On the Town:Big band listeners hear about Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton big band lovers were out in force at the Brand Library & Art Center's free special event on Saturday. The Recital Hall was standing room only as some 85 patrons listened to Kenton biographer Steven D. Harris present "The Artistry of Stan Kenton" in lecture, music and films. Kenton led his bands from the 1940s through the '70s.

Glendale fans included Barbara and Bernard Schnipper, Vic Kalaba, Richard Sowby, Glen Roberts and wife Naomi Parry. Also out for an afternoon at the Brand Library were Hyunah and Jimmy Cho and daughter Liz Cho, 15 months old.

Child psychologist Dr. Glen Roberts, founder of the Glen Roberts Child Study Center in Glendale, had fond memories of playing string bass in the Stan Kenton band for a month in 1953. The regular bass player was on leave and Roberts filled in while working on his doctorate internship at a child guidance center in Wichita, Kan. On tour with the band, he played the Blue Note night club in Chicago.

"It was the realization of a high school bass player's dream," he said.

He described Stan Kenton's band as one of the first to feature the bass. Roberts admitted, though, that he made "the wise decision to go into psychology rather than traveling from place to place with the band."

Currently, Roberts plays bass with his own band. He rehearses every week, and still gets some gigs.

Kenton lecturer Steven D. Harris made available for sale his Kenton biography, "The Kenton Kronicles."

A Summertime Brunch with the Women's Committee of the Glendale Symphony on Sunday extended the weekend's music theme. More than 55 committee members and their guests were welcomed to Joyce and Joe Ayvazi's Glendale home. Fruit, cooked-to-order omelets, and champagne were on the top of the menu as guests enjoyed their meals on the patio.

Funds raised will help support the symphony's upcoming season in Glendale.

Glendale residents included Clyde Arnold, Rita Burns, Robert Burns, Cynthia Dailey, Shirley Darling, Doris Dash, James Detweiler, Karin Detweiler, Arthur Devine, Paula Devine, Martha Feutz, Gen Forsch, Phyllis Forsch, Jennifer Horine, Kay Hunt, Walt Hunt, Barbara Konkel, Clarence Konkel, Silvia Larrea, Mary Ann McCann, Gloria and Thomas McGill, Harry Missakian, Pat Missakian, Valery and Carlos Moorehead, Bea Reynolds, Jim Reynolds, Elaine Smith, Thomas Smith, Helen Stafford, Tom Stafford, Nita Stevenson, Stephen Stevenson, Maureen Walsh, Mary Wight, Paul Wight and Linda and David Weaver.

Valery Moorehead had good memories of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra at its old home — the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center. She also remembered the fashionable galas held each year at the Huntington in Pasadena. Her husband, former U.S. Congressman Carlos Moorehead, 12 years retired, was a font of political knowledge at the brunch. Both were glad to be there, having had to miss a lot of symphony events during the 24 years they lived in Washington, D.C.

  • RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthsowbymsn.com.
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