Aimusic School (San Jose, CA)

Work Address

  • Organization Name:Aimusic School
  • Address:PO Box 642098
    San Jose, CA 95164
    United States

Work Web



  • Mission:
  • Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra (FYCO) promotes Chinese music as an integral part of Chinese-American culture in San Jose by training young students of all ethnicities to play traditional instruments, thereby strengthening the Chinese community in the Bay Area of California, and enhancing the culture diversity and richness of American society.

  • Overview:
  • FYCO is a unique educational and artistic organization in Silicon Valley. Representing 7.67% Chinese-American population in the Santa Clara County, our ethnic group provides quality programs to our multicultural community. Through our educational program, we have successfully trained over thousand students to play various Chinese instruments. The program provides sufficient intensity, consistency, and duration for learning Chinese music. Through our artistic program, we built up the largest Chinese orchestra in the West, and also produced unique concert programs with world premières. Every year, we serve about 10,000 audience members by performing in public libraries, schools, senior home, community centers, cultural events, and national and international conferences.

    Over 300 traditional operas were counted in the middle of the 20th century, and are part of China’s cultural treasures. We would like to bring more awareness to them on an international scope. The key works we will focus on in the coming year are such traditional Chinese operatic music. Those on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list, like Kunqu Opera, Peking Opera, Yueju Opera, and Tibetan Opera, will be among the selected.

    FYCO governing body is the Board. With a great vision in our future, the Board shares a strong faith on carrying out Chinese cultural heritage to next generations. The Board is responsible for policy making, fundraising, and budget verification. Our management team consists of the executive director, managers, and coordinators. The Board has a quarterly meeting, while the management team meets every month. Sometimes, we merge the two meetings together in order to complete and carry out good communications between each other.

    We have a constant low teacher-student ratio in most instrumental classes. There are 5 ensembles to carry on our treasured traditions: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. Our Metal group, the beginners, starts with playing in unison, while Water group is introduced to small ensembles. The Wood group starts with essential orchestral pieces while the Fire group, the most advanced group, plays advanced music. Solo music is for Water students and up. Sight-reading is a must-learn skill and tested twice a year. This programming is developed from considering of learning authentic Chinese music systematically. We selected these initial materials from millions of folksongs passed down from generation to generation all over China. The students are much more interested in playing folksongs with vivid melodies rather than practicing mechanical etudes. From the beginner group, students normally need to take 3 years to build up their basic instrumental skills.

    Our funding sources are reliable. All students pay their tuition on an annual basis. Donations are from parents, audiences, private parties, and companies. We also seek contributions from diversified revenue. Some of our corporate sources are from Cisco, Adobe, Apple, IBM, Visa, HP, Sony, Western Digital and other enterprises. For a consecutive number of years, we are grantees of National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, City of San Jose, Silicon Valley Creates, Knight Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation.

  • History:
  • With only 13 young musicians, FYCO was founded in 2000. Its predecessor was Gordon Lee’s private studio, which started in 1995. We are the first American Chinese orchestra invited by the Ministry of Culture to visit China in 2004, established a new orchestration with a centered plucked instrument portion giving a strong influence in the field, held a Chinese operatic music concert, collaborated with youth, adult and professional symphony orchestras to premiere new works in Chinese traditions, performed in international enterprises like Apple, Microsoft, Intel, VMware, eBay, Target, PwC, Cartier, and NBA.

    In this last summer 2013, we were invited to perform in the Hsinchu Chinese Music Festival in Taiwan. We also had joint concerts with local Chinese Orchestras, visited sister city and county government offices, and collaborated with a few schools. Board of Supervisors County of Santa Clara gave us a resolution for our Taiwan tour and “contributions to cultural exchange between Santa Clara County and Hsinchu County.”

    Our artistic program is very creative. In 2006, we premièred the grand Chinese orchestra suite, The Winchester House. In 2007, we premièred another Chinese orchestra suite Scenic Seasons. Our Shaolin Zen Concert in 2009, and Young Impressions of the Old City, Symphonic Suite for Erhu, Pipa, & Sheng in 2010 sets a historical remark in the field of orchestral music in both Western and Chinese. Our Tang Dynasty Poetry, Music and Dance concert held in the end of 2011 merged concert hall and opera house programs, breaking a record for cultural, youth, even professional groups in performing onstage followed by performing in a orchestral pit. FYCO’s music has been highly acclaimed by our multicultural audience members. By Feb. 23, 2014, our website is the first on Yahoo’s 3,670,000 “Chinese Orchestra” results, and on Google’s 19,000,000 results. Some of our program posted on Youtube has over 39,000 viewers.

    Because of our achievements, we have been awarded grants by the city, state, and federal government arts agencies and foundations. NEA praised FYCO as “one of the very few ensembles in the United States dedicated to educating your people, their families and communities through traditional Chinese music, and is carrying out its mission with great success.” We have also been featured on newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, including KPIX (Ch.5), ABC (Ch.7), KQED (Ch.9), KTSF (Ch.26), KICU (Ch.36), KTEH (Ch.54), CCTV (China Central Television), Hong Kong Phoenix, Taiwan United News, and Phoenix North America.

  • Year established:1995
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:Operating

Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)

  • None specified

Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)

  • None specified

Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)

  • None specified

Organization tax information is not viewable for this organization.