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LAMusArt Live! Premieres 10 Original Student Compositions

For the first time ever, LAMusArt’s music student composition class debuted original works performed by a professional clarinet quintet.

From studios in Los Angeles, five professional musicians led by Dr. Ashley Salinas performed ten works by student composers Aaron Pasillas, Christopher Aviles, Kevin Hernandez, Azucena Ortega, Lukas Neff, Avi Garcia, Alejandra Ortega, Diana Zayas and Julia Zayas. Each composer showcased their developing talents in pieces that represented an array of classical styles.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Pasillas’ composition opened the set with a suspenseful arrangement for the clarinet, viola, cello, and two violins that created texture by layering precise rhythmic violin parts with melodic phrasing from the viola and clarinet. In a softer, expressive composition, Azucena’s “As I Stare…” grabbed listeners and viewers' attention with thoughtful meditative phrases and beautifully resolved harmonies. Following Guzman’s composition audience were treated to a lighter waltz that kept time beautifully with a cello pizzicato written by Christopher Aviles, his years of piano background showing.

Kaitlyn Alejandre (12) spoke about her piece “Gemini” expressing ways she has felt as a Gemini with two sides. Her composition juxtaposed two opposing tempos and energies and displayed impressive musicality, as did her fellow composers with their songs. Alejandre’s composition was followed by six more performances that tell stories of love, joy, hope, fear and even longing.

“As performers, we were immediately impressed by the maturity of these compositions in regard to musical ideas and effective use of instrumentation,” Dr. Ashley Salinas says. “Each work had an individual style unique to the composer.”

The ArtsWeek Music Composition program was part of a weeklong summer virtual intensive taught by Austin Chanu at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students were given the chance to develop their composition skills, musicality, theory, workshop the pieces with students from the Eastman School of Music, refine and eventually have it performed via LAMusArt Live! To learn more, visit

To watch the performance, subscribe to our YouTube channel here!

Along with several other past and future performances, this event presents new sounds to students and highlights our faculty to pave the way for the appreciation of cultural music outside the boundaries of Western music. The versatile venue for sharing music expands our reach from LAMusArt’s stakeholders of families and students while inviting arts supporters and patrons from all over the world to attend. LAMusArt's mission is to provide the community of East Los Angeles with equitable and affordable access to multidisciplinary arts education programs and offer opportunities for underserved youth to partake in quality instruction regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status so they are afforded creative tools for success and social change.

To register for classes and begin your journey through the arts, visit for individual group classes in music, art, dance, and drama for students of all skill levels. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please see below for more details about our programs and a complete schedule of classes. Click on the registration link to submit your information, and one of our scheduling staff members will contact you to get you all set up!


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