Do Re Mi’s violin recital a genre-crossing spectacular


Perhaps a violin recital sounds like a rather tame event. That is, until you see violinists of different ages and varying levels of skill take the stage as what happened at Do Re Mi Music School’s 22nd Annual Violin Recital on May 9 and 10.

Both young and veteran violinists appeared comfortable playing a variety of styles—classical, jazz, gypsy, salon, and intricate Chinese music—for a total of 43 pieces played on both days.

Do Re Mi’s founder, Ao Zhang, along with 13 students wearing formal gowns and suits played Mozart’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Beethoven’s Ode To Joy to kick off both nights.

After the big opening number, soloists accompanied by partnered pianists came next, followed by groups of violinists playing classical pieces by Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vittorio Monti, Henry Mancini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Park Jong Song.

Most of the musical pieces were played with great skill but the obvious audience favorite was the final performances of Moon Waltz, Thorn Bird, and Parlez Moi d’Amour.

Grace Cha, 13, along with her friends Julia Ishikawa, 13, and Gil Villagomez, 13, enjoyed the show and said that they were there to watch their bestfriend Tania Tan and Kate Ishida do their concert recital.

“I came here to watch my friend Tania. She was so beautiful and elegant and the performance was enjoyable, particularly the ending,” Cha said.

Villagomez was there for the same reason as Cha. Ishikawa said she enjoyed Tan’s and Ishida’s performances.

“They were both amazing and it surprised me that they were talented. They looked so gorgeous and I really enjoyed the recital,” Ishikawa said.

The performers’ parents made up a large part of the supportive audience, with parents and supporters of the violinists presenting them flowers after each performance.

Colin Thompson, father of Jinju, 8, and Jinie, 11, was so proud of his daughters. “They played a duet together and they have been practicing a lot. We’re very proud of them and also grateful for the teachers and their fantastic school and program. I have been watching my kids improve their talent during Do Re Mi,” Thompson said.

Jinju and Jinie did a duet of Mozart’s Canon Inversus, with their contrapuntal notes creating a beautiful harmony that amazed the crowd.

Zhang himself was proud of his students. He said the children practiced for weeks every single day that they had the chance.

“We did a lot of hard practice and it was a great recital,” Zhang said. “Everyday a student has a teacher for each part and student is being taught from two to three hours a day.”

Zhang noted that the violin is the hardest and most complex of musical instruments and the skill his students have shown throughout the years have enabled them to pursue careers in music.

“Over the years since 1991 our school has seen students gain admittance into well-respected music schools, including the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music and The Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University,” he said.

Zhang thanks everyone for coming to the two-night event and hoped that they would return for next year’s recital.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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