Pianist Ruby Tang

YES AWARDS – Honouring Oak Bay’s exceptional youth – Ruby Tang

Tickling the ivories, and so much more

Ruby Tang has a passion for stories. Personal and inspirational tales from the people she comes across in her varied volunteer roles; historical tales found through her research projects at the Royal BC Museum; and those told through music.

The 15-year-old excels on the ivory keys, and after more than a decade of playing, completed her Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music exam in August.

“I want to go on with ARCT (Associate of The Royal Conservatory) diploma this year. Music is a big part of my life,” Tang said. “It helps me relax and it has taught me how to really focus concentration.”

At school, she accompanies multiple dance troupes through the year, along with two choirs.

Her piano playing is just one reason the Oak Bay teen earned an Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star Award.

At the Victoria Conservatory, she helps with every task from taking tickets to post-event cleanup. She’ll occasionally play piano as a member of the leadership group at Oak Bay High that participates in the Memory Café at Oak Bay Lodge, where they interact with the residents.

Her volunteer work stretches well beyond music though. Tang also has a list of one-time events she’s worked on such as the Human Rights film fest and Bowker Creek design charette.

An active member of the Oak Bay High student council, Tang volunteered at many events this year including the Philippines typhoon fundraiser and helping student services with the international students from China.

This month, she’ll serve as project leader for canvassing for a silent auction for the school’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock campaign.

“It’s something I enjoy doing. I value helping other people,” she said. “It’s also fun because you get to meet new people and you gain new experiences. It can be inspiring.”

On the athletic side, she enjoys badminton, cross country and basketball at school, plus a little whacking the birdie at Cordova Bay with family and friends as well.

“It’s really competitive,” she said with a grin.

In reverence to her familial roots, she’s an avid volunteer at the Victoria Public Chinese School including helping to organize public performances and New Year celebrations.

A passion for history led her to ongoing research with the Human History department of the RBCM, where this summer she delved into a project on gambling dens in Victoria’s Chinatown. Right now she’s transcribing, with her mother’s help, two 4.5 hour CDs.

She loves to learn languages including Mandarin and Cantonese, alongside French at school and hopes to add another, yet-to-be-determined tongue.

“I enjoy what I do, that’s why I do so much. I’ve learned to really balance my life,” she said. “One of the reasons I can do so much is I have so much support from my family.”

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