Youth ready to rock the Bach

What do Bruno Mars, LMFAO, Harry Potter and classical piano have in common?

Edward Chan enjoys them all.

The 10-year-old boy, who studies at the Irvine School of Music and lives in Las Flores, is set to compete at the Southern California Junior Bach Festival at Chapman University in September after advancing from the branch and regional competitions earlier this year.

“I had to practice very hard for the competition,” he said. “I practiced every day of the week for half an hour. I prepared [Bach’s Prelude No. 3 in C Minor] for six months for the competition.”

Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang honored Edward with an award at the Aug. 14 City Council meeting.

Edward said he was excited to win the regional competition.

“It feels like my work has paid off rather than been a waste of time,” Edward said.

His mother, Doris Lee, shared this excitement.

“I was very proud of him and wasn’t expecting [him to win],” she said. “I just wanted him to get the experience and just participate and try to learn from the other piano players at the competitions.”

Edward grew up watching his older brother Andrew Chan, 15, play the piano.

“I usually play the songs that my brother plays,” Edward said. “Whenever I have trouble with the fingering and rhythm, he really helps me.”

While Andrew serves as an inspiration, Edward said he began playing piano just to try something new.

When Edward was 4 years old he began studying piano with Cameron Tong, director of the Irvine School of Music.

“I’m enormously proud of everything Edward has accomplished,” Tong said. “To be dedicated to an instrument in this day and age when kids have so many distractions speaks a lot to Edward’s values.”

For more information about the festival, visit

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