Catholic School’s Popular Music Program Gets Big Boost

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, Faith, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

Emmy Liu-Wang plays the cello, the piano, and she sings.

The 12-year-old is musically gifted and her talent has grown while attending St. Andrew Avellino Catholic Academy in Flushing Queens.

Emmy said, “It’s just what I love to do and I’m just so happy that I get to do it in school here.”

The Catholic school has a strong music program. Emmy’s mom Clare Liu, who’s a cellist, is one of the school’s music teachers.

Mom and Emmy feel the 12-year-olds musical and performing talents have grown since transferring to the catholic school. Her faith, has also grown, the school inspired Emmy to become Catholic.

The 7th grader explained, “Once I came here, my second-grade teacher, she taught me all about it and I completely fell in love and I wanted to get baptized in third grade.”

Her mother added, “She begged me she said, ‘mommy I want to be baptized’ and I said ‘okay of course, I 100% support you.’ She was so happy.”

While in school at St. Andrew Avellino, Emmy learns about her religion, and the instruments she loves, something she did not do at her public school.

Emmy said, “I mean, I liked my old school but it didn’t really have to much of an opportunity for me to perform and do all the stuff I love to do. This school, I feel, almost like I am performing every day, it’s amazing.”

The school offers all types of programs from chorus to band to percussion to strings and even piano. Teaching kids of all ages to love music.

Now, the school will be able to inspire and teach even more students. A 100,000 dollar grant from the Diocese of Brooklyn will go into the arts and music programs at the school.

Kimberly Larkin, who started the programs and is the music director, said this grant will put instruments in the hands of more students which has always been her goal.

Larkin said, “I wanted the kids to always be making music, because I think it’s easy with limited resources to fall into that the class becomes academic and the students do learn the music notes or they learn songs, but I just really wanted it to be hands on so the students were making music.”

The school has already received half of the funding and is making immediate improvements.