Timothy Chooi performs for 300 students

The following post is from the Vancouver Recital Society’s newsletter. It’s always great to read about our alumni sharing their talents and spreading so much joy!

Following up on Timothy Chooi’s performance for 300 students from four inner city schools, we have had the joy of reading numerous thank you cards from the children at Mount Pleasant Elementary School.

Each card is hand decorated with a scene of the concert or of Timothy’s violin. Two cards feature the audience members shouting out their appreciation… “nice, epic, cool, amazing, love it, catchy, wow, super, you rock, awesome, that was fast.”

Of course, younger people are less likely to editorialize and so we see one patron, sitting in the back row, whose thought bubble reads: “Zzzzzzzz…”

Many student gave us examples of what they learned and Timothy’s age topped the list as the most interesting. One wrote, “When I saw Timothy he was really young. I thought he was going to be 27 years, but he’s 18 years old.”

Supplemented with a study guide assembled by our office, the children learned about early violin makers Amati and Stradivarius, violin construction, pitch, and the different sounds produced by the violin. “I learned that the violin used to be partly made of cat guts. Yuck!”

The study guide became an important tool for the students’ teacher to further the their learning experiences in the classroom. “We also learned after the performance that there are many different violins. There was even a Chinese violin that was called the Erhu, and it is very slim and only had one string.”

Of course, Timothy’s playing was greatly appreciated: “My favourite part was when Timothy played the music and told us to imagine.”

Letting imagination run free, one student claimed one of Timothy’s chosen works “sounds like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, when Elmer Fudd is chasing Bugs all over the place!”

Of Ravel’s Tzigane, another wrote, “I like the piece called Gypsy because it made me think if I had any family members that were gypsy and I do have a grandfather and a grandmother who were gypsies.”

Several students noted the financial support that made it possible for them to journey to the Vancouver Playhouse for a proper theatre experience. “Thank you for paying our expenses to see the show.”

For this, we must say “Bravo!” to the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, which provided a grant to make all of this possible. Without this organization’s strong belief in access to arts and culture for our young people, this enriching, inspiring opportunity would have been missed by 300 students.

Another “Bravo” goes to Odlum Brown, our Season Sponsor and Sponsor of our Children’s Community Outreach Program. Odlum Brown has helped to bring a lot of joy to many children.

“Thank you so much for letting the class have the chance to listen to the violin player because we had a blast.”

Yes, we did, and it was our great pleasure.
Leila, Paul & the VRS Staff

Visit Vancouver Recital Society’s blog for more great content.

For more great photos visit St. James Music Academy Blog


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