PMAY Artists’ graduation recital on Saturday


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Mandy Jiang
Gabriela Salvador-Riera
Lucas Lauprasert
Kwanyun Loo
Adam Elbohy
Aram Karpeh

The Philadelphia Alliance for Youth Artists’ Initiative program will hold a graduation recital on Saturday, June 8, at 6 p.m. at the Settlement Music School branch at 416 Queen St. The concert is free and open to everyone.

The five graduating seniors have earned more than $1 million in college scholarships. Also, eighth-grader Kwanyun Loo earned a full scholarship to Curtis Institute.

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“Our mission is to prepare each student to be accepted into a top music conservatory or university program and go on to have a thriving music career,” said Najib Wong, director of the PMAY Artists’ program.

The PMAY Artists’ Initiative is a collaborative of Settlement Music School, Musicopia, Philadelphia Sinfonia, PYO Music Institute, Project 440 and Temple University Music Prep. Together, these partners support fifth- to 12th-graders from communities that are “historically excluded” in classical music, providing subsidized lessons, instruments, masterclasses, summer programs and college advising.

Gabriela Salvador-Riera, who plays the violin, has a full scholarship to Oberlin College and Conservatory (Ohio). She’s been featured on NPR’s From the Top and WRTI’s Young Artist Spotlight, took second place at the National Sphinx Competition, performed solo with the Buffalo and Erie Philharmonic and is a concertmaster of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

Lucas Lauprasert, who plays the viola, has a full scholarship to Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (Maryland). He’s a principal viola of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, was the 2022 Ambler Symphony Menges Scholarship competition winner, was the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto competition winner and has been featured on NPR’s From the Top.

Kwanyun Loo, an eighth-grader who plays the cello, has a full scholarship to Curtis Institute of Music in Center City. He was the winner of the James Deitz Memorial Young Artist Competition and performed with the Main Line Symphony Orchestra, Old York Road Symphony and the Lansdowne Symphony.

Mandy Jiang, who plays the violin, has a full scholarship to Syracuse University. She’s the founder of the nonprofit We Are Music and a member of the Philadelphia School District All City Orchestra.

Aram Karpeh, who plays double bass, has a full scholarship to the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins.

Adam Elbohy, who plays violin, received scholarships to attend Oberlin College.

“The cost for a student to get everything they need to attend college for classical music can be $15,000 a year. That price point can close many doors,” Wong said. “We are proud to support these students, many of whom are first-generation college students, and we have already seen incredible accomplishments from our graduates.” ••

To RSVP to the recital, go to

Learn more about the PMAY Artists’ Initiative and how to apply at

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