Sunday, April 28 — 110 young musicians filled the East Los Angeles College Proscenium Theater with the sound of music from all around the world. With a full rehearsal, students as young as age 6 performed with the LAMusArt Tuition-Free Ensembles to showcase four months of preparation of complex music that represented the sounds of Lebanon, Brazil, Austria, Mexico and America!
Professional educator and performer, Karina Lopez, led the Mariachi Ensemble with the opening number. An intimate and joyous performance of “En Tu Dia” had Mariachi filling the steps and the stage of the theater. Following the emotive performance of “El Jinete”, Timothy Maloof led four levels of String Ensemble performers onto the stage as they brought the audience from Lebanon to Andalusia then from Albania to Egypt and Syria with the unique harmonic sounds of Arabic music.
As the blue curtains of ELAC’s Proscenium Theater opened, 75 members of the LAMusArt Choir, Advanced Choir, Jazz Ensemble and Youth Orchestra were revealed. First violin, Pablo Fernandez tuned the instruments before the LAMusArt Choir project a foreboding yet auspicious “Could it be? Yes, it could. Something’s coming, something good…” from Bernstein’s West Side Story. As Chanu conducted Mahler’s notable landler in the “Austrian Peasant Dance” and Heitor Villa-Lobos’ rhythmic orchestral numbers that explored Brazilian tempos and melodies, complete with Portuguese choral numbers, the audience continued through their journey around the world.
Manny Prieto, Executive Director for LAMusArt remarked on the unique, individual experiences each child has during their music education and on the day of performance. LAMusArt is a nonprofit arts education organization that has worked to serve the community of East Los Angeles through meaningful, consistent and affordable arts education. The stories he spoke of highlighted the challenges and the moments of success that performers experience. In the underrepresented area of East Los Angeles, our youth are not always presented the opportunity to perform in a professional theatre, nor are they given the 1-on-1 attention that musicians need as they develop.
This event was made possible by contributions from the Colburn Foundation, Leavey Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, California Arts Council and the support of East Los Angeles College Theater Department.
For more information on LAMusArt’s Tuition-Free Music Ensemble Programs or to sign-up to join, please visit our friendly staff to inquire or attend a rehearsal. Students are invited to observe a rehearsal or class.
Visit our Facebook at @LAMusArt for more photos of the event: