Powerful performances were delivered not just by the seasoned professionals at last Saturday’s Brass Bash held at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church. Student musicians from surrounding elementary, middle and senior high schools and from as far away as Palos Verdes also gave strong presentations for a crowd that numbered more than 300.
The event was presented by the Crescenta Valley Arts Council and, according to board member Sharon Hales, the collaborative effort between the professional and student musicians was definitely a success.
“Everyone who came had a memorable experience,” Hales said. “We accomplished our goal. Some lives were changed. [The arts council] deems it a success for anyone who attended.”
The concert celebrated all types of music for horn, at times pairing professionals such as Andy Malloy and John Lofton with Glendale High School students Minjie Lee and Jonathan Sie. Originally a quartet of Glendale High students was planned to play “Russian Sailor’s Dance,” but two students fell ill. Luckily, Lee and Sie brought all four arrangements with them and Malloy and Lofton were able to step in.
It was this type of experience that organizers had hoped for.
The idea for the concert was that of CV Arts Council board member Rob Roy McGregor. Hales said that for a couple of years McGregor had wanted to do something to incorporate professionals and students in a more casual setting. What was a once in a lifetime experience for the students also ended up being beneficial for the pros. “They loved the collaboration,” confirmed Hales.
She also praised the work of McGregor’s wife, Kazue, who functioned as event librarian, planning and staging all of the music and doing much of the coordinating.
Hales also was grateful to the church which offered a wonderful stage and great acoustics.
The council is contemplating its next concert, but according to Hales, they are hoping to have another collaborative event.
“There was great networking between the pros and local schools,” she said. “It was an enormous success.”