Saturday, December 11, 2021 - LAMusArt’s Tuition-Free Music Ensembles turned its East Los Angeles campus into a wintry stage set for a virtual debut of the annual Winter Concert. Led by Ensemble Directors Richard An, Claudia Garcia, Dr. Isaac Lopez and Timothy Maloof, 95 young musicians performed an array of tunes that warmed any soul who bore witness.
Opening the concert was Rebeca Castaneda and the Mariachi Ensemble in an unfeigned performance of José Alfredo Jiménez’ “Si Nos Dejan”. Outfitted in traditional Mariachi suits, all sixteen Mariachi played together in harmony. The energy carried with a fresh fusion sound from the Jazz Ensemble as they performed “Sing Sing Cocek”. In this up-tempo arrangement, Dr. Isaac Lopez showcases every section of the band in a variety of rhythms including a technical harmonious guitar solo by Joaquin Garde.
These and eight other numbers were performed and recorded on the LAMusArt campus where music lessons, dance classes, visual art classes, and drama lessons have taken place for decades. Each ensemble was framed by festive trees to brighten the space and turn the courtyard into their very own stage. The performance, which aired on Saturday, December 11 and is now available on demand via LAMusArt’s YouTube channel, was one of the program’s annual performance opportunities in which participants showcase their work to the public and gain new skills for performing onstage or for the camera.
Each performance in this year’s Winter Concert - from well-known Vicente Fernandez’ “Hermoso Cariño” to classical vocal arrangements of “Salley Gardens” - is a presentation of each young musician’s achievements. Coming together once again in a performance, though not on the traditional stage, showed the strides each student has taken since returning to campus. “Our Music Ensembles program is emblematic of who we are and what we do at LAMusArt,” spoke Orchestra and Choir Director, Richard An. “I am very proud of our choir and orchestra student’s resilience as we navigated the twists and turns of returning safely back to campus and commend all the music teachers for their care and guidance through this year.”
LAMusArt’s Tuition-Free Music Ensemble is home to 11 groups: Youth Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi Ensemble, Advanced Mariachi Ensemble, five levels of String Ensemble, Choir and the Advanced Choir. “Our Tuition Free Music Ensembles are open to students of all ages, musical experiences, socioeconomic statuses, genders or ethnic backgrounds,” said Timothy Maloof, “and (they) offer collaboration, mentorship, rigor and performance opportunities for our students - opportunities that we believe are essential for success.” To join one or more groups, simply register at www.lamusart.org/register and start yourself on the creative path to a creative future!
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!