Moving tribute held for Bay Area music teacher killed during fishing trip

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There was a moving tribute Sunday night for a Bay Area music teacher who was killed during a fishing trip last Spring. (KGO-TV)

There was a moving tribute Sunday night for a Bay Area music teacher who was killed during a fishing trip last spring. Now the teacher's community is raising money for his wife and children.

Jun Gao died when he was swept out to sea, while on a fishing trip in Monterey in May. The 34-year-old music teacher taught young musicians all over the Bay Area the art of the dizi,


The traditional Chinese bamboo flute. "He brought us together with the common interest of the flute and loving music," said 13-year-old May Zhang, who was Gao's student for six years. She and dozens of Gao's students and their families spent the summer organizing a benefit concert at Santa Clara University for Gao's family. "He's taught us a lot, he's brought us all together. We're all a huge big family and so, we're going to support his wife and children. Even though he won't be here physically, he's with us spiritually and we'll always love him."

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Goa's widow and two young sons quietly showed up during the concert to accept a book that Gao's students filled with letters and photos. "He is (the) only income for his family," said David Zhang who is May's father and was Gao's friend. Zhang says before Gao died, he told him that he wanted to hold a recital for all of his students from the California Youth Chinese Symphony, various public schools and private lessons. So the concert was held to honor Gao's work, but also to raise money to help his wife. "Hopefully she will be strong enough to raise his two kids, life has to move forward," said Zhang.

The traditional Chinese bamboo flute. "He brought us together with the common interest of the flute and loving music," said 13-year-old May Zhang, who was Gao's student for six years. She and dozens of Gao's students and their families spent the summer organizing a benefit concert at Santa Clara University for Gao's family. "He's taught us a lot, he's brought us all together. We're all a huge big family and so, we're going to support his wife and children. Even though he won't be here physically, he's with us spiritually and we'll always love him."

Goa's widow and two young sons quietly showed up during the concert to accept a book that Gao's students filled with letters and photos. "He is (the) only income for his family," said David Zhang who is May's father and was Gao's friend. Zhang says before Gao died, he told him that he wanted to hold a recital for all of his students from the California Youth Chinese Symphony, various public schools and private lessons. So the concert was held to honor Gao's work, but also to raise money to help his wife. "Hopefully she will be strong enough to raise his two kids, life has to move forward," said Zhang.


Gao's students will move forward by continuing their musical education. The families say they are looking for a new dizi teacher, not to replace Gao, but to keep his music alive.

If you would like to donate money to Gao's family, you can send a check, made out to Teacher Gao, to CYCS (California Youth Chinese Symphony) at P.O Box 4192, Santa Clara, CA 95056.
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teacherdead bodystudentseducationmusicculturefundraiserFremont
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