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Classically Trained: Mahler’s Third coming to Newport Beach

This Sunday, there will be a concert in Newport Beach with the Montage Civic Orchestra that includes a performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony.

The 8 p.m. show at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church also features two community ensembles: the All-American Boys Chorus, which is based at the O.C. Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, and women from the Orange Community Master Chorale, which rehearses at Orange High School.

Susan Ali is the featured also soloist in the Mahler symphony. The mezzo-soprano is an alumna of San Diego State University and UC Irvine, and teaches at Biola University and Fullerton College.

Tickets are $20 in advance at Otherwise, they are $25 at the door at 600 St. Andrews Road. You can also call (714) 308-9849.


The Montage Civic Orchestra is hosted by Montage Arts, an arts organization based in Orange.


If you play Beethoven’s Ninth, they will come.

That was true even in Beethoven’s time, and it’s still quite true today.


The Pacific Symphony’s free “Plazacast” performance Saturday night of the great composer’s final symphony was met with great enthusiasm and a crowd.

Close to 2,000 people came to the Arts Plaza in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to watch the “Ode de Joy” live video broadcast.

I’m also told that the “Plazacast” attendance number was bolstered a bit by attendees of Saturday night’s musical in Segerstrom Hall. Apparently, some eclectic music lovers who were leaving “American Idiot” stayed around for the Ninth — that 74-minute “song” that’s, you know, mankind’s greatest musical achievement.

I can see the headline now — “In a joyful ode for all, ‘American Idiot’ boosts Beethoven show.”


What do Newport-Mesa and New York City have in common?

The answer is not much — at least, not most of the time.

Last month was the exception.


First, there were the Orange Coast College Chamber Singers, who left their Costa Mesa campus to have adventures in the Big Apple and its Carnegie Hall.

Now the news is that the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir and the Vanguard University Concert Choir had New York musical adventures of their own too.

Singers from the Newport Beach church and Costa Mesa private university performed at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on Memorial Day. The performance from Distinguished Concerts International New York was titled “Of Faith and Freedom.”

St. Andrew’s and Vanguard are led by James Melton, who was a guest conductor of the concert. Melton also serves as chairman of Vanguard’s music department.

That was all part of some serious coast-to-coast crossings going on. Turns out that last month, as Newport-Mesa musicians here went to perform in New York, the New York Philharmonic left its home turf to come here.

I see a fun classical connection in all of that.

BRADLEY ZINT is a classically trained musician and a copy editor for the Daily Pilot. Email him story ideas at or follow him on Twitter @BradleyZint.