Music in the Soul

~ From Ann’s Notebook ~

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe” — Lao Tzu

It has always been about the music — the delight, the exposure to variety, and the opportunity for expression.  At the midpoint of the year, we can say that our greatest accomplishment in 2012 will be the impact of our musical experiences

Our Salons for members and guests have included a stellar lineup of programs.  In March, the duo of Boglarka Kiss on flute and Robert Edward Thies on piano blended the influences of their Hungarian and Palos Verdes upbringings in a haunting performance.  At our elegant Grand Salon in April, Carolyn Hove, solo English horn player in the LA Philharmonic, with Vicki Ray, pianist, thrilled us with an intimate performance and warm dialogue with the audience.  In May, we were in the presence of genius when studio pianist Mike Lang played selections by jazz greats and regaled us with backstage stories of sight reading and improvisation for movie giants such as Elmer Bernstein and Francis Ford Coppola.  An in June at Music Discovery, virtuoso performers revealed “How They Do What They Do to Wow You!”, with a surprise choral performance by the audience and a hands-on experience with string, woodwind, and brass instruments.

The coming months will bring even more extraordinary music.  Our fall fundraiser, Music Fair II, will be a two day program, starting with a feature event on October 7 at Chadwick School, followed by a Community Outreach event on October 21 at the South Coast Botanic Garden.  To see a full list of the extraordinary musicians at both events, click here.

Many thanks to our members who create these magical moments that fill our souls with music.

This article, edited for recent information, appeared in the Affiliates NEWS Summer 2012 edition.

Look Back — Move Forward

From Ann’s Notebook

Staying Power. That’s what makes the Peninsula Committee strong. If a person takes on a job, you can be sure it will be done and “done right.”   With 2012 marking my 36th year as a member, I have a lot to look back on. And when I ask, “What makes us a success?,” the answer is easy. “You do.“

In the 60 years since we were founded in 1952, a strong sense of mission and a spirit of creative invention have carried us forward — year after year. We face new challenges on the road ahead, but every era in our history brought the challenges of its own time. We met them with hope and adventure then, and so we will in the years to come. Our rich traditions give us a firm footing to reach even higher, and add layers of new thinking and experimentation to our well-tested repertoire.

Hence, our theme for this year: Look Back — Move Forward

Changing Lives Through Music

Music Mobile Display at Promenade

When twelve year old Erica Mineo stopped by the Music Mobile display at Music Promenade, we could hear how our program touches lives.  She first tuned all seven of our violins, and then played a Bach Concerto!  Better yet, she remembered one of our Music Mobile sessions when she attended in third grade.

We do change lives through our youth programs, and we kick off our 2012 season in March with renewed focus.  You’ll see us at schools around the South Bay in the iconic van we donated to the Phil in 2005.  This year we have expanded our reach to five new schools, and enlisted our men to join the fun.

Our reward is the warm glow we get from reading letters from the kids.  A cherished favorite is one that critiqued a docent’s earnest effort to play an instrument with “at least you tried.”

Creating a Vibrant Future – At 60!

Gustavo Dudamel

The Peninsula Committee will celebrate its 60th birthday in 2012, confident that a vibrant future lies ahead. Our membership is active and growing, and we are nurturing a robust music culture on the Peninsula where young musicians can hone their skills, and seasoned performers can share their talents with enthusiastic audiences.

Our day-long Music Promenade fundraiser on October 9 offered a wide reach to the community, with 3 events attended by over 750 people. Our main event offered diverse selections for every taste, ranging from classical music to lively ethnic pieces. Six high school jazz bands and a string quartet dazzled us with the talent of our teen musicians, and a Music Mobile display rounded out our emphasis on youth programs. We ended the day with an elegant tour of a music museum featuring automated musical instruments from 1820-1920.

The summer brought a change of pace and a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come and where we’re going. Our Summer Party in August was a time to enjoy each other’s fellowship, and honor our nine new members for the energy and creative ideas they have already infused into our Affiliate. August also brought the birth of our first Men’s Group. Our men have always been there for us, pitching in whenever there was work to be done, and sustaining us in achieving our mission. This new Auxiliary will give them well-deserved recognition and integrate them more fully into our activities. And, to insure that we listen to the voice of our active members, we issued an Interest Finder Survey where everyone could raise their hands for favorite jobs. With this foundation, we can strategically place our members in roles that will help us thrive next year…and for the next 60!