New Canyon Crest Academy club shares love of music with community


A new club at Canyon Crest Academy is using music to give back to the community. In just a few months, Music Outreach Club has performed for foster children and seniors, with more performances planned for the year.

“The purpose of our club is to keep classical music alive,” said club co-founder and president Alexander Zhang, a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy. “We want to expose everyone to classical music.”

Classical music has always been part of Alexander’s life. He started playing piano when he was 5 and has played the bassoon since he was in sixth grade.

Although Alexander, now 15, continues to play the bassoon in the school band, he wanted to experience music outside a large ensemble.

“We have a band at school, but I wanted to do more,” said Alexander, who co-founded the club with friend Jerry Wu. “Music is a big part of my life, and I just wanted to do more with my talent.”

Founded in October, Music Outreach Club aims to spread music beyond the school campus to the greater community. Members share their love of music through volunteer performances and other events.

In mid-December, the club performed at a Christmas party for foster children. During the two-hour event at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, eight members of the group performed eight pieces, including “Carol of the Bells” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

“It was our first performance, and it was a really great experience,” Alexander said.

The club has grown to 20 members, 10 of whom are active, since its launch. Every member is a classical musician and has played music for at least five years, Alexander said.

The club meets every Friday to rehearse in the school’s music room. And before scheduled events, the group holds additional rehearsals on Sundays at Alexander’s home.

The club most recently performed for seniors Feb. 15 at the San Diego retirement community Emeritus at Carmel Valley. The set list included a variety of classical numbers and selections from films such as “Lord of the Rings” and “Schindler’s List.”

In the next two years, while he’s a student at Canyon Crest Academy, Alexander hopes to not only grow the club but also continue outreach to more community members and organizations. He and other club members plan to introduce classical music at neighboring elementary schools, possibly offering music lessons to students.

“I hope that we can publicly change the music program at our school,” Alexander said.