Young Musicians Affirm a Bright Future for Peninsula Music at Botanic Garden

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The sun broke through gray skies as 75 extraordinary teen musicians gathered at Botanic Garden on October 21 and drew the curtain on a bright future for Peninsula music.  They lifted our hearts with joyful performances that revealed their love of music, and commitment to the study and practice essential to growing as artists.   To the gifted teachers have inspired them, “Bravo!”

Our volunteers worked their magic to infuse the merry spirit of Music Fair II into the stunning natural beauty of the garden.  Let’s recapture that warm glow through these photo memories.

PV Regional Symphony Orchestra Chamber Group Coming to Botanic Garden

This post is the third in a series featuring the outstanding young musicians who will perform at the South Coast Botanic Garden Music Fair II Outreach concert on October 21.  To see the full lineup of musicians, review the schedule of performances, and to purchase tickets online, click here.  Adult tickets at $10 may also be purchased at the door. Youth 18 and under are free.

Pre-concert activities begin at 12:00.  Come early to visit the Music Mobile van, and purchase a gourmet  sandwich from Twist Burger. To preview the menu, click here.  Ticket price does not include admittance to the Garden.

Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra, directed by Elmer Su

The Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra, directed by Elmer Su (front row, 2nd from left), is a community orchestra sponsored by the Palos Verdes Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The orchestra members come from widely diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.  The orchestra exists to provide a setting where musicians of all ages, nationalities and experience can create beautiful music for the enjoyment of our community.  The Orchestra utilizes a mentoring concept where experienced adults share their talents, knowledge and expertise with younger members.  Performances by members of the orchestra at this event will include:

Violin Soloists Lillian Liao and Leonard Chong

To watch a video of Lillian and Leonard performing Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, click here.

Lillian Liao, 17, a senior at Palos Verdes High School (PVHS), is the concertmistress of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra (PVRSO). In addition, she is serving her second term as president of the PVHS Tri-M Music Honor Society, as well as concertmistress of the PVHS Full and String Orchestra. Lillian has studied violin with Mr. Elmer Su since the age of four and has achieved countless awards, including first prize at the America String Teachers Association (ASTA)-Greater Los Angeles Final, first prize in the junior division of the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Young Violinists Competition and second prize in the senior division the following year, winner in the Music Teachers’ Association of California Artists of the Future Concerto Competition, and second prize in the Bellflower Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition. Her greatest experience was when she advanced to the ASTA State Finals Competition. She is very grateful to have had the opportunities to guest solo with the Bellflower Symphony, Beach Cities Symphony, PVRSO, and the PVHS Full and String Orchestra. She would like to thank her teacher, Mr. Elmer Su, and her family for the guidance and inspiration that they have given her for the past thirteen years.

14 year old Leonard Chong is a freshman in Mira Costa High School. He has been studying the violin since age 7 with Mr. Elmer Su. Leonard is the honoree of multiple awards and competitions, including 1st place and top prizes in the SYMF open solo competition during the last several summer festivals. He also placed 1st in the junior California VOCE in 2010, as well as junior state champion in the 2010 California ASTA. Other awards include: Young Artist of the Future 1st place winner with the Bellflower Orchestra, Edith Knox Concerto Competition 2nd place winner; Parness Young Artist Concerto Competition winner, Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra winner, Brentwood Symphony, as well as the Elizabeth Holburn scholarship. In addition to music, Leonard has appeared in the hit movie ‘Eagle Eye’ acting in Sam’s school orchestra playing the violin. Leonard’s life-long goal is to touch people’s heart with music.

Cello Duet with Kristi Kim and Justin Cheung

Kristi Kim, age 12, is an eighth grader at Bert Lynn Middle School. Kristi has studied cello for 4 years with Mrs. Dorothy Muggeridge. Kristi has won several prizes at SYMF and ASTA. In 2011, Kristi won the Beach Cities Symphony’s middle school scholarship, Grand Prize at the Junior Korean Times Competition, and the Cello Award at the MTAC Scholarship Audition. Earlier this year, Kristi was a winner of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, and the Intermediate Instrumentalist Award at the MTAC Scholarship Auditions. Most recently, Kristi won the MTAC Artists of the Future Competition and soloed with the Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra. Kristi is an active member of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra.

Justin Cheung is 12 years old and will be an 8th grader at Richardson Middle School in Torrance this fall. He has been taking cello lessons with Mrs. Dorothy Muggeridge for five years and has won several competitions, including first places in the 2011, 2010 and 2009 SYMF, the Junior Bach Festival in 2012, 2011 and 2009, and the ASTA in 2011. He has been a member of the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra for two years. He also plays clarinet in his school band for the past two years and just started alto saxophone this summer. Besides music, he likes playing video games, reading and drawing.

Violin and Viola Duet with Rebecca Lester and Karen Su

To watch a video of Rebecca and Karen performing the Theme from Schindler’s List, click here.

Rebecca Lester, 17, is a senior and has been homeschooled all her life. She is an excellent student and is currently attending classes at El Camino, getting a jumpstart on college courses. She started playing the viola at the age of nine and has been studying with Michele Nardone for five years, serving as her assistant for the past two years.  Since 2009, Rebecca has been a part of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra as the associate principle violist. In 2011, she participated in the Los Angeles Orchestra Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Earlier this year, she also performed as a soloist in Zipper Hall at The Colburn School in Downtown Los Angeles. After graduation, Rebecca plans to pursue a degree in either music performance or music therapy.

Karen Su, age thirteen, started studying violin with her father, Elmer Su, at the young age of four. Currently, she is a freshman at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in the prestigious Palos Verdes Peninsula School District. In the short span of six years, Karen has acquired eighteen awards (sixteen first places) in the Open Category of the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. She also took first place in the Greater Los Angeles American String Teachers Association Competition in 2009. In January 2011, she was awarded with the Music Teacher’s Association of California Scholarship Audition award. She also won first place in the South Bay Branch MTAC VOCE Competition, advancing to the state finals in both 2011 and 2012. Karen was named as one of six finalists in the 2011 Edith Knox Concerto Competition. Soon after, she received 3rd place at the 2011 Music Teacher’s Association of California VOCE State Finals Competition. In January 2012, Karen won the MTAC Artists of the Future Concerto Competition. This competitive teen has also performed with numerous times with orchestras, including the Bellflower Symphony in April 2011, the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra in December 2010 and December 2011, and the Beach Cities Symphony in May 2012. Not only is she a rising soloist, she enjoys playing orchestral music as an active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra.

Violin Duet with Kevin Chen and Robert Hu

To watch a video of Kevin and Robert performing Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor by J. S. Bach, click here.

Kevin Chen began his violin studies with Mr. Elmer Su at age 9. Now an 11-year-old 6th grader at Bert Lynn Middle School in Torrance, Kevin is already a very active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his passion for violin, Kevin has also been enjoyed playing piano since the age of 6. His awards in violin and piano competition include four first places and two third places at Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF), three times winner of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival branch and regional level competitions.  Kevin is a straight-A student, an active participant in his school academic pentathlon team, and 4th place winner at spelling bee contest. In his spare time, he likes to play basketball and enjoys reading.

Robert Hu, age 12, is an incoming seventh grader currently attending Ridgecrest Intermediate School in Palos Verdes. Since the age of six, he has studied the violin under the guidance of Mr. Elmer Su. Robert frequently competes in violin competitions and has been awarded numerous SYMF trophies. In 2012, he placed second at the regional level of VOCE. This year, he received first prize at the ASTA Area III competition and advanced to the Los Angeles Finals, where he was awarded Honorable Mention. As an active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Symphony Regional Orchestra, Robert has also soloed with the orchestra in many chamber concerts. In addition to the violin, Robert plays the piano. Since the age of four, he has studied the piano under Mr. David Wu. When he was only ten, he completed the advanced level of piano CM test with excellence. Besides violin and piano, Robert enjoys reading, doing math, playing basketball, swimming, and traveling with his family.

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PV High and Pen High Groups to Perform at Botanic Garden

This post is the second in a series featuring the outstanding young musicians who will perform at the South Coast Botanic Garden Music Fair II Outreach concert on October 21.  To see the full lineup of musicians, review the schedule of performances, and to purchase tickets online, click here.  Adult tickets at $10 may also be purchased at the door. Youth 18 and under are free.

Pre-concert activities begin at 12:00.  Come early to visit the Music Mobile van, and purchase a gourmet  sandwich from Twist Burger. To preview the menu, click here.  Ticket price does not include admittance to the Garden.

Peninsula High Chamber Choir, directed by Dan Doctor

Peninsula High School is proud to offer a comprehensive Choir program that meets the needs of most students from the beginning singer to the most advanced vocal soloist.  Multiple ensembles offer the opportunity to learn the basics of singing or to hone already learned skills.  Classes are year round and are UC Fine Arts approved.  As such, they require daily practice at home as well as during classroom instruction time.  The classes are performance-based, requiring attendance at multiple performances during the year.  All groups compete at high levels locally, and some compete nationally.  Specifics of the performance will be announced shortly.

PV High School Prima Volte String Ensemble, directed by Shellie Parkinson

Palos Verdes High School boasts an award-winning string and full orchestra.  Both groups received superior ratings at recent Southern California regional competitions.  Many of its members have been selected to perform in the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association Honor Orchestra, and many have competed and placed in American String Teachers Association competitions.

In honor of the 2012 Music Fair II, the PVHS Music Department wishes to offer their premiere string quartet, Prima Volte, for your listening pleasure. Prima Volte is managed by senior orchestra member and violist, Rosie La Puma. Rosie will be joined by Robin Park and Eileen Kim on the violin and Alice Shae on the Cello.

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Showcasing Young Talent at Botanic Garden

This post is the first in a series featuring the outstanding young musicians who will perform at the South Coast Botanic Garden Music Fair II Outreach concert on October 21.

To see the full lineup of musicians, review the schedule of performances, and to purchase tickets online, click here.  Adult tickets at $10 may also be purchased at the door.  Youth 18 and under are free.    

Pre-concert activities begin at 12:00.  Come early to visit the Music Mobile van, and purchase a gourmet  sandwich from Twist Burger. To preview the menu, click here.  Ticket price does not include admittance to the Garden.

VOCALITY:  AMUSE Teen Chorus, directed by Deborah La Puma

VOCALITY is a new vocal group just for teens at AMUSE Music.  Under the direction of award-winning composer and Rancho Palos Verdes resident Deborah Wicks La Puma, this group sings contemporary and classic rock while honing traditional choral skills.  Now in its second season, VOCALITY will be singing at various venues in the area, including a combined holiday concert with the Peninsula Symphonic Winds on December 9, 2012.  For more information, find them on Facebook, at amusemusic.com, or at vocalitysingers@gmail.com.

Mrs. La Puma, a graduate of Stanford University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, has directed vocal and instrumental ensembles at The Kennedy Center, Georgetown University, and Marymount College before coming to AMUSE Music.  As a theatrical composer, her music has been heard by thousands of audience members around the globe, from Australia to the East Room of the White House, enjoying both popular and critical success.  Her awards include the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the Robert M. Golden Award, a National Endowment for the Arts’ New American Works Grant, two Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding New Play, two Parent’s Choice Awards, and an iParenting media award.

Asia America Youth Orchestra Woodwind Trio – David Benoit, Music Director 

The AAYO Wind Trio is comprised of the three principal winds from the Asia America Youth Orchestra, founded in 2001 by Music Director David Benoit.  The AAYO provides opportunities for young musicians up to age 18 of all races and cultures to play in a professional level ensemble.  The Wind Trio musicians are:  Isabella Sanchez, flute; Molly Srour, clarinet; and Austin Young, bassoon.  All will be high school juniors this fall.

Under the leadership of conductor David Benoit, the Asia America Youth Orchestra continues to perform before capacity audiences.  The Orchestra is in its 11th season as part of a program for education by the Asia America Symphony.  The AAYO has also appeared at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, CA, the Main Stage at the Peninsula Committee Music Fair, and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

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An Incandescent Afternoon – Music Fair II at Chadwick

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The music enthralled us, the food delighted us, scenic vistas surrounded us, and the weather bathed us in October sun.  It felt as if we had stepped into the painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.

