Past News

2014-03-20

Cathy Barton and Dave Para to Perform in Anaheim

2014-02-21

Transcending Boundaries Through the Arts

2014-02-17

Elsie Reed is 97!

2014-02-05

The Vesper Light is Coming With OCCS

2014-01-21

Pint and Dale Come to Town

2014-01-01

Small Potatoes with the Living Tradition

2013-12-21

Carol of the Nutcrackers

2013-11-25

OCS Gala Special Concert

2013-11-25

Foxpointe Seasonal Soiree Invitation

2013-08-31

Kids Rock With the OCS

2013-08-14

Summer Intensive Peaks in Pearson Park

2013-08-14

Jacques D'Amboise, Forever Young

2013-07-20

Anaheim International Dance Festival Takes Shape

2013-07-18

Great Season Ahead for the Symphony

2013-06-20

Creative Identity Concert Draws High Praise

2013-06-20

Art Reflections to Dazzle and Amaze

2013-06-20

MECCA comes to Anaheim

2013-06-09

Jazz Generations Fundraiser Announced

2013-04-30

Symphonies For Wind This Month

2013-04-24

Student Film Festival in GardenWalk on Saturday

2013-04-08

OC Symphony Presents Clarion Calls Next Sunday

2013-03-26

AAA 50th Anniversary Show

2013-02-15

Ponderosa Library Appreciation

2013-02-15

Young Children in AWE Helped By Public Library Foundation

2013-01-31

Aliens in Anaheim Again

2013-01-31

Acclaimed Irish Balladeer Making Rare Appearance in Anaheim

2013-01-30

Brace for the ACE - it Might Be Cold!

2013-01-23

OCS to Perform Favorites by Bizet and Ravel

2012-12-21

The Nutcracker on Public Radio

2012-12-05

Art Association opens Exhibit in Center Gallery

2012-11-28

Tree Lighting Almost Here

2012-11-25

Public Library Foundation Recognition

2012-11-04

Wind Symphony Lives Up To Its Promise

2012-10-01

Major Thirds Kept Us Guessing!

2012-09-25

Best Ever Broadway Comes to Anaheim

2012-08-31

Exquisite Evening of Japan Inspired Music

2012-08-30

Broadway Comes to Anaheim Again

2012-08-15

AIDF Points To The Future

2012-08-11

Splendid Start to International Dance Festival

2012-08-06

TLT to Celebrate 30th Anniversary

2012-07-24

New Performing Arts Center Inches Ever Closer

2012-07-23

Three Glorious Days in Brea

2012-07-18

Celtic Music for the Multitudes

2012-07-17

West Side Story Rave Review

2012-06-27

OC Symphony Gets Close to Arena Concert

2012-06-06

Mayor\'s Concert Poses Questions

2012-05-06

Bluegrass Band and Appalachian-Country Duo Share Stage

2012-05-05

Panning for Gold The Searchers' Way

2012-05-02

OC Symphony Pulls out the Stops

2012-03-13

Traveling Western Folk Singers - Saturday

2012-03-13

Creative Identity Changes Lives

2012-01-31

A Glimpse into City Cultural Arts Programs

2012-01-30

Folk Music Icons to Appear at Living Tradition

2012-01-29

Anaheim Community Theatre

2012-01-23

Gershwin, Copland and Beethoven Combine Forces to Entertain

2011-11-17

Nutcrackers and Snow

2011-11-17

Treats in Store with A Holiday Cornucopia

2011-11-14

When Broadway Rocked Anaheim - Nov 5th

2011-10-17

Broadway Rocks Anaheim Again

2011-09-30

New Anaheim Ballet YouTube Video

2011-09-28

Sarah McQuaid in Concert with Jack Brown

2011-09-25

A Little Night Music

2011-09-19

OC Symphony Baton Changes Hands

2011-09-12

Tracy Grammer in Concert on Saturday

2011-08-29

Borrowed, Blue, Old and New

2011-08-15

Anaheim International Dance Festival

2011-07-30

Ballet Students to Kick-off Dance Celebrations

2011-07-24

Anaheim Ballet Offers Huge Summer Program

2011-07-22

Jerry Springer: the Opera

2011-07-21

OC Symphony Receives City Designation

2011-06-27

Great July Photo Classes

2011-06-27

When Mahler Met Saint Saens

2011-06-26

Anaheim Art Association Shows off Winners

2011-06-08

The Mayor's Concert is Coming Sunday 26th!

2011-05-16

OC Symphony - an American Landmark

2011-04-22

Welcome to Creative Identity

2011-04-20

Appeal: Homes for Dancers

2011-03-14

Soul Music with Living Tradition

2011-03-05

AB Co-Director Honored

2011-01-09

In Service to the Mouse

2010-11-12

Anaheim Ballet Wows Hundreds of School Kids

These Kids 'Rock' On The Piano

By Michael Buss, 2014-09-29

The Orange County Symphony, conducted by Dr. David Rentz, opened its 2014-15 season on Sunday night (Sept 28th) with a dazzling array of young pianists in the lead roles.

Left: Concertmaster Seunjai Chung tunes his violin.

