The Valley Line: Music echoes throughout the Foothills this summer, in backyards and parks

Some of the members of Verdugo Hills Women’s Chorus gather for an afternoon barbecue. From left are attendees Kathy Kubota, Pat Killen, Ginny Pruitt, Pat Lee and Suzy Duff.
(Courtesy of Verdugo Hills Women’s Chorus)

The Verdugo Hills Women’s Chorus and Burbank Singers took a summer hiatus from performances. In celebration they decided to take a break from rehearsals and preparations for concerts that will begin again in September.

Diana Tyson, director of Burbank Singers, played hostess to members of the local choruses at her home in the hills of La Crescenta. Chorus members dined on a delicious Korean barbecue with Ki Park (director of the Verdugo Hills chorus) providing the grill experience. Members of both groups offered up a wide variety of tasty side dishes to enhance the experience.

The barbecue potluck was followed by several rousing games of bingo, complete with prizes for the winners.

La Cañada resident Arlene Massimino said the Verdugo Hills chorus is always looking for new members. She said there are no auditions required — just a love of music and a desire to sing. Anyone interested in joining either WHWC or Burbank Singers is invited to contact Ki Park at (818) 720-6465 or Meredith Glaser at (818) 679-1848.


As Diana Tyson put it, “Let’s get together and celebrate our collaboration and friendships — and raise a toast to the future!


While summer is chugging along slowly, the music venues are going full steam ahead. Just this past Saturday a huge crowd, which included many La Cañadans, was enjoying the Pasadena Pops at the Arboretum in Arcadia.

Michael Feinstein conducted the orchestra in George Gershwin’s 1924 masterpiece, “Rhapsody in Blue.” This work never fails to enchant a crowd as it certainly did Saturday night.



Guests bring picnics to Descanso Gardens Rose Garden for socializing, listening to music and enjoying the gardens in the evening.
(Courtesy of Descanso Gardens)

La Cañada was reverberating to multiple sounds of music in the community. Last Wednesday evening a happy crowd of people gathered at the Descanso Gardens Rose Garden for music by the Flashdance DJs, who were spinning all-vinyl sets. The gardens were so beautiful just as the sun was setting. It was the perfect thing to do on a summer evening.

On Sunday, July 14, Memorial Park was edge-to-edge with people, dogs and kids who were having fun as they were toe-tapping and hip swingin’ during a Jimmy Buffet tribute concert performed by Mark Wood and the Parrot Heads.

It was part of the city of La Cañada Flintridge’s Music in the Park concert series. Next Sunday Memorial Park will be teeming again with the Wiseguys Big Band. Bring your dancing shoes to take a few spins on the cement dance floor right in front of the bandstand. I’m sure there will be plenty of dancers on the grass too!


FM Radio musical group gets the crowd cheering at Memorial Park for last Sunday’s installment of the Music in the Park summer series.
(Courtesy of the LCF Chamber of Commerce)

The music played on at Descanso last week because on Tuesday at their World Music Concert Night nearly 1,000 guests with picnic baskets and refreshments in hand listened to Latin Soul music with the group, “Boogaloo Assassins.” And on Thursday, another 1,000 gathered at the gardens’ popular event, “Music on the Main” to hear Abe Lagrimas Jr. trio and his unique ukulele jazz vibe.



On an entirely different note, I wanted to share with our readers that the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council, which as its name suggests helps coordinate the nonprofit organizations around town, seated its new leadership during the group’s annual Les Tupper Service Awards ceremony this spring.

The board for the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council. Front from left, Rosemary Hook, Meredith Reynolds, President Becky Gelhaar, Pat Anderson and Martha Burns. Back row from left, Joe Thompson, Barbie Eland, Joanne Crispin, Kathy Seuylemezian Len Pieroni, and Jeb Long.
(Courtesy of the LCF Coordinating Council)

President of the group is Becky Gelhaar. Serving with her are Rosemary Hook, Meredith Reynolds, Pat Anderson, Martha Burns, Joe Thompson, Barbie Eland, Joanne Crispin, Kathy Seuylemezian, Len Pieroni, Jeb Long, Barbara Marshall, Sid Karsh and Steve Hronek.

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

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