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BENEFITS : Reaching Out to Refugee Camps

June 06, 1991|MARK PINSKY | Mark Pinsky is a Times staff writer who writes about the arts for The Times Orange County Edition.

For the eighth year, Orange Coast College's Vietnamese Student Assn. is sponsoring a benefit concert for children in Southeast Asian refugee camps, Saturday at the Robert B. Moore Theatre on the Costa Mesa campus.

Money from the concert will go to refugee camps in Thailand and Hong Kong, according to Dat Than, faculty adviser to the Vietnamese student group. The Garden Grove attorney said that money from a previous benefit concert helped a Vietnamese refugee who later became president of the OCC student organization.

Among the performers scheduled for the "Vietnam and Human Love" concert--professional musicians and students from various Southern California schools and colleges--is an award-winning mandolin player, Phong Quan Do.

The 25-year-old OCC student, who has been in the U.S. for less than two years, recently won $250 in the B. Douglas Sawtelle Music Scholarship Awards, sponsored by Musicians Assn. Local No. 7.

Phong, who is 4 feet tall and walks with crutches as a result of a childhood illness, is taking math and English as well as music at OCC, and hopes to study computer science at UC Irvine or UCLA.

In a telephone interview, Phong said he began studying mandolin privately at age 9 in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City.

"At first I studied just for fun," Phong said. But he continued and, after graduating from high school, he attended a music school in Vietnam for two years and began playing professionally.

"He's really very good," said Local 7's Keeran Reidling, who helped administer the competition, "a very talented musician. . . . He's amazing on certain types of music, like Scarlatti and Vivaldi."

Phong said he also likes to play the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Paganinni, as well as some classical Vietnamese music.

What: "Vietnam and Human Love," a benefit concert for children in Southeast Asian refugee camps.

When: Saturday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Robert B. Moore Theatre at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.

Whereabouts: San Diego (405) Freeway to Fairview exit; south to Orange Coast College.

Wherewithal: Tickets are $5 at the door.

Where to Call: (714) 893-4812 or (714) 530-2156.

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