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WRITTEN BY
The Village School
November 29, 2023

Soothing Shelter Animals Through Music: Fifth Grader Spearheads Fundraiser for Houston Pets Alive!

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Animal lovers and welfare advocates of all ages and backgrounds gathered at Resurrection MCC in the Heights for the first-ever Wild Tunes concert – “Melodies of Gratitude” to raise money and awareness for shelter animals at Houston Pets Alive! (HPA!).

Wild Tunes, a one-of-a-kind initiative launched by Village School Elementary Yuvaanh "Yuvi" Agarwal, aims to soothe shelter animals through music. 
 
In total, the inaugural concert raised over $17,000 for HPA, who will use the funds to improve the lives of shelter dogs and cats as they await their forever homes. 

"We are immensely grateful to the animal advocacy community, including HPA, for embracing the concept of Wild Tunes and seeing its value in helping shelter animals readjust to humans, increasing their chances of fostering and adoption," said Priyanka Agarwal, Yuvi's mother, and director of Wild Tunes. "The concert was just one way of showing our support for the lifesaving work they do daily to better the lives of homeless animals across the greater Houston area." 

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The line-up of performers represented a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and ranged in age from 7 to 70, illustrating that animal welfare is a universal topic many are passionate about. From a harpist and a flutist to a children’s rock band and contemporary dance school, to vocalists, pianists, and string instrumentalists, "Melodies of Gratitude" showcased a variety of talented musicians, all of whom possess a heart for animals and their well-being. Zachery Lashway, anchor for KPRC-TV Channel 2, served as the event emcee. 

Performers at the concert included:

Robbie Li and Jane Lu – a charismatic teacher-student duo of award-winning vocalist
Mark Brown – multi-instrumentalist, author, and teacher
The Twilight Zone Quartet – a group of talented, classically trained professionals on string instruments 
School of Rock, Memorial – a multi-instrument music school for all skill levels, ages, and musical aspirations
Nritya Kalpna –   a contemporary dance school 
Rohan Agrawal – sixth grader and pianist 
Aaheli Das – eighth grader and pianist 
Lily Primus – Houston-based award-winning harpist 
Zaiden Carrego – eighth grader and flutist

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“You all did a fabulous job! Yuvi’s light shone brightly and there was so much talent and kindness for all to see and enjoy. It was an impressive display of talent for a very worthy cause,” said Tammy Thigpen, one of the concert attendees. 

Wild Tunes is especially grateful for various businesses throughout the area that sponsored door prizes and refreshments, including – Raising Cane’s, Kroger, Escalante’s -Town and Country, Dogtopia -Memorial, Burger Joint, Buffalo Wild Wings, School of Rock- Memorial, Rover Oaks Pet Resort, and Hey Day River Oaks.

“HPA! is grateful to Yuvi and his family for introducing us to Wild Tunes and how it benefits the animals under our care,” said Noelle Delago, executive director of HPA. “The program is a great mechanism for bringing us additional volunteers – people might not otherwise get involved in our cause.” 
 
Wild Tunes plans to perform future concerts in the coming years as it expands its footprint to other animal shelters.  

"Since starting Wild Tunes this past spring, we've received a great response from shelters in Houston and nationwide. We look forward to seeing where Wild Tunes goes and its positive impact on animals' lives," said Agarwal. 
 
For more information, including how to donate and ways to get involved in Wild Tunes, visit www.wildtunes.org