Have you ever gone to the farmer’s market, train station or public square when a musician was playing, and felt a whole new emotional world flow out from his guitar or fiddle, the soaring melodies permeating through the air and brightening the mood with a whiff of freshness and vigor? I have always been entranced and uplifted by the music of street performers, and at the same time inspired to share my own music with others.

On Veteran’s Day the Campolindo Band and Orchestra performed classic American tunes for retired veterans at the Veterans Home of West Los Angeles. Two busloads of eighty high school music students hauled timpani, chimes, and other instruments to Los Angeles in order to commemorate the veterans for their service. A small crowd of veterans assembled to attend the performance, some with physical disabilities and forced nervous ticks, but almost all forced themselves to overcome physical hardship to stand up and salute proudly when their division’s march was played. “It was an honor playing for the veterans,” reflects cellist Brian Davis. “The experience made me think about the power of music to uplift and inspire.” “Music communicates directly with the soul,” conductor Johnny Johnson intones on a discussion of the concert. Therefore, he says, “Performing music for our community and others is an important public service.”

music for a cause

 A similar event happened on Halloween. As a part of the “Letters for Literacy” event for local literacy charity Be the Star You Are!®, I, and a chamber group of friends performed some spooky and whimsical tunes at the Rheem Valley Shopping Center. The trick-or-treaters happily rejoiced in the combined atmosphere of bright harmonies and free candy.  “It feels like we’re trick-or-treating in Disneyland,” exclaimed Junior Yaman Jandali, who was trick-or-treating at local businesses with friends. “Also, I’m glad to learn about Be the Star You Are!® It’s a good cause and I will support it.” Little kids dressed in vampire and princess costumes flocked around to enjoy the music and show their support by stuffing a dollar or two in the donation box. Even parents, who weren’t trick-or-treating, showed great interest in the music and the charity, clapping along with the music and taking flyers. Performers and audience tapped and danced to the rhythm of the music and had great fun.

 Local groups are taking advantage of their musical abilities to share their joy of music and to promote good causes. Stay tuned. On December 21, local teens will provide another music performance in the Orinda Library to raise funds for Haiyan disaster relief. Music is the universal language of connection and collaboration.

 BTSYA wants to make sure that every child and adult who has suffered a loss will have a book or game for the holidays. A donation of $25 ships a small box of books, $100 ships a case of brand new books. Any amount will help the victims. All donations are tax deductible and can be made via PAYPAL  or Be The Star You Are Website.

Checks may be sent to:

Be the Star You Are!® 501c3

PO Box 376

Moraga, Ca. 94556



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This is a great time to make a big difference for those who have suffered such a big loss during this holiday season. Thanks for caring.

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 As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. Read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voiceamerica Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT and click here for photos, descriptions, links, and more.

More information about the show click here.

 Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest email To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit the website and Click here to Donate.    Thanks for supporting teens!