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LAMusArt Choir debuts at the 2015 Winter Benefit Dinner

LAMusArt Choir Students

LAMusArt Choir Students

The Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt) celebrated the arts and the start of the Holiday Season at the Winter Benefit Dinner this past Saturday evening at Tamayo Restaurant. The benefit dinner was presented by the Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) and included the debut performance of the LAMusArt Student Choir.

Dressed in decadent holiday and winter décor, Tamayo Restaurant welcomed more than 150 guests to the event, which included current students and their families, staff members, teaching artists, Board Members, and donors.

Executive Director of LAMusArt, Manuel Prieto, welcomed all in attendance and thanked donors for their support of arts education programs in East Los Angeles.  He recognized valuable community partners for their sponsorship and commitment to the event: Bank of the West (BNP Paribas Group), Crepes and Grapes Café, Great Minds in STEM, Longo Toyota, the Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, and Dr. Daniel Temianka.

Prieto also thanked parents of LAMusArt students for their continuing support of their students’ accomplishments and investment in their artistic development.

Executive Director Manny Prieto

Executive Director Manny Prieto

He was followed by LAMusArt President of the Board of Directors, Dr. Efrain Fuentes, who echoed Prieto’s sentiments and also thanked LAMusArt Teaching Artists and Staff for their help and efforts in providing year-round arts education programs.

Dr. Fuentes and Prieto then recognized Teaching Artists and Staff onstage and presented each with a small token of appreciation.

Before commencing the holiday feast, Jasmine Ako and Richard Graham, YPAB Chair and Events Chair, respectively, spoke proudly of the YPAB’s accomplishments and efforts during its first year together. The Winter Benefit Dinner, Ako mentioned, “is a culmination of the hard work the YPAB has accomplished thus far’”.

After their brief remarks, guests enjoyed dinner by Tamayo Restaurant that featured a plentiful buffet of chicken and steak fajitas, enchiladas and other traditional Mexican food items.

Soon it was time for the evening’s performance. The LAMusArt Student Choir, led by Teaching Artist Austin Chanu, debuted and performed a selection of holiday songs that included the memorable Peanuts theme “Linus and Lucy” and “Believe” from the film The Polar Express. The special performance by the tuition-free Student Choir, which was previously underfunded, was symbolic of the generosity and dedicated support provided by the YPAB to LAMusArt students and programs.

Jasmine Ako, YPAB Chair and Richard Graham, Events Chair with Executive Director Manny Prieto

Jasmine Ako, YPAB Chair and Richard Graham, Events Chair with Executive Director Manny Prieto

Not stopping there, YPAB Events Chair, Richard Graham, once again addressed guests and solicited their donations to ensure the continuance of programs like the tuition-free Student Choir at LAMusArt. With multiple generous donations from guests, LAMusArt raised thousands in contributions.

Of course, no LAMusArt event would be complete without an interactive arts activity so, to complement dessert and coffee, guests were invited to create their own personalized holiday ornament and take selfies with props to close the evening.

To support arts education programs provided by LAMusArt, sign-up to make a monthly recurring donation here. More photos of the event may be accessed by clicking here or following @LAMusArt on Facebook.

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