Wine and Jazz to Benefit Philippine Typhoon Victims

Local children’s group turns fundraiser into aid for Philippines:

“We teach children that it doesn’t matter how young they are or that they don’t have money to donate, they can help other people just by making an effort.” 

ABOUT THE “Jazz & Juice” EVENT
November 14, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Newport Bluffs Luxury Apartments, 100 Vilaggio, Newport Beach CA, 92660
Cost:  Advance purchase on YSOC website: $25.00 – On the day: $35.00
Purchase tickets at
Email or Phone (949) 463 6691

Newport Beach, CA – November 10, 2013 – This weekend’s catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines has prompted a last-minute change of plans for Costa-Mesa based charity, Young Singers of Orange County. Their fundraiser event on Thursday will now be generating funds to help the relief effort via a donation to UNICEF, rather than keeping all the proceeds for themselves.

Sophie Smith, co-director of the choir, says this is nothing new for the organization. “Our very first fundraiser was actually for the Haiti earthquake relief fund, which we made through UNICEF”, explains the high school Junior “the whole focus of our choir is to teach kids about serving their community through music and song, whether it’s by singing to the old and sick, or by actually helping raise money for people in need”.

Smith’s classmate Issy Leustig, the other director, adds “We’d planned the Haiti concert that way from the start and raised a couple of thousand dollars. This time it’s really a last-minute decision, but it just seemed a natural thing for us to do and really teaches the kids and their parents what we’re about when it’s happening right now”.

The choir won’t be donating all the proceeds to UNICEF, as they are relying on the fundraiser for ongoing expenses, but Smith says they can catch up later if need be “We can organize other fundraisers for ourselves, and we actually just got a grant from TEDx this year that will help us, so we decided it’s better to do this now when people are motivated to give to help the victims”. (YSOC recently won the TEDx Orange Coast Teen Challenge for “ideas worth doing” and will receive mentoring and some funding for the coming year.)

Some of Orange County’s top musical talent have joined together to support the next generation of young musicians, as they perform a jazz concert to raise funds for the teen-led Young Singers of Orange County, a non-profit community choir that serves local children from age 5-14.

Internationally acclaimed saxophonist Dannie Hofmann and Anthony Riedelsheimer, owner of The Music Factory music school, called in some favors to bring together jazz musicians and singers for the event, which will also feature wines from several leading Orange County wineries and gourmet catering donated by Whole Foods Market.

Riedelsheimer says he’s always ready to help the new generation of musicians as they develop their skills, “Developing kids’ love for music is what we do, so we really like to see young people taking the initiative to get together and help themselves and the community”. The music factory, located in Costa Mesa, has been teaching children in a wide range of musical genres since 2006.

Hofmann, who has played all over the United States and Europe for acts such as Solomon Burke, Little Milton and Joss Stone, currently performs locally with the Stereo System Collective jazz group, and several other bands including Riedelsheimer’s Art of Jazz. “I always try to say yes when YSOC asks for my help,” he says “especially since they make an effort to reach out and sponsor kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to get into music.”

The Young Singers are themselves heavily committed to community service. Apart from singing for local hospices, senior centers and the like, the choir – with help from some of these same professional musicians – has raised money for Haiti earthquake victims, cancer patients and the American Cancer Society, and hopes to do more. Sophie Smith, who directs of the choir with fellow high school junior Issy Leustig, explains “We teach children that it doesn’t matter how young they are or that they don’t have money to donate, they can help other people just by making an effort. Adults are happy to support them when they see how committed the kids are, and how much joy it brings to others to see them perform”.

Tina Wilson, who has been singing jazz around Orange County for fourteen years, says she jumped at the chance to lend her voice to the cause. “Music education is so important, it’s the way we keep the arts alive in our society,” she says. “I’ve known this group from their foundation; it was started by a high school senior, and is still run by students – it’s a fabulous example of young people making a difference in their community.”

The YSOC choir itself won’t be performing on November 14 however, as this is and adults-only event featuring wine-tasting with jazz. Smith explains, “We’re hoping to reach further into the community for this fundraiser, letting more people know about the choir and the people that have helped us, so all they’ll see of our own singers will be a video.”

Newport Beach Winery, Giracci Vineyards, Orange Coast Winery and Cowboy Canyon Winery will be pouring wine at the event. They are part of a growing family of wineries based in Orange County, producing award-winning wines and providing interesting and picturesque venues for day trips and events. Whole Foods, located close to this event’s venue in Fashion Island, has a close relationship with the children’s choir, who have sung at the store’s café and will be appearing again this holiday season.

ABOUT THE “Jazz & Juice” EVENT

When: November 14, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Newport Bluffs Luxury Apartments, 100 Vilaggio, Newport Beach CA 92660

Cost:  Advance purchase on YSOC website: $25.00

On the day: $35.00

Contact: Website


Phone (949) 463 6691


For Young Singers of Orange County:

Peter Smith

(949) 463 6691



Whole Foods Newport Beach

Giracci Vineyards

Newport Beach Winery

Cowboy Canyon Winery

Orange Coast Winery

OC Wine School



Anthony Riedelsheimer – drums

Tyler Dean Berryhill – guitar

Ruben Ramirez – bass

Oliver Althoen – guitar

Dannie Hofmann – sax

Tina Wilson – vocals

Donzelle Harris – vocals

Charlotte Bo-barlotte – vocals


Art of Jazz

Stereo System Collective



Young Singers of Orange County is a not for profit, California (c)(3)community-service organization that provides opportunity for children ages 5-14 to participate in a choir which performs concerts at schools, hospitals, elderly-care facilities and community events. YSOC generates funds through public performances as well as private donations, sponsorship and grants, to benefit local nonprofit arts organizations for children in and around Orange County, California.

Created by Samantha Smith as her High School Senior Project in 2009, the organization is based in Costa Mesa so as to be close to population centers that may not have easy access to extra-curricular musical activities of this kind. “The goal of Young Singers is to inspire kids to start community service early,” says Samantha Smith, who is currently a senior at Vassar College in New York. “We develop their singing abilities, but equally important is teaching them about teamwork and demonstrating how they can give something back to the community no matter their age.”


The choir is 100% volunteer-run, and is led by high school students who take the role of Choir Director, working in collaboration with a variety of outside professional musicians and vocal coaches who teach Master Classes that form the framework of the choir’s curriculum. The operation is overseen by an adult board of directors with experience in community and charitable organizations, who mentor the young volunteers and operate the fiscal and administrative duties of the group.


Annual dues are kept low, at $100 per year, and scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need to ensure that no child is denied access. “Our goal is to get as many kids as possible excited about singing for their community,” says Smith “we know that once they live this experience, they’ll be hooked!”

For more information on YSOC, visit the website at email or call (949) 463 6691.
Rehearsals: Fridays 3:30-5:00 PM, Costa Mesa Playhouse, 661 Hamilton Ave, Costa Mesa
Cost: $100 (1st child of family). Discounts for additional siblings. Financial aid is available.

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