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Winter Benefit Posada Raises Support for Tuition-Free Programs

The LAMusArt Young Professionals Advisory Board

The LAMusArt Young Professionals Advisory Board and Executive Director Manuel Prieto

The Los Angeles Music and Art School’s third annual Winter Benefit Dinner, presented by the LAMusArt Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB), took place on Saturday December 9, 2017 at Tamayo Restaurant and Art Gallery in East Los Angeles. The festive event honored the Mexican and Spanish tradition of Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration observed during the holiday season, and the heritage of our immediate community. The evening featured food, drinks, and student performances by the LAMusArt Choir and Mariachi Ensemble, and took guests on a traditional Mexican Posada experience complete with buñuelos, classic mariachi music, poinsettias and candles.

The event began at 6:30 in the evening, with welcoming remarks by YPAB Event Chair, Mike Robles, YPAB member Pooja Nair, and Executive Director, Manuel Prieto. Remarks were followed by a performance of three songs by LAMusArt’s newest tuition-free music ensemble, the Mariachi Ensemble, headed by Grammy-nominated mariachi artist and LAMusArt alum, Maira Solis. The performance was followed by a deliciously authentic Mexican food dinner.

During dinner, Solis and friends performed a medley of mariachi music, occasionally accompanied by some of LAMusArt’s talented students. After dinner the LAMusArt Choir performed a medley of holiday music directed by Music Director Austin Chanu and accompanied by LAMusArt Teaching Artist Brendan White. The Choir sang an array of lovely tunes, including “Waldesnacht,” “Sure on This Shining Night,” and of course, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” At the end of the performance, Chanu conducted a sing-along of the “Las Posadas” song for all 150 guests to join in on. The song is traditionally performed as a reenactment of the pilgrimage to Bethlehem by Mary and Joseph in search of lodging. Students and guests alike rang in the holiday spirit by singing the tune all together. At the end of the evening, closing remarks were made by YPAB member Christine Mantilla and YPAB Chair Richard Graham.

The success of events like these are essential in order for LAMusArt to maintain the quality and accessibility of our arts education programs, namely our tuition-free music ensembles, which present our community with affordable opportunities in musicianship for 49 weeks per year. As stated by Prieto, “This year alone, LAMusArt has served more than 8,000 students, provided more than 25,000 lessons, and expanded its programs to reach more students and create original work for our community; one of which, Playmaking, had its culminating performance on Monday and the other, our Mariachi Ensemble, which will be performing for you tonight, and our first-ever orchestral and choral composition which will premiere live on December 17.” LAMusArt is dedicated to maintaining statistics like these and providing diverse arts education and performance opportunities to our community.

This event was made possible by our generous sponsors; CA Trade Converters, Jennifer Chen, The Wolfen Family Foundation, the Casey Family Foundation, Troy Gould, Ernie Robles and Linda Curtis, Jane and Lou Castruccio and Mary Ann Odell.

On behalf of the students, parents, staff, and teachers, we’d like to thank everyone who attended and supported our Winter Benefit Posada. LAMusArt always cherishes the chance to celebrate with our supporters.

If you are interested in giving to LAMusArt, or contributing to the school’s tuition-free programs, please click here. For more information about our tuition-free music ensembles, click here. For more information on the Winter Concert, click here.

For photos of the evening, provided by CBGRPHY, please click here.


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