A b o u t   U s

Emily Zhao founded the Sound of Wishes Ensemble (SoWE) in 2017. From its initial small group of Guzheng musicians, Sound of Wishes has always been dedicated to cultivating cultural diversity and helping under-resourced kids in the community.  

Every year, SoWE performs all throughout the Chicagoland area, with the goal of raising awareness for Eastern Asian culture and music. In addition, we are active on our Youtube  channel and offer Guzheng music lessons as well in hopes of inspiring others to learn, listen, and value Eastern music.
Through various fundraisers, scholarships, and donations, SoWE has raised over $10,000 for organizations committed to providing relief for kids with limited opportunities, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation and Feeding America.
Completely run by young adults, Sound of Wishes is officially regiestered as a 501c3 certified Nonprofit Organization. All donations and other proceeds go directly toward our mission.

For performance, Guzheng lessons, or inquiries, please email us, soundofwishes@gmail.com!


Learn more about each division here! Apply below!



Founder and Director


    Emily is currently a rising senior in high school. She has been playing guzheng for 8 years and has competed at multiple competitions in the Chicago area and  was the first place winner in the Chinese instrument division at the 34th Music Festival in honor of Confucius. Emily enjoys performing on live stages, and also plays piano and flute, both for over 7 years. At school, she is involved in many science extracurricular activites as well, where she enjoys studying biology.

Musical Performance 


Angela is currently an eighth-grader in CPS. She has been playing guzheng for eight years and has competed at multiple competitions and was the second-place winner in the Chinese instrument division at the 34th Music Festival in honor of Confucius. She has played at numerous performances, including the DePaul University 2020 Chinese Lunar New Year Gala, the Global Arts Festival, nursing homes, and charity concerts. She occasionally edits videos, for both SoWE and school projects. Apart from being a member of SoWE, Angela is also a member of Chicago Children’s Choir’s (CCC’s) neighborhood choir and a Tzu Shao volunteer for the Tzu Chi Foundation, an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to relieve the suffering of those in need and create a better world. She also does Chinese dance, hurdles, plays volleyball and badminton.

Technology Lead


        Eli Xu is a senior at Walter Payton College Prep


Musical Performance 


Sophia is currently a freshman in highschool. She has been learning guzheng for 7 years. She has performed in numerous events such as the Chinese Fine Arts Society. Chinese New Year Celebration of the Garfield Park, local libraries, nursing homes, and charity concerts. Other than guzheng, she plays the piano and clarinet. At school she takes part in the Science Olympiad club, she enjoys studying astronomy and physics. She is an artist, learning at Xiangbin Art Studio for 7 years, participating in Scholastic Art and Writing competitions alike. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, dancing, and tutoring english to children with limited opportunities.


Musical Performance 


Maxwell is currently a sophomore at Naperville Central High School and has played violin for six years with 3 years at the Suzuki Music School in Naperville. He has played in numerous performances at school orchestras and the ILMEA Music Conference. In addition, he performed for various charities like Kids-Against-Hunger at the Spring Road Gazebo, and at several community nursing homes. Along with violin, Maxwell also loves to rock climb at Vertical Endeavors.

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Film Production Director


Daniel is currently a sophomore in high school. At SoWE, he is the Director of Film Production, and he manages the production and editing of videos for SoWE. Daniel has played the piano for 7 years. He is a Tzu Shao volunteer of Tzu Chi Foundation, which is an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to relieve the suffering of those in need and create a better world. Some of Daniel’s hobbies are sports and filmmaking. He has been playing soccer for 11 years, and does hurdles in track & field. Daniel also likes art and film. Daniel has learned Chinese painting for 5 years, and has participated in filmmaking programs at the Beverly Arts Center.


A p p l i c a t i o n s

APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW!  If you are interested in joining our team for any of the five divisions (see above), please fill out this brief FORM! We will get back to you to discuss your membership in greater detail.


B O A R D  O F  D I R E C T O R S

Sound of Wishes' official 501c3 Nonprofit Core Board of Directors: 

President: Emily Zhao

Vice Presidents: Sophia Zhao/Angela Wang

Treasurer: Hui He

Secretary: Jindan Yu

Legal Officer: Jenny Wang

Marketing Officer: Pei Cai