Playing it Forward: How musical organizations impact their communities


Hannan Waliullah

Tri-M president and Senior Meredith Young-Ng plays the piano.


Community service is a medium for change. People can change the community and the world through their service. Global Youth Philanthropy and Tri-M Music Honor Society are both organizations that blend both community service with their music, to help their club, their community and the world.

Senior Meredith Young Ng: Tri-M Music Honor Society

One of the events that senior president Meredith Young-Ng looks forward to in Tri-M is “Breakfast with Santa”, where little kids eat breakfast, meet Santa Claus, and make arts and crafts. Tri-Mís role in this event is to play the background music.

“At the Quinlan community center, one guy dresses up as Santa,  and little kids get to meet Santa, and eat breakfast and do other crafts,” Tri-M member senior Janani Sridhar said. “They give background music, like holiday songs.”

However, Tri-Mís music was not just “background music”.

“The kids came up and approached us, and they were watching really intensely. Some kids asked ‘Oh, what instrument is that?’ as though they were possibly interested in learning,” Young-Ng said. “I was happy that they noticed because a lot of times when you go to events, background music gets lost.”

Young-Ng became an officer in her junior year and is currently president. Throughout her four years of being in this club, she learned organizational, logistical, and practical skills. However, the most crucial skill she learned in this club was how she could use music to impact people.

“One of the most important parts about music is a very communal shared experience, and I think that perfoming at all these community service events allows people to get involved in it and experience it as well.”

Many senior citizens are unable to go out and enjoy music themselves.  One of Tri-Mís recurring events is to play at the Forum Retirement Community to the seniors. Young-Ng explains how playing at the Forum is fulfilling.

“I remember one time last year one of the members was playing a piece, and the seniors started singing along. It was cute,” Young-Ng said. “Even just for a little bit, youíre entertaining someone and making their life better.”


At a school as high-performing as MVHS, there are so many students who work hard every day to achieve their goals, whether it be in STEM or humanities. Music touches our souls and fills us with emotion. Some musicians at MVHS have decided to use their gift to help others in need. Meet junior Janae Zhang and freshman Eric Huang from Global Youth Philanthropy, and organization that is working to help with the earthquake relief in Nepal. Hear about how music not only inspires these students but helps an orphanage in need.


Video by ZaZu Lippert. Music from



GYP member Freshmen Eric Huang plays the piano.

Freshman Eric Huang: Global Youth Philanthropy

WHEN FRESHMAN ERIC HUANG plays the piano, his head sways up and down as his fingers delicately touch the black and white keys. His music is elegant; for a purpose. Itís hard to believe that a few years ago, Eric thought  he  found  it hard to emotionally touch people.

Four years ago, Huang was attending classes at Kwan Music when he learned about Global Youth Philanthropy. Members were preparing for their first fundraising concert ìSending Love to Nepalî. After deciding to play at the concert, Huang started to feel the pressure, being a sixth grader and one of the younger performers.

ìIt was taken seriously, and everyone was so talented. I was pretty young, so I didnít have that much experience back then. I felt as if I need to practice more and more to meet their standard,î Huang said. ìThey had this thing with music where they touched people and I felt that people could really enjoy their music.î

The concert sold out, raising over 7,000 dollars. This year, it was Huangís fourth year doing the concert. Throughout his years playing for Global Youth Philanthropy, Huang has matured as both a person, and a musician.

“It’s not as much pressure,” Huang said.  “I was more open to an audience and wasnít afraid of people  watching  and judging me.”

According to Huang, the performers at the concert serviced both the audience and the orphans in Nepal. The audience was given music to enjoy, while the people in Nepal were helped with the money the performers raised.

“Over there, even going to school is a privilege, you actually have to pay,î Huang said. ìNot everyone can go to school to receive their education.”

Originally published in the Nov. 2015 issue of El Estoque.