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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Autumn social calendar is crowded with events

La Cañada was really jumpin’ at the end of September. There is much to tell you about.

It was an early German-style Oktoberfest celebration when, on Sept. 21, John and Nancy Wolhaupter hosted the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn.’s monthly Happy Hour.

Strings of white lights illuminated the backyard and colorful banners rustled in the slight breeze. The barbecues were fired up to grill succulent, spicy bratwurst sausages, in honor of this fall feast.

Among the partygoers were Eremita Miranda and Larry Andreason, Pam Wiedenbeck, Sue Beatty, Bill Pounders, Stewart Lee, Lynne and Joe Thompson, Clyde and Bobbie Hemphill, Daryal and Mary Gant, Peggy Hotaling, Dick Grippi, Ricardo Gonzales, Terry Beyer, Pat Hutchins, Pete and Cathy Palermo, Charlotte Layland, Tony Riewe, Brett Pounders, Mary Ellen Knowles, Alice Perez, Trish and Dave McRae, Kay Payer, Tim Rohen, Robert Lee, Harriet Hammons, Janet and Dwight Crumb, Kenny and Andrea Quan, Lee Johnson, Jenny and Frank Pass, Bob and Ann Neilson, James Neilson, Brenda and Len Pieroni, Larry Keyes, Fraser and Dee Draper, Woody Walker and Mayor Terry Walker, Pat Foltyn, Carl and Irene Christensen, Pam Gosso, Marylou Pelzer, Pat Anderson, Sarah Marshall, City Councilman Michael Davitt, Bob Wallace, Anne Stewart, Nana and Joel Smith, Lorraine Riewe Cooper, Cardy and Lorna Coate, Caroline Craven, Bob and Liz Craven, Tim Flynn, Barbie Eland, Bev Albright, Brenda Gant and Jeff Hughes, Chuck Terhune, Mike and Nancy Leininger, Harriett and Chuck Hughes, Becky and Chuck Gelhaar.



Flintridge Riding Club’s Autumn Classic Horse Show ran Sept. 26-30. LCF Mayor Pro Tem Len Pieroni, Councilman Greg Brown and Brenda Pieroni presented the Mayor’s Trophy to the winner of the Flintridge Riding Club Medal Final on that Saturday morning. That evening, a special dinner was held ringside at the club.

Since my daughter trained at Flintridge Riding Club for many years, it is always nostalgic for me to attend a horse show there. The club’s 98th annual Flintridge Horse Show is set for next April 25-28, another thrilling opportunity to see talented equestrians go through their paces.



On Sunday, Sept. 30, the La Cañada Kiwanis Club, the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Rosso Wine Shop in Montrose held the 14th annual Wine and Gourmet Food Tasting event at Memorial Park.

More than 400 people turned out to sip wines offered by 18 different wineries and sample foods provided by 18 food vendors.

It was a true “chamber of commerce” day with a hint of autumn in the air. Our beautiful San Gabriel Mountains were so clearly defined they looked like they were a painted backdrop for a movie set.

Mary Gant, chair of the event said, “We had a wonderful turnout and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. It was a win-win all the way around.”


And I’m not finished yet: Sept. 23 was an exciting opening night for the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There wasn’t a seat to be found, as the concert was sold out.

The program for the evening, conducted by Grant Gershon, began with “Songs of Ascent” composed by Shawn Kirchner, followed by the dramatic “Requiem in D Minor, K626 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Soloists for the program included Liv Redpath, J’Nai Bridges, David Portillo, Rod Gilfry, Robert Norman and Abdiel Gonzalez.


Following the concert, there was a three-course dinner served in BP Hall for 100 guests. The guests were welcomed by the Master Chorale’s president and chief executive, Jean Davidson, who introduced the newly appointed chair of the board of directors, Philip A. Swan.

Taking part in the post-concert dinner were foothill residents Judi, Bryant and Debra Danner, as well as Annette Ermshar and her husband Dan Monahan.

The sumptuous dinner, catered by Patina, was served family-style, which added to the warm conviviality of the evening. Each course was enhanced with carefully selected wines curated by Corkscrew Adventures.

Following the dinner, Gershon welcomed the audience and spoke about the new concert season. A delightful musical surprise came when Shawn Kirchner, who composed the first piece of the program, played the piano. He was joined by baritone Ryan Harrison to perform some of Kirchner’s original jazz compositions, “Never Too Late for Love,” “Black Eyes & Bloody Noses,” and “Hummingbird.” The evening’s dinner entertainment concluded with a solo piano performance by board member Jenny Soonijin Kim, who played a spirited rondo from a Leopold Kozeluch sonata.

Jane Napier Neely covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.