Presenting the winners of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) Annual Concerto Competition was such a success last year that the audience was eager for the repeat. It is remarkable beyond words that such extraordinary musical gifts can reside in people so young. Of course, we all know that that there are child prodigies, but to see them perform is always stunning.

With the piano center stage the conductor was somewhat hidden from view but not to the extent that you could not see him and the soloists catch each other’s eyes at the crucial points when orchestra and pianist needed most to co-ordinate.

The evening opened with Beethoven’s overture to The Consecration of the House – a mostly unfamiliar piece. The soft, slow opening seemed to show up some nervousness in the orchestra, and the bassoons got unfortunately buried in the swell as the music picked up and the players found their stride. So much attention would later be riveted on the soloists that is it best to remark here that the orchestra was, for the entire evening, extremely good. One regular told me that when he closed his eyes and just listened he could tell no difference between this and any performance by the Pacific Symphony under the baton of Carl St. Clair!

With Felix Mendelssohn’s buoyant Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor came soloist No. 1 – Elizabeth Zietz, a 9th grader at Northwood High School. A slender girl with flowing black hair and red evening gown she showed complete command at the keyboard. Sometimes bending low watching her fingers ripple up and down the arpeggios, sometimes swaying back, eyes closed, she charmed her audience with her performance.

There being no obvious place to hand over the piano duties to another player there came the switch when Elizabeth left the stage while the orchestra played and 12 year old Victor Shlyakhtenko took command. And take command, he did! He may even have had the harder shift. With white shirt and black bowtie he showed no hesitation with the flourishes and complexities of the music. Occasionally a slight, relaxed smile would spread across his face, only to be picked up and returned by the ever attentive David Rentz.

Victor and Elizabeth receive applause

The intermission brings its usual hubbub of photographs in the foyer, glasses of wine for those needing lubrication, and opportunity drawing tickets managed as usual with great care by the Key Clubbers. In fact it was appropriate on this occasion that Mike Anderson and Dorothy Rose presented certificates of recognition to Frank Barry (Key Club organizer) for his many years of service to the kids and the nonprofits of Anaheim, Naturally Shirley McCracken was also called out for applause. And in another very fine touch, the OCS also invited onto the stage Chris Sarkissian, owner of Pepz Pizza who over the years has provided the orchestra with pizza on their arrival at the theatre.

Come the second part of the evening and the conductor presented Wan-Chin Chang, piano, to play the Cesar Frank Symphonic Variations.  Wan Chin usually sits with the first violins, but it should be noted that she is equally at home on the piano. Considering that she is Doctor of Musical Arts from USC and teaches in many fine arts schools, including Soka University, it was a delight to watch her perform. Her long, peach colored gown perfectly toned in with the stage backdrop!

Before the final piece of the evening Dr. Minji Noh, no stranger on the piano with the OCS, joined David Rentz to give an overview of the Concerto Competition and present the awards. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, small figures appeared out of the audience – pianists all- to receive their trophies. Have no doubt, the future of classical piano is in good hands!

Just some of the prize winners with Dr. Minji Noh. Mike Anderson (President) and Dorothy Rose (Exec Director) stand behind, watching.

Emily Wang performed the last concerto piece of the evening – the well known Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg. As soon as Emily played the first four chords everyone in the Servite auditorium knew they were in for a treat. They were not disappointed. She is currently a senior at Troy with a broad range of interests. Very tall, with a midnight blue gown, she displayed total mastery in every way. We had been prepared by Dr. Rentz to expect a long cadenza (when the pianist plays without orchestra, and can put all their own individuality into the interpretation) and therefore scrutinized every nuance, every extra legato effect, every joyous romp up and down the keys, until you saw the orchestra slowly get their instruments ready to pitch in for the final triumphant conclusion.

People were going home very happy.



 
Theatre News

By The Editor, 2014-09-28

The Chance

It was an ebullient Erika Miller who bounced up to the microphone at a recent City Council meeting (Sept 23rd) to share the news of ever growing popularity and success at The Chance. The company has recently received another two Ovation Award nominations. These Southern California awards are for excellence in theatre and are given out by the Los Angeles Stage Alliance – the only peer-judged theatre awards in LA.

Erika called our special mention for the opening musical of the year, Lysistrata Jones, which was also featured for its fine choreography.

The current show is Maple and Vine, dubbed by the New York Times as “a clever, sharply drawn fantasy... makes a sneaky, compelling case for the seductions of living the Ozzie and Harriet life."  With a wide grin Erika reminded the City Council that this was not a show for the kids!

And whereas we thought we had seen the last of the Reindeer Monologues after years of exposure to the harsh winter winds and snow of California, out came the news – they are BACK, by popular demand.

The Chance’s website is well worth a visit. A very sweet improvement.

Stage Door Rep Three Year Anniversary

Can you believe it? Stage Door Repertory Theatre has now been playing to full houses for three full years and will celebrate its anniversary on Saturday October 4th. They have a special evening planned starting at 6:15pm for food, comedy, music and more; plus the main show at 7pm with announcements of the biggest and boldest 2015 season. All this for only $35!

