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 going into eighth grade at CPS. She was the second-place winner in the Chinese instrument division at the 34th Music Festival in Honor of Confucius and has been learning guzheng for about seven years. 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. Apart from being a member of SoWE, Angela is also a member of the Chicago Children’s Choir and a Tzu Shao volunteer for the Tzu Chi Foundation. She also does Chinese dance, plays volleyball and badminton. 


Information Technology Director


        Eli Xu is a junior at Walter Payton College Prep. He is a member of the Boys Track Team and Math Team. He is also a Tzu Shao volunteer for 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. Eli learned the Chinese Zither, also known as the guzheng, when he was six years old. He performs at Ray Graham, a home for adults with disabilities, as a member of Tzu Shao. He is part of Sounds of Wishes Ensemble’s tech crew, in charge of filming and editing video performances, as well as other publicity responsibilities.


Musical Performance 


Sophia is currently a 9th grader. She has been learning the guzheng for 6 years and is a member of Sound of Wishes Ensemble. She has preformed at various events such as the Chinese Fine Arts Society, Chinese New Year Celebration of the Garfield Park and local libraries. She was the 2nd place winner of the Chinese Instrument Division during the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius at Chicago. She also plays the piano, draws, dances, and teaches 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.


Film Production Director


        Daniel is currently a freshman in high school. He has been playing piano for 7 years. He has passed Level 7 of the ISMTA Achievement in Music Examination. 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 10 years. Daniel also likes art and film. He won first place of the Animal Expressions Young Art Contest in 2012. Daniel has been learning Chinese painting for 5 years. His paintings have won the first and third place awards of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of Chicago. He has also 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

© 2020 by Emily Zhao

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