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Donation Will Send Students to Concert

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from Oxnard’s best-known businessman, about 500 students from Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Fillmore schools will get a chance to hear some of Ventura County’s best young musicians perform with the New West Symphony at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

The Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Foundation grant will sponsor the students, most of them low income, along with parents or teachers as chaperons, at the New West Symphony’s Microsoft Discovery Artists Concert on Jan. 25.

“The Smiths feel very strongly that the arts are an important part of education for young people,” said Kate McLean of the Ventura County Community Foundation, the organization that administered the grant.

This year’s featured young performers--15-year-old pianist Nicholas Bridgman of Camarillo, 15-year-old violinist Elise Goodman of Thousand Oaks, 15-year-old pianist John Huang of Oxnard and 15-year-old singer Jessica Tivens of Calabasas--will be backed by the orchestra under the direction of Boris Brott.

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The one-night-only event will begin with a preconcert jazz festival in different locales throughout the Civic Arts Plaza.

For the grand finale, the New West Symphony Youth All-Stars, a group of young artists selected from the county’s schools, will join the professional orchestra for the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony.

Tickets for the concert, which are subsidized by Microsoft, are $5 for students and $10 to $15 for adults. Family packs with as many as six tickets are available for $25.

Tickets are available at the Civic Arts Plaza box office, at any TicketMaster outlet and at the New West Symphony offices. For more information call 643-8646 or 497-5800.

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