More than 4,000 fourth-grade students from 50 local schools came together at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the 65th annual Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts’ (PSHA) Youth Concert held on Wednesday, January 30th. Presented with the LA Philharmonic Association, the Youth Concert is a free concert geared for the age group and designed to weave musical concepts, humor and educational information into an engaging program for the students. Since its inception in 1953 more than 250,000 fourth-graders have participated.
This year the children were treated to an interactive concert experience with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. A Journey Through Minimalism explored the vibrant patterns, shifting phases, and steady rhythms of iconic minimalist music. The program was hosted by Ed Barguiarena, a composer, musician, producer and educator and conducted by award winning conductor, Nuno Coelho. The music of composers, John Adams, Philip Glass, Arvo Part and Steve Reich were featured.
For most of the students, this was the first opportunity to experience the remarkable art and architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall and their first exposure to classical symphonic music in a world-class concert hall. “Listening to classical music has a wide variety of benefits so it’s very important that we provide our children the opportunity to discover it and learn more about it,” said PSHA President, Dana Marevich.
Letters from the fourth-grade attendees attested to their excitement about the concert, the knowledge they gained and the joyfulness of the experience. Allisen, a student from Franklin Elementary School in Altadena said she liked learning about musical patterns. “Different sounds and patterns make awesome music,” she said. “It was also fun to learn how we can make music by clapping our hands.” Each student is given a keepsake program to take home with additional information disguised in games and puzzles. Hilda Hacobian, the Youth Concert chair said she was excited to be part of the event. “The children are our future and I was truly thrilled to see the smiling faces of so many school children.”
PSHA’s other musical programs include the Music Mobile for third graders and the Instrumental Competition. In addition, PSHA also awards gifts and grants to a diverse list of local and regional non-profit organizations in support of their efforts in the community. To date, PSHA has donated over $23 million to music programs and to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including a $1 million donation to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Proceeds from the Pasadena Showcase House of Design, PSHA’s only fundraiser, make this possible.
The 2019 Pasadena Showcase House of Design will be open from April 21st through May 19th. Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org.