Chang is that rare instrumentalist who has studied with the same person his entire
musical career. Since second grade, teacher Jenny Fan and Michael have worked
to perfect his cello technique. Michael has shared his talent with fellow public
school musicians for years, first as a member of the Fiske and All Town Orchestras,
then at Wellesley Middle School under the baton of Laurie Peckins, and for four
years at Wellesley High School under the guidance of Orchestra Director Mary Alice
McCann. Now, as a member of the Honors Chamber Orchestra and a Senior Intensive
student for Ms. McCann, Michael exemplifies the wonderful combination of dedicated
musician and true leader, which is why he was chosen for a POPS Performing Arts
leader, Michael's been willing to try new things musically, moving him outside
his comfort zone as an ensemble player. At one point, he participated in a Cello
Choir at WHS. "It was a really good experience for me, because I had to learn
to lead a section." For last year's MICCA competition, Michael learned and
performed a bassoon solo in a Telemann piece.
Alice McCann speaks of Michael with great admiration. "Michael is so humble
and his talents are many. You have to ask him to learn how many wonderful things
he is up to in his life." So true. In addition to his orchestra commitment,
all four years at WHS Michael has been a sprinter for the indoor track team, as
well as a member of the incredibly competitive boy's varsity tennis team. Outside
of school, he's also an avid snowboarder.
really lights up when he talks about his involvement with the Chinese Folk Art
Workshop, a Boston-based non-profit organization. The Workshop, of which Michael
has been a member since first grade, aims to promote interaction with and understanding
of Chinese culture in the community. Their mission is to highlight the beauty
of Chinese folk arts and to help a new generation of American-born Chinese showcase
their talents and gifts. In 2005, the group received the President's Gold Volunteer
Service Award to honor the members for their contribution to the community.
group has been like a second family to me," says Michael who performs in
the Lion, Dragon and Folk Dances, Taiwanese drums and Chinese yo-yo demonstrations.
"I put a huge amount of time in to it. We've performed at incredible places
like First Night Boston and First Night Providence. My favorite performance was
in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands."
has wowed WHS students with his Chinese yo-yo prowess on Seminar Days. For those
who missed these performances, or would like to see Michael's other Chinese folk
art skills, the group will perform the evening of May 26th at the Virginia Wimberly
Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. For more information,
check out their web site at www.folkartboston.org.
Alice McCann sums up the good vibe with which Michael leaves people. "There
are qualities that come through in both Michael's person and his cello playing:
a calm focus, happiness, respect, attention to detail and a deep appreciation
of others and of beauty in music. He is one of those people who make you feel
just better about everything when you are around him. I know that he will bring
these qualities with him into the next chapter in his life, and others will be
just as fortunate as I have been to work with him."
Last modified 5/26/12