Sophomore chamber group perform on YouTube for coronavirus relief


Clio Koh, News Editor

In the celebration of holiday spirit, sophomore students and string musicians Cyndee Lee, Sophia Wang and Lauren Zhang put together Christmas pieces and performed them in a video uploaded to YouTube. They have set up a fundraiser of $500 on gofundme that’ll go toward providing financial relief for those affected by COVID, save for the 25 percent that will be used for the group to purchase new music.

Lee, Wang and Zhang created their chamber group, Aria Trio. “Cyndee, Sophia, and I have been playing together as a chamber group since 6th grade,” Zhang said. “We’ve matured a bit more since then and want to take our chamber group more seriously.”

“Normally at this time of year, we would be looking for places to “carol” around Lake Oswego. Of course, that wasn’t really a good option this year, with everything else going on,” Lee said.

“I know that music has been really comforting to me throughout this year, and we felt compelled to spread that same joy and peace that we felt,” Zhang said.

“To do that, we first had to create a plan. We met in my garage and created a three-week plan for what we’d accomplish before winter break,” Lee said. “After that, we practiced, recorded, set up our website and published all of our work.”

“We pulled our repertoire for our Winter 2020 performance from all the holiday music we’ve compiled over the years. Most of it is Christmas music.” The Aria Trio’s Christmas repertoire listed classics such as “Jingle Bell Rock”, “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”, and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. 

We rehearsed the pieces individually, rehearsed together for 2-3 hours, then recorded everything in the span of an hour-long session from Cyndee’s garage,” Zhang said. 

“The acoustics of the garage were surprisingly nice,” Lee remarked. “The real annoyance was that the lights in the garage kept turning off on their own. If you watch “Secret Agent Sugar Plum” in our video, you’ll notice that the lights dim at the end – that was not on purpose. It just happened. We thought it looked kind of cool and kept it, but the same thing happened in a couple of cheery songs and the spooky lighting just didn’t look right and we had to restart.” 

Their video is also on their website LOHS Chamber Group, where the trio had included a link to their fundraiser.

“Honestly, we just want to give back to the community. Having the means to purchase arrangements allows us to support composers and donating to COVID relief funds feels like the least we can do,” Zhang said.