By Sheri ArbitalJacoby and Phoebe Lazarus
An evening of enchanting music and performance was presented by Dawn’s Light Music Group on Sunday, July 1, at a benefit concert to raise much-needed funds for the Great Neck Social Center.
The event was graciously held at the private Kings Point home and garden of Wenhua Qi, who previously sponsored the Chinese New Year festivities at the social center; her daughter Yuqi “Jenny” Jiang, one of the performers; and coordinated by Fuqun “Frances” Yang.
The Great Neck Social Center provides a variety of social, physical and stimulating intellectual experiences for community members older than 60. The center, which receives funding from New York State and Nassau County, in addition to private donations, never turns away anyone unable to pay.
The performers at the fundraiser, who range in age from 9 to 18, are all students of the Juilliard School Precollege Division and have performed in concerts nationally and internationally.
“They were so talented and professional,” said Great Neck Social Center Director Ann Tarcher. “Many of them have performed in Carnegie Hall.”
Dawn’s Light Music Group soloists included Jenny Jiang, a 14-year-old cellist; 16-year-old pianist Jeffrey Zhang; Hanchi Shi, 15, who began playing the violin at age 4; Jessia Zhao, a 9-year-old pianist and violinist, who is the youngest student ever admitted to the Precollege Division of Manhattan School of Music as a piano and violin double major; Liyu Chen, a 13-year-old violinist; Matthew Zhan, a 14-year-old violinist, who began playing at age 5; Qingyu Chen, an 18-year-old violinist, who was a National Young Arts Foundation Finalist; and accompanist Yu Lu, a classical pianist.
“This concert was a huge success,” said Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, who was in attendance. “Our senior population depends on the social center to stay active and for socializing.”