The Valley Line: Beautiful music will fill the gardens

Here are some more summer music notes for you to consider. Descanso Gardens is presenting its summer music series on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. called “Music on the Main.” The series features some of the Southland's best jazz artists. The Thursday night concerts continue through Aug. 23.

Muse/Ique will have its first of two summer concerts at Caltech's Beckman Mall, affectionately called “The Olive Grove,” on July 14. “Come groove in the grove” with Rachael Worby and jazz ranging from be-bop to soul to swing. Featured in July is Arturo Sandoval, who is known for his amazing trumpet runs. Their next summer concert is Aug. 18 with Rickie Lee Jones, a vocalist, musician and songwriter.

Speaking of music and the arts, Pasadena Arts Council, with Terry LeMoncheck as its executive director, held its annual Gold Crown Award and inaugural AxS Award ceremony at Descanso Gardens last Monday night.

More than 300 supporters of the council gathered at the new Sturt Haaga Gallery of Art patio and the historic Boddy House for a wine reception. Patina Restaurant and Catering provided a steady stream of tantalizing hors d'oeuvres to taste.

The patio in front of the Boddy House was set up for the award ceremony presentation. The flowers that centered each table and on the staging area were magnificently arranged by Jacob Maarse Florists. Most evident in the fragrant arrangements were the gorgeous roses from the Maarse personal gardens.

Although David Brown, executive director of Descanso Gardens, wasn't taking an active part in the evening's presentations, he was there to meet and greet, which he always does so well.

Receiving the council's Gold Crown Award were La Cañadans Paul and Heather Haaga, who embody an extraordinary dedication and commitment to civic life.

Heather, a plein air artist, is the immediate chair of the board of trustees of Descanso Gardens. A large gift from the Haagas, put together with additional funds from others, made the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens possible.

This year marked the inaugural presentation of the art and science award called the AxS Award.

The award honors exceptional examples of human endeavor and achievement forged by the integration of intuition and reason, emotion and intellect, and the union of creativity and technology.

The great scientist and Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.”

Accepting this dual award were Dr. Charles Elachi, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and vice president at Caltech, and Dr. Lorne Buchman, president and chief executive of Art Center College of Design.

Also receiving recognition at the ceremony were four high school students who have shown exceptional promise in their chosen art form, with an unrestricted award of $1,000.

The student recipients include Erin Corson, dance; David Rodgers, music; Iris Roberts Sharp, theater; and Allegra Socki, visual art.

A special treat for all guests was a performance by 17 members of the JPL Chorus, who sang a beautiful piece written by John David called, “You are the New Day.”

This was the third public performance by the chorus, which has been in existence for less than a year. I must say they are very impressive!

Lena Kennedy was the event chair for the inaugural AxS and Gold Crown Awards. Co-chairs were La Cañadan Teena Hostovich and Dianne Magee. Ever present in the award ceremony was Stephen Nowlin, president of the Pasadena Arts Council board of trustees.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her with details of your special event at

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World