I’ve been trying to think what I loved most about our 2018 concert.  I think it’s two things.


First, I’m deeply touched by the love and support of our friends and family.  We were warned that part of the mourning process is that people move on, and it seems like they forget.  Yeah, I get that.  They’re not mourning a son, like we are, and life is busy.  There are daughters moving out of dorms and sons performing in plays and mothers and grandmothers to celebrate.  All hugely important things.  So it was with great gratitude that we could welcome the friends and family that came to be with us. I believe that all of us there felt the sense of community, of coming together to support a cause bigger than ourselves.  To celebrate children learning and following their passions.  To support children learning music.


I also really loved the music, and the emotions that music created.  The majesty of the OCSA Wind Ensemble’s performance, their mastery of the craft, the beauty of their music.  The little kids in our Dragon Kim Foundation Band and Orchestra… for them, the magical thing wasn’t about their playing, though they were really good, especially for kids that have just started learning. It’s about the pride and love on the faces of their parents, watching their children perform, many for the first time ever. It’s about the joy and pride on their own faces when they recognized that they could make beautiful music.


I loved AJ Rafael’s music.  I love his covers, and I love his originals.  But, I think the reason AJ has 750,000 followers is not just because of his music, but because of who he is and because AJ’s love for music shines through in his performances.  I loved how, in between songs, AJ shares about his musical journey — about how his father was a musician, and taught AJ to love music before he passed when AJ was only ten.  About how AJ wrote this song about his breakup and how kids at his concerts – boys that don’t normally show any emotions – come up to him to tell him how that song helped them work through their own breakup, creating a bond between people through the sharing and dispersing of pain. I loved how AJ shares the spotlight, and in so doing, creates something even bigger.  He spontaneously called to the stage his younger sister, and asked her to sing that song from Moana.  Oh my gosh, she nailed that song!  What a big voice in such a little girl.  And all the kids in the audience, including my 6 year old niece, Hannah, who was sitting next to my 15 year old daughter, also Hannah, were mouthing all the words because they LOVE that song.  I loved the proud look AJ had on his face when he looked over at his sister, knowing that she would nail it, knowing that she had nailed it.  And I loved when AJ called up Dragon’s friend, Roy, who he saw had been singing along. Roy got to perform on stage with AJ, his musical idol.  That’s a moment Roy is never going to forget, and watching Roy’s pleasure, we all got to enjoy the song even more.  And lastly, I loved that we got to stand and let the music enter our hearts and move our feet and our hands, and that together, we got to dance in celebration of joy and music and love and life.


It was a brilliant night, a wonderful concert, and a beautiful celebration and remembrance of Dragon.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you all for celebrating with us.

Dragon Kim Foundation Video

Film credits: Hannah Kim

This all started in 2016 with our First Annual Benefit Concert.  It was a special evening then, and every year since, it has been a wonderful celebration fundraiser shared with friends and family.