New Music Club recently approved as an official school organization


Ivy Hansen

Focusing with intense concentration, Chelsey Phan, sophomore, rehearses with the rest of the wind ensemble in preparation for marching band practice and region band auditions. As president of Music Club, she hopes members will find comfort in the additional practice through performances in retirement homes to overcome their nervousness on stage. “I personally had issues with anxiety or performing in general, so I hope that the students will start to gain more confidence in their playing if they experience practicing outside of their room,” Phan said.

Ivy Hansen and Angela Lim

Silver-haired and crinkly-eyed, the seniors’ faces, filled with wrinkles and smiles, nodded along with the classical music floating about the room. The sweet notes’ origins could be found at the front: a young girl’s eyes lost in the music with her foot tapping in rhythm and fingers gliding along the length of her oboe–her melody called forth tears and memories, unlocking the stories behind their sagging skin and spotted hands. It summoned a symphony of past and present.

Chelsey Phan, sophomore, wondered if it was possible.

“I was doing my homework, and then all the sudden, I watched a video that I searched up about how I can practice better,” Phan said. “One of the suggestions was to practice outside of my room–and I was like, ‘where else can I practice?’”

After a suggestion by the band director, Carter Frederick, she started to search for other places she could perform, hopeful of improving her performance skills and overcoming stage fright. Her curiosity surged, and it was in that moment when it hit her:

“One of the internet suggestions was like, ‘why don’t you try playing at retirement homes?’ And I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s a pretty cool idea.’”

Ivy Hansen
Amidst her fellow band members, Christina Duong, senior, rehearses with the wind ensemble. One to strive for excellence, she has taken up position as webmaster and secretary of Music Club. She assisted the president, Chelsey Phan, sophomore, with research and planning from the very beginning.
“The officers and I spent a lot of time researching and looked at other schools to see if they had a Music Club. Over the summer, we held many meetings and searched up retirement homes then went to some to ask if we could perform for them. There was a lot of paperwork that we had to sign, fill out and create in order to create the club. We also made posters to advertise at Freshmen Orientation which went well for us,” Duong said.

From that point on, Phan continued doing her research, eventually forming her own student-formed organization fueled by her passion for music and bringing joy to those in need–but not alone.

While the idea of creating the club emerged the year before, Phan only gathered the courage to venture into the daunting process of creating a new club when a few senior friends stepped in and offered their help.

“We started having meetings and, like, things were actually getting wicked. Fortunately, my friends had backgrounds of being in clubs before, so they knew how it was supposed to run–and so I knew what I was supposed to be looking for because although I’ve been in clubs before, I haven’t been in clubs as long as they have,” Phan said. “Christina (Duong), fortunately, was an officer in HOSA before, so she knew how a club was supposed to run and was able to provide me the details of what our club should have.”

Secretary of Music Club and fellow marching band member, Duong, senior, assisted in much of the planning and research for making the club while accompanied by her fellow seniors, Madeline Mariano and Kieuvy Huynh.

“They are very experienced, and even though I’m the president, I’m actually learning a lot from them. Christina is my secretary, and she’s been helping with managing files and information. She and I worked over the summer researching how other music clubs worked,” Phan said. “As for Kieuvy, I would have listed her as our promoter or like the charismatic person that gets people to go join our club. Also, my vice president, Madeline, had a lot of information from her dad such as experiences at the retirement homes and connections with the event organizer at Legends Oak.”

Their sponsor, Danielle Olivarez, saw something special in the group’s ideals and fully supported their ambitions.

“I loved the thought of volunteering in a nursing home and bringing them joy through music, even though I actually do not have any formal musical background. I help every year with the Fine Arts Festival, and I think that having fine arts opportunities in schools is a necessity. So, to provide another opportunity for students to use that outlet and get involved with school through something they love is why I decided to help with this club,” Olivarez said.

Ivy Hansen
With sheet music in hand, Madeline Mariano, senior, releases a pleasant rendition of a section from Chandelier, by Sia Furler and Jesse Shatkin. As vice president of Music Club, she struggled alongside her fellow officers throughout the process and its accompanying difficulties.
“Although we started the process of creating a club earlier in the month of May, we were rejected as a club because we didn’t provide enough specific information and details of our goals and opportunities. The process of being approved took way longer than expected, however, we were able to get the club approved in the end,” Christina Duong, senior and secretary of Music Club, said.

Motivated not only to help her fellow musically integrated students in building their confidence and prowess on the stage, a tender heart for the elderly also merged as core part into the club’s values.

“I hope that they can connect and rekindle with the old people. You know, learn from their stories because not only are we performing, I also hope we can do socials, and hang out with the elderly, and learn from them because you know, they know so much. They’ve lived for so long,” Phan said.

All the while, emotions and ideas ran wild throughout the summer, the real challenge presented itself during the first few weeks of school: editing and revising almost everything to fit with an official club’s restrictions and guidelines, and not altogether successfully.
“Basically, the reason [Music Club] was not approved initially was because we didn’t see anything significant in the information we first received. Other than the fact they wanted to go perform at nursing homes and different places like that, I didn’t see any value that it would bring to our school and help improve the supporters of our students,” Gregory Brock, associate principal, said.

He primarily decides whether a school-sponsored club or organization will be allowed to operate or not. Guided by a set of rules, he gives importance to a club’s benefits to “the campus, its students, and the community,” as well as its genuine purpose.

Brock was able find other special qualities that set Music Club apart from the rest after a thorough review, which led to its eventual approval.

As the school is filled with diverse, student-led organizations, Phan gave some words of encouragement to her fellow students who may be reluctant to start their own clubs (or have no idea where or how to start).

“Truly think about what you can do to impact the world or what you think is necessary to have in society. It’s got to be very specific; it needs to have a purpose. Don’t try to take any ideas from other clubs–and make sure that your club also interests you,” she concluded.