Also of huge significance is that a few months ago SDR acquired the adjacent property to be able to expand their theatre operation. Note: buying more space is the way to go with growing Anaheim theatres! The extra accommodation provides for a scene workshop, proper changing space and green room for the actors, office space, etc. Whilst being a greater drain on the coffers, this is also indicative of a theatre with a strong audience base whose regular support makes this expansion possible. Congratulation to Nick and Julie Charles who have so diligently steered the enterprise to ongoing success. Here’s the link for the full details.

ACT – Anaheim Community Theatre

This group which prides itself on being able to set first time actors off on a stage career has been pulling in the crowds recently, and that to very appreciative audiences.

The threat of closure has been hanging over the heads of the theatre company with the possibility that the church hall may be leased off to an outside entity. We’ll have to check up and let you know.

Meanwhile The Diary of Anne Frank may be the last show in the space completing a splendid run that started off many years ago - with the same play. The play opens Friday October 10th and closes on Sunday October 19th.

As an added bonus for the Arts Council cast members will be at the next General Meeting on October Thursday 2nd. I anticipate we will see a scene from the play and get a strong encouragement to go see the full play at the First Presbyterian Church, on Broadway, where the company is based.

You may get the full show details here.

 



 
Renee’s Photography Exhibition

By Michael Buss, 2014-09-28

Renee Stewart Jackson must be the Arts Council’s favorite photographer. Not only does she take the most stunning, beautifully observed pictures but she’s always smiling. Always there. Always passionate about everything she does.

Left: A photo by Michael Buss of a photo by Renee Stewart Jackson!

So when I popped in to see her exhibition at the Carnegie Library today there she was, with husband Phil, smiling! And then we have to smile back because her exhibition of “Faces” leaves you with little choice. There are the chimps in black and white, and the gorillas with a touch of color, with thanks to San Diego Zoo. But the art of the photographer is to see what most of us never even notice, then freeze the moment and then keep it before us such that the moment extends into minutes, into hours. The way the baby chimp nuzzled at its mother’s teat captures all the intimacy and love you might see with a human parent and child. The gorilla, finger to twisted mouth, who seems to be saying “Now just a minute…” has his eye firmly fixed on a fly some nine inches away from his face – a facet of the picture I wouldn’t have noticed were it not pointed out to me by Phil, Renee’s husband.

Further round the gallery and I came across the faces of Native American Indians, brightly painted for a pow wow at Pechanga. Renee had gone there with her student, a disabled young lady who doesn't let her disability or wheelchair stop her from enjoying life, who under our photographer’s tutelage has now won a variety of prizes in her own right!

Other portraits follow, again in black and white; grizzled old men where every whisker is its own portrait.  And you see, once more, what only the photographer and the artists really see, every detail.

But we are not finished, for on the final wall are the compilations, skillfully merged and blended, to tell a story right out of the mind of the artist. Trees set against an orange sky seem to have, yes, eyes subtly peering through the branches, gazing back at the onlooker. A mirror for the lover of nature.  I dart back to the previous compilation where a black silhouetted spider hovers on its web over toadstools pushing up through the mulch. And sure enough, after a moment, you discern faint grainy eyes from the left gazing at the spider. A voice whispers in my ear: “Little Miss Muffett!” Renee is there, enjoying the moment. Smiling.

Thank you, Renee, for sharing your gift;  and for the sweet hospitality, the salami and crackers, the olives – and the cookies!



 
Debbie Reynolds Coming To APACF

By Michael Buss, 2014-09-27

Debbie Reynolds, darling of stage, screen and television in the 1950s and 60s, and her never-to-be-forgotten role opposite Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, and later in her title role in The Unsinkable molly Brown, will be the celebrity guest at this year’s Great Gatsby Gala with the Anaheim Performing Arts Center Foundation.

Regular readers will know that the mission of APACF is to build a state of the arts performing arts center right here in California’s 10th largest city. They sensed the frustration when the Heritage Forum, widely tipped to be the location of the new facility, was bought by The Rock Church.

Now, after a prolonged silence about the plans, members of the City Council revealed at a recent Candidate’s Forum that the likely new venue will be the building of the City National Grove of Anaheim, right next to the Anaheim Angels Stadium.

However nothing is sure and until it’s all signed and sealed. The Grove’s lease has about a year to run when it is projected that some sort of deal could be hatched, maybe in conjunction with the current leaseholders Nederlander, to strip out and reconstruct the building to meet the requirements of the Foundation. Probably the main challenge will be to keep the City Council and staff focused on the main objective, ensuring that they thoroughly embrace the mission.

The annual galas in Anaheim Hills, fundraisers towards the main capital fund, have invariably been spectacular. The change of date from August to the fall is smart because the summer heat had become almost too much. The location is the same – the lovely home of Dr. Howie and Mrs. Linda Knohl of Fox Pointe Manor. With Fritz Coleman, weatherman from NBC4 as the host and many fine entertainers, vendors, and surprises this promises to be a fine event.  Please click the image below to get the full details. Date to reserve - 1st November.



 


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