunities were canceled because of the pandemic, I think people appreciate that we’re able to play music for a live audience again,” Kuo said. 

In addition to spreading cheer to the senior communities, Tri-M also hosted an on-campus concert for all students and staff during the PTSO lunch for faculty on Dec. 3.

 

Leo Club

Since 2018, Leo Club has organized an annual “Thankful Hearts” holiday concert at the Villas At Saratoga senior center. The event has always been successful with over 20 members signing up to perform every year. 

Even though the event is music-centered, Leo Club is open to accept any type of talent; in past years, they’ve had martial arts acts and magic shows. This year, Thankful Hearts took place on Nov. 28. 

“During the pandemic last year, people online weren’t constrained to acts that can only be performed in person,” said senior co-president Selina Chen. “We had people showing off their basketball skills and Lego builds.”

For Leo Club, the Thankful Hearts concert was a great opportunity to show their gratitude to the seniors by making their Thanksgiving a little more festive. Chen, who started this event, played the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese harp that many of the Chinese-American seniors recognized from earlier times. 

“Seeing their faces when they listen to my music brings back memories of our shared homeland; it’s really emotional for me,” Chen said.

 

Singing for Smiles

Singing for Smiles — a nonprofit organization senior Naisha Agarwal founded in 2020 — hopes to perform in person at the Villa at Saratoga senior center on Dec. 21 to further their mission of “spreading happiness to the people who need it most through singing.” 

So far, Singing for Smiles has only held virtual events, but with COVID-19 restrictions loosening, they hope to end the year with an in-person concert. 

“It has been great seeing everyone finally in person,” Agarwal said. “We are reaching out to places where we’ve previously held Zoom performances and coordinating with them to see if we can do something in-person.”

However, scheduling these events has proven more difficult than initially anticipated. 

“We’re still waiting for people to get more comfortable with the idea of performing in person,” Agarwal said. “Most still prefer Zoom, but hopefully we can have some live performances this year.”