Majhon Phillips, New York, New York

“When my father passed away, music really helped with the heartbreak and being able to get past the trauma of losing a loved one. I was a Daddy’s girl in all senses of the word, and he was a very strong person who taught me to be strong. There was never a way of beingContinue reading “Majhon Phillips, New York, New York”

Darlene Machacon, Orange County, CA

“My name is Darlene, and I’m a second-generation Filipina. My parents grew up in the Philippines, they immigrated here, and I was born in California. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first 18 years of my life, and then I moved down to Los Angeles.  In high school, my theater teacherContinue reading “Darlene Machacon, Orange County, CA”

Grant Kondo, Honolulu, Hawaii

“I always loved music and music was always part of my life. In high school I did almost everything that I could: I did piano, I did marching band, jazz band, concert band, played in musicals, and did competitions for piano and saxophone. I really enjoyed it. My parents were not the typical ‘you can’tContinue reading “Grant Kondo, Honolulu, Hawaii”

Max Amend, San Jose, California

“Someone mentioned to me recently that music is a universal language and that really resonated with me. I take Spanish at my school, so I know what it means to study a language. I also know what it means to comprehend the technicalities of the musical language. Music is beyond the technicalities though; when youContinue reading “Max Amend, San Jose, California”

Richard C. Alston, East Orange, New Jersey

“I began music lessons literally when I came home from the hospital as an infant because my grandmother was a pianist, a soprano, and a music teacher. Shortly after I came home from the hospital as an infant, my mother, who was a registered nurse, went back to work, so Nana was taking care ofContinue reading “Richard C. Alston, East Orange, New Jersey”

Gertty Boone, Rocky Ridge, Arizona

“Navajo music is something that is really meaningful to me. I grew up in a household with a grandma and grandpa who are traditional so Navajo music was always playing, mostly for entertainment. Music traditionally for Navajo is to help treat illnesses or just for us to get through obstacles. It is pretty common toContinue reading “Gertty Boone, Rocky Ridge, Arizona”

Sujay Panthulu, Cupertino, California

“Music means a lot of things. For one, it’s an outlet for me to just create and explore. I really enjoy trying to create music in a certain style or sometimes even in no specific style. Music is also a way to escape sometimes the problems we face. When I sit at the piano, playContinue reading “Sujay Panthulu, Cupertino, California”

Aila, San Jose, California

“It’s always kind of not-so-fun when I first start playing a piece because you look at the piece and you think, ‘This is really hard and will take a lot of work.’ But then after I kept playing, it felt so good to be able to finish a piece. It helped me realize that ifContinue reading “Aila, San Jose, California”

Kaveri Iyer, Sunnyvale, California

“When I grew up, my parents wanted us to keep some of our Indian culture and traditions with us, and we decided to do that through the performing arts. My sister chose a form of dance called Kathak, which is from India, but I wasn’t really the dancing type. So I chose to do HindustaniContinue reading “Kaveri Iyer, Sunnyvale, California”

Leeya Howley, San Jose, California

“My musical journey started off a lot like the average South Bay Area kid’s — I was forced into learning the piano by my parents when I was 5. Every day I had to be reminded to play, argued with my brother over who had to practice first, and looked to the clock every fewContinue reading “Leeya Howley, San Jose, California”