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Youth orchestra to perform in Asia

Funds needed to make the trip

Empire State Youth Orchestra Helen Ch-Pyo announces the group's summer trip to Asia.

Empire State Youth Orchestra Helen Ch-Pyo announces the group's summer trip to Asia. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Proceeds from the ESYO concert in Seoul will benefit a history museum to be built on Sorok Island.

“Through our performance we will together hold hands to share their story with the rest of the world.” said Ch-Pyo.

ESYO is now raising money for the trip, which isn’t cheap.

Without donations and sponsors, each student will need to pay $4,000 to make the trip. In addition to the 96 students, nearly two dozen chaperones are expected to attend as well. Brome said fundraising has already begun and several corporate sponsors have been found, but they are still no where close to their goal.

The majority of the needed funds will be put towards transportation, accommodations, and tour guides to interpret for the group in both countries. The ESYO also has to rent instruments while in each country and pay for its own venue space at most locations.

Besides its annual gala and concert on March 10, the group has started an online fundraiser on the site kickstarter.com.

Brome said the site allows charitable groups to set a date by which to earn a certain amount of donations. If the group does not receive enough pledges to meet its goal by the deadline, those who pledge money are not charged. The youth orchestra set a goal of $6,000 by Feb. 13 and currently half has been raised.

All of the students are thrilled about the trip. Many have never left the country, let alone traveled to Asia.

Shi said she still has family in China, who may be able to attend the group’s performances there.

“I’m excited to travel there, so they can see what I’ve been learning here,” said the violinist.

O’Neill said he’s a little scared because none of them know the language, but he’s relying on music to help break the communication barrier.

“We will still be able to talk, just not with out voice but with our music,” he said.

To learn more visit www.esyo.org.

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