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LAMusArt Debuts Mariachi Ensemble at 2nd Annual POPs Concert

The Los Angeles Music and Art School hosted its second annual POPs Concert featuring performances by four tuition-free music ensembles on Sunday August 13th for over 150 family members, friends, and members of the East Los Angeles community. The concert marked the debut of the newly formed Mariachi Ensemble, formerly the Junior Orchestra, headed by violinist and LAMusArt alumna, Maira Solis. The Mariachi Ensemble, consisting of 21 student members, premiered with two new pieces, “Cerca Del Mar,” by Los Dandys and the Mexican folk song, “De Colores.”

“With the evolution of the Junior Orchestra to the Mariachi Ensemble, we really wanted to capture and reflect the culture of East LA, and embrace the music our community has traditionally celebrated,” says Executive Director, Manny Prieto. “It’s an added bonus that our instructor and alumna, Miss Solis, is an acclaimed Mariachi artist and member of Grammy-nominated Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.”

The POPs Concert also presented the astounding repertoires of the LAMusArt Choir, Jazz Ensemble, and Youth Orchestra, conducted by Ensembles Director Austin Chanu. The show began with the Choir’s performance of “Seize the Day” by Alan Menken, followed by “Sing to Me,” by Andrea Ramsey, a Lion King medley, and a lovely rendition of John Lennon’s “Blackbird.” The Jazz Ensemble of eight members followed with classics like ‘Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and “Caravan.” The Youth Orchestra closed the evening with popular pieces including “Symphony No. 5 Mvt. 1” by Beethoven, the “Pink Panther Theme,” and the ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” by Paul Dukas.

Parents and friends were touched by the young musicians’ abilities, their work ethic, and the progress made since their last performance in April at East Los Angeles College.

“It’s incredible to see the development made in just a few months,” said Programs Coordinator, Hugo Rios.

LAMusArt’s tuition-free music programs offer students opportunities to grow in musicianship year-round. Students meet weekly for ensemble instruction and gather to perform at least three times a year. Over 80 young musicians and vocalists are involved in these ensembles on an annual basis, with the numbers increasing every year. For more information on joining a tuition-free program, click here.

The tuition-free music ensembles’ next performance will be with Broadway’s Carrie St. Louis at LAMusArt’s Stars for the Arts Benefit Dinner and Concert on Saturday September 23rd at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA. For information, click here.

LAMusArt would like to thank all who attended for joining us.

LAMusArt’s tuition-free programs are funded and presented in part by The Ahmanson Foundation, the Colburn Foundation, the D’Addario Foundation, Eastside Arts Initiative, the LA County Arts Commission, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the Rose Hills Foundation. Thank you for your support.


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