A heartfelt thanks to the Music Fair II Committee, our tireless volunteers, our sponsors, the musicians, and above all, our audience.  The pictures tell the story.

60 Years of Music, Magic and Memories

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What better place than historic Roessler House to hold the PCLAP 60th anniversary celebration.  Brigette Collazo graciously welcomed us to her 1926 Spanish Colonial home, which resonates with Committee events held there across the years.  Anne Destabelle’s original lyrics set to “I Can’t Say No” perfectly captured the “spirit of giving”  that defines us, and has made us a vital part of the LA Phil family since 1952.  And founding member Trudy Park’s bright outlook and love of music still inspires members who have joined the Committee in every decade.

Our musical performance, East Meets West, featured Noriko Tokuda, koto, and Alex Wurmbrand, violin.  Ms. Tokuda is a certified grand master of both Ikuta Ryu-style koto and sangen.  She started playing classical koto at age 6, and studied under both Yuji Mori, a nationally famous master of Japanese classical music, and sangen player Noriko Togashi, renowned from Jiuta-mai, or classical dance music originating from Noh plays.  The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument made of kiri wood, with 13 strings strung over 13 movable ivory bridges.  Ms. Tokuda performs in Japan and at international events, has taught and played in Geneva, Switzerland, and is now introducing American audiences to the beauty of koto music.

Mr. Wurmbrand is a Palos Verdes native whose musical life began at age six when he attended his first LA Philharmonic performance.  Hearing a Paganini Violin Concerto established the focus of his life.  He received his Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and has now returned to the Los Angeles area.  His duets with Ms. Tokuda were written for Japanese flute, but he has interpreted them for violin, enchanting us all with this magical blend of East and West.

Many thanks to Kei Benoit for arranging this opportunity to expand our musical horizons, to Hazel Lord and Marge Schmit for a joyous 60th anniversary, and to Brigette Collazo for sharing her home with us.

Chadwick Schedule – Music Fair II – October 7

The show starts with a rousing drum fanfare by Koshin Taiko at 1:00 in the Amphitheater, with music for all tastes throughout the afternoon in three Chadwick venues, ending at 5:45.  There will be a refreshing break for appetizers and wine at 3:45, and we will announce the lucky Drawing winners at 4:40.

Parking for the event is at Peninsula High School at Silver Spur Road & Hawthorne Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates.  Buses will run continuously to and from Chadwick School from 12:00 noon.  Arrive early so you’ll have time to park and board the bus for the first performance at 1:00.

Laverty Performing Arts Center

1:35 – 2:00  LA Cello Quartet
2:10 – 2:35  LA Cello Quartet
2:45 – 3:10  William Lane, horn & Michael Sushel, piano
3:20 – 3:45  William Lane, horn & Michael Sushel, piano
3:45 – 4:15  Intermission – Food & Wine
4:15 – 4:40  Andrew Moses, clarinet & Tania Fleischer, piano
4:40 – 4:55  Drawing (Amphitheater)
5:00 – 5:40  Isabella Ma, piano

Roy Nutt Hall

1:35 – 2:00  Stephanie Chou, flute & Michael Sushel, piano
2:10 – 2:35  Jeannie Gothold Cobb, soprano & Pat Harpole, piano
2:45 – 3:10  Jeannie Gothold Cobb, soprano & Pat Harpole, piano
3:20 – 3:45  Mini Maestro Trio
3:45 – 4:15   Intermission – Food & Wine
4:40 – 4:55  Drawing (Amphitheater)

Amphitheater

1:00 – 1:25  Koshin Taiko, drums
1:35 – 2:00  Koshin Taiko, drums
2:45 – 3:10  Mariachi Tesoro
3:20 – 3:45  Mariachi Tesoro
3:45 – 4:15   Intermission – Food & Wine
4:15 – 4:40  Dr. Bobby Rodriguez & Friends
4:40 – 4:55  Drawing
4:55 – 5:20  Dr. Bobby Rodriguez & Friends
5:20 –  5:45  TJ Brinjak & Brad Nixon, guitars

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