Buddha’s Light Youth Symphony Orchestra (BLYSO) from Hsi Lai Temple held a Virtual Award Ceremony for 2021 BLYSO Golden Notes Music Festival on June19, 2021. Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Ven. Hui Dong, as well as other venerables and BLIA members attended the event. Abbot Ven. Hui Dong gave an opening speech to welcome everyone at the beginning of the event. He congratulated all the winners of this music festival for their excellent performances, and shared that BLYSO helps share and propagate Buddhism through music. During the challenging times of the pandemic, musicians could use technology to continue to learn music in the comfort of their home. Rather than staring at the computer screen all the time, they can use their ears instead to listen to music and play them with their hands.
For this music festival, we had the honor to invite Grammy music educator award winner Dr. Buddy Clements, and Dr. Robert Sage, a professor in Azusa Pacific University and who is currently active in organizing many major music competitions to be the judges.
This music festival is divided into 4 major categories: Piano, Wind/Brass, String & Chamber. A total of 47 young musicians participated. The youngest among them is Emma Wang, 5 years old, while the oldest is Emily Chen, 17 years old. They are both second generation members of BLIA LA Radiance Subchapter.
In their speech, the winners expressed their gratitude towards BLYSO for organizing such an event. Nyansu Chen said, although she is not a Buddhist, she had participated none the less and get to meet people from different religions. BLYSO concertmaster Glory Zhang thanked the orchestra conductor, Isaiah Castro for organizing all the virtual rehearsals and performances during the pandemic, as well as thanked Hsi Lai Temple for providing the opportunities. Emily Chen also expressed that, the rehearsals every Saturday in BLYSO in the past 7 years had become a routine that accompanied her life. She especially thanked Hsi Lai Temple for utilizing modern technology to organize this music festival, which encouraged more youths to continue learning music and develop their inner wisdom.
At the end, the monastic advisor of BLYSO, Ven. Hui Ze mentioned about the possibility of having the musicians coming back to in person rehearsals in the temple for the upcoming season as the pandemic slowly subsides.