Arts Briefs: Cellists celebrate Bach’s birthday, art show opens in Burbank and festival seeks musicians


A Classic Birthday

The great composer Johann Sebastian Bach is the subject of an annual celebration in a style and place he never could have imagined in his lifetime. On Saturday, March 19, the German musician has his 331st birthday marked in Glendale with a performance by the “Bach in the Subways” project.

A group of 30 cello players will begin a 1 p.m. concert at the historic 1924 Southern Pacific Railroad Depot at the Larry Zarian Transportation Center in Glendale. The local ensemble is led by cellist Rebecca Merblum, strings department chair of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music — continuing a “Bach in the Subways” worldwide tradition begun on the East Coast by cellist Dale Henderson.

Henderson’s “Bach in the Subways” concept was both epic and simple: A large contingent of cello players would arrive at a train station to perform a piece of beautiful centuries-old music by Bach. The musicians vary in age and experience, some with a decade on the instrument, others with less than a year. At last year’s performance, cellists wore matching white T-shirts featuring a stately portrait of Bach in white powdered wig.

In an article from last year’s Glendale concert, Marquee writer Daniel Weizmann wrote: “The whole thing was like a scene from an MGM musical, set off by the clang-clang-clang of a trolley bell on a balmy early spring afternoon.”

The Glendale station is located at 400 West Cerritos Avenue. More information at

Local Arts Center

The annual “Art Round-Up” by the Fine Arts Federation opens this weekend at the Creative Arts Center Gallery in Burbank. The show includes work by such local artists as Sharon Dellamarie and Joe Marino, and it runs through March 24.

The exhibition is a juried show of mixed media by more than 60 artists specializing in painting, sculpture, photography pottery and collage. The Fine Arts Federation was founded in 1976.

The Creative Arts Center Gallery is at 1100 West Clark Avenue, Burbank. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ,and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information at (818) 238-5397.

Music Wanted

The festival Make Music Pasadena is in search of independent singers, musicians, bands and other configurations of musical acts for this year’s event on June 11. Organizers are accepting submissions through Sonicbids for 150 slots. Last year’s fest drew an audience of 50,000.

All genres are encouraged to apply for a chance to perform at the West Coast’s largest free music fest. Six acts will be picked to perform on the main stage. Two of those will also receive a $400 cash prize.

Each year, Make Music Pasadena offers more than 150 bands on five main stages plus more than 30 venues across Old Pasadena.

The deadline for submission is April 27. For more information on the fest and on how to enter, see and



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