A Moment in Time, a benefit concert for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego, packed the room to overflowing at the La Jolla Riford Library on Sunday, September 15, 2019. Audience members celebrated mental health with performances as well as speeches delivered by concert organizer Ursula Hardianto ’21, NAMI San Diego CEO Cathryn Nacario and NAMI San Diego Communications Specialist Julie Benn. The speeches were followed with performances of fifteen acts given by nine students, six of whom are Bishop’s students: Alex Kuncz ’21 (oboe and voice), Brett Garon ’21 (co-MC and voice), Delilah Delgado ’21 (dance), Joelle Jeon ’21 (piano), Ursula (co-MC and piano) and Vanessa Yang ’21 (violin). Members of the audience included residents of La Jolla who learned about the concert from a La Jolla Light article and volunteers and representatives of NAMI San Diego as well as staff, faculty, counselors, students, and families from Bishop’s.
This was the first benefit concert Ursula organized. She was inspired to organize this event after a family member was formally diagnosed with mental illness. Upon realizing the underrepresentation of the mental health community as well as the stigma surrounding it, she yearned to raise awareness and celebrate mental health. Ursula began planning the benefit concert in October 2018, then asked classmates if they would be interested in celebrating mental health through the performing arts in the spring. Once she secured the performers for the event, Ursula began constructing the concert website. During the month approaching the concert, she also acquired in-kind sponsorships from multiple La Jolla local businesses.
In her opening speech, Ursula said, “Planning and organizing this concert has been the most enriching and humbling experience for me.” She and her fellow performers were very pleased with the turnout and glad that all the audience members enjoyed the event and learned more about mental health. Ursula stated, “I am so glad everyone in the audience seemed to sincerely care and were receptive to my message about mental health. In this sense, I have succeeded in raising awareness and busted the stigma of mental health, which were my original goals when organizing the concert. All the amazing performances created an uplifting and enjoyable event! I plan on raising awareness about mental health by making this benefit concert an annual event!”
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.