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Summer Music Soiree Presents Free Concert For Burbank Community

Local Burbank students played on a classical music program with L.A. Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour at the Summer Music Soiree Monday evening, July 27. A free concert for the community, the Summer Music Soiree raised more than $500 in donations for Education Through Music – LA (ETM-LA.)

“I wanted to share my love of music with the community of Burbank,” commented event organizer and Burroughs High School sophomore Maya Paredes. “I have seen first hand the work Education Through Music – LA does in our local schools and wanted to encourage people to donate and help support music education in public schools.”

UCLA violinist Sarah Worden, Burroughs sophomore Maya Paredes (piano) and Chaminade junior Veronica Mansour (cello) perform the exquisite Rachmaninoff "Piano Trio No. 1 Elegiaque." Jordan student Eyen Paredes turns pages. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

UCLA violinist Sarah Worden, Burroughs sophomore Maya Paredes (piano) and Chaminade junior Veronica Mansour (cello) perform the Rachmaninoff “Piano Trio No. 1 Elegiaque.” Jordan student Eyen Paredes turns pages. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Chalifour, concertmaster of the L.A. Philharmonic for 20 years, performed some selections from the widely-enjoyed Bach Partita for Violin No.3. His engaging style, seen up close, thrilled many in the audience, who have usually only seen him perform from afar at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The concert drew nearly 100 members of the Burbank community and from throughout Los Angeles and included a program of folk songs, chamber music and piano and violin solos. Held in the acoustically-resonant and stunning Sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank, the Summer Music Soiree wowed attendees with the level of musicianship and performance.

L.A. Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour played some selections from the Bach Partita 3. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

L.A. Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour played some selections from the Bach Partita 3. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The exquisite and dramatic Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Trio No. 1 Elegiaque was an audience favorite. The Rachmaninoff was played with finesse by the chamber music trio of UCLA sophomore violinist Sarah Worden, a former Concertmaster of the Glendale Youth Orchestra, and Chaminade High School junior cellist Veronica Mansour with Maya on piano.

The Johannes Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 was another selection that brought audience members to their feet in applause. Veronica and Maya played the Brahms chamber music composition for cello and piano with emotion and musicality.

“The Brahms is a noble work of very high quality,” explained piano teacher Mark Richman.

Ella Jennings performs a Seitz violin concerto. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Ella Jennings performs a Seitz violin concerto. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs freshman Ella Jennings, who’s studied violin for four years, performed a solo concerto piece by Fritz Seitz with accompanist Carolyn Lessley. Ella and Jordan sixth-grader Eyen Paredes played a violin duet attributed to W.A. Mozart, Der Spiegel.

Eyen played violin with her sister Maya for the chamber music piece by Astor Piazzolla, Oblivion. She also performed two classical music solo pieces by Giovanni Pescetti and Reinhold Gliere.

ETM-LA students from Providencia opened the concert with folk songs. Natalie Perez (violin), Avanti Jimenez (cello) and Stephanie Wilson (cello) from Providencia Elementary were joined by violinists Ella, Eyen and Roosevelt Elementary student Evan Lanier.

ETM-LA Strings Teacher Megan Shung Smith conducts the ETM-LA ensemble of Natalie Perez (violin), Ella Jennings (violin), Eyen Paredes (violin), Evan Lanier (violin), Avanti Jimenez (cello) and Stephanie Wilson (cello.) (from left to right) (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

ETM-LA Strings Teacher Megan Shung Smith conducts the ETM-LA ensemble of Natalie Perez (violin), Ella Jennings (violin), Eyen Paredes (violin), Evan Lanier (violin), Avanti Jimenez (cello) and Stephanie Wilson (cello.) (from left to right) (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Maya demonstrated her love of performance and eight years of serious piano study with her parts for the Piazzolla, Rachmaninoff and Brahms. She concluded the concert with the showy Felix Mendelssohn solo piece Rondo Capriccioso.

Education Through Music – LA currently provides music instruction to all fourth- and fifth-graders at Providencia Elementary in addition to Kindergarteners and first- graders at Washington Elementary. Part of the ETM-LA instruction in Burbank Unified includes an elementary strings program taught by Megan Shung Smith.

Maya Paredes and Eyen Paredes (violin) perform Piazzolla's "Oblivion."(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Maya Paredes and Eyen Paredes (violin) perform Piazzolla’s “Oblivion.”(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Both Maya and Ella have coached the Providencia strings students in previous years. Also a seasoned cellist with the Glendale Youth Orchestra, Maya had her first experiences learning violin and cello in her elementary school orchestra.

“We are so proud and touched by of all the young artists who gave their time to help keep music in our schools,” said ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier. “It’s great to see teenagers like Maya take the initiative to do something positive for their community and to be a role model for others.”

L.A. Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour, Ella Jennings, Eyen Paredes, Maya Paredes, Sarah Worden, Veronica Mansour, Avanti Jimenez, Stephanie Wilson, Natalie Perez and Evan Lanier performed at ETM-LA's Summer Music Soiree in Burbank. (from left to right)

L.A. Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour, Ella Jennings, Eyen Paredes, Maya Paredes, Sarah Worden, Veronica Mansour, Avanti Jimenez, Stephanie Wilson, Natalie Perez and Evan Lanier performed at ETM-LA’s Summer Music Soiree in Burbank. (from left to right)

“We’re also so grateful to Martin Chalifour for continuing to champion music for all children and sharing his brilliant artistry with us.”

ETM-LA currently serves more than 7000 students at Title 1 schools in the Los Angeles area and, Lanier added, “As ETM-LA embarks on our 10th Anniversary Year, our goal is to expand our reach to serve 20 schools and approximately 10,000 children.”

Maya hopes to organize more free concerts like the Summer Music Soiree for the Burbank community in the future, improving access for all ages to hear and enjoy classical and other styles of music.