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Ben Chan

YouTube Symphony Orchestra Winners

March 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM

I thought I'd begin a post on behalf of the violin section for the first ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall on April 15th.

I feel very honored to have been selected as one of the violinists to play at Carnegie Hall as a member of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas of the New World Symphony. Laurie Niles encouraged me to post a thread on this site to bring awareness to this event and to share a couple of thoughts going through my head.

I started my YouTube channel in Oct 2007 with one simple motivation: to use the power of the Internet to inspire people of all ages and walks of life to learn and appreciate good music. At first, I helped individual people one-on-one, and as I gained momentum I began creating more generalized videos for public consumption. There was no "magic bullet" to growing my channel; it just sort of happened as I continued to freely give of my time and energies toward the betterment of others. My teaching method encourages people to embrace all types of music, including video game, anime, pop, etc., which in turn fulfills people emotionally in a way that other types of media simply cannot do. A direct result of my efforts has been a significant improvement in my own playing ability.

As the Music Chair of Woogi World (, a virtual website dedicated to the education and safety of children K-6th grade, I've created the first ever Online Music Club where more than 10,000 kids (and growing) go to play music games that teach the fundamentals of music as well as learn the Melodica instrument through online instructional videos that I am creating for them. Since its official launch in 2008, Woogi World has more than 500,000 individual accounts and continues to gain momentum and prove to parents worldwide that the Internet can be a safe and educational tool for kids. I am the highest music authority of this cutting-edge website and also do a large portion of its back- and front-end programming as my full-time day job.

I believe that as a result of my participation with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, I will be able to give young people across Woogi World, YouTube, and my personal website ChamberHymns ( a chance to experience, by proxy, a part of what I will be experiencing. I want to prove to them that through hard work and dedication, great things are possible, and that music is a dying art that needs the next generation's full support. By bringing this and other musical experiences back to these websites with whom I am affiliated, I hope to further enrich the kids' learning experiences and motivate them to continue practicing daily and sharing their musical talents with those around them.

Anyways, I hope all of that made sense :) I'm happy to respond to your comments and questions as I have the time!

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on March 6, 2009 at 10:13 PM

Congratulations for your place in the youtube symphony! I love your way of helping musicians of all levels!  Your advice is always very valuable and yes, it makes total sense!   Thanks for all the time you invest in all these projects!  Yes, everyone must do what he/she can to save music!



From Y Cheung
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Congratulations on a well-deserved win!  As a fan of your YouTube videos, I look forward to your reporting on the Carnegie Hall concert.  Are you still playing the Nicolo Gagliano?  What bow are you using?  I remember you saying something about Lafleur but I'm not sure.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 12:49 AM

Thanks for writing, Ben! We'll look forward to hearing how it goes!

If anyone is curious about who was selected, etc. here is the website for the You Tube Symphony.

From Jairo Muniz
Posted on March 7, 2009 at 6:16 AM

Congratulations BEN... if i were only in my twenties again..?  From what i briefly scanned in your blog, your project(s), are not unlike mine, of the last hmm 30yrs or so...

To defer: You can check out my 'mini' bio here at Via academia, i am an engineer; robotics-audio/forensic anthropologist/photographer/ ah yes musician... and a few other, other personas.  Well right now i am almost over my head in committments and projects, BUT, i check in and turbo-scan this xcel site, when possible.

Greetings to MTT; [circa 60's w/ Maestro Leonard Burnstien: NYC Public School Orchestra; CARNIEGE Hall Concert]... AND more recently via my brother PHILIP PAYTON, who mentored him when he had a fellowship with MTT and "The NEW WORLD SYMPHONY" in Miami, FL., a few years ago.

Both my vocation/avocation have, in one way or another evolved/revolved around, the education[math-science], and MUSIC, for "kids of all ages" most of my life.  It's always great to see/hear others, especially you "young guns" [male-female], moving forward to these ends.  Many a time, more than not, financially; not so rewarding YET, nothing can supersede the gratification and emotional, "other world" soul fullfillment when it all comes ... together..!

"Classical genius is worth biding a millennia for... aim your hearts and ears to their ZENITH"...!

The best to you and your adult and "mini" associates.. keep us posted.  If i can help in someway, by all means let me know...

Sincerely Yours,

jairo c. muniz  [jcmltd]

dum spiro spero [while i breathe i HOPE]

From Christine Ho
Posted on March 8, 2009 at 2:49 AM

Congratulations Ben on your acceptance into the YouTube Symphony Orchestra! I was delighted to find your awesome article here and I enjoyed reading it!

Yes, I faithfully voted for you daily during the voting period under the YouTube screen name SCSQ4! Yes, here is my account with! It is surely a small world out there when you are a professional musician!

I am very sure you will enjoy meeting more musicians and making new friends! This will definitely be a very special and exciting time in your life! Have a fabulous time in New York and in Carnegie Hall!

I look forward to seeing your personal video footage of your experiences in New York and Carnegie Hall in April!

You are just so awesome!

Sincerely Yours,

Christine Ho

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