Our Very Special Arts Festival

The Music Center's Very Special Arts Festival

The Very Special Arts Festival is one of our absolute favorites events.  It’s our annual event celebrating the artistic achievements of students with disabilities and their mainstream peers.  This year marks the  37th year of the festival and tomorrow, Friday, October 23, our plaza is going to be packed with children, teachers, and performers partaking.

The festival features student and professional performances on two stages, visual and performing arts workshops, and a student art exhibit created around a central theme of Making Connections.  Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Very Special Arts Festival is free to the public and open to all grade levels.

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If you’re in the area, come by and check it out from 9:30am to 1pm.  It is guaranteed to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face!  You can also catch pics and videos on our social channels by searching #VSAF15.

 

How to Create an Awesome Spotlight Audition Video

Alyssa Allen Spotlight Awards

Our Spotlight Program – a free scholarship, training program and competition for high school kids in southern California – is back for it’s 28th year and applications are open now.  This amazing program has helped to foster some of the biggest and brightest talent in the performing arts, with artists like Misty Copeland, and Josh Groban among it’s extensive roster of alumni!

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This year, we’re asking all applicants to submit a video performance as part of their application, and to show just how easy and fun the video process can be, we teamed up with another Spotlight alum, the brilliant Melinda Sullivan, to create the ultimate “how-to” video!  Have a look…

So whether you sing, dance, act, or play an instrument, if you’re a talented SoCal teen (or perhaps the teacher or parent of one) looking for an amazing opportunity to expand your skills, broaden your talent and potentially win a $5000 scholarship, upload your application to the Spotlight Awards program ASAP!  Applications close on October 19th, so hop to it!

 

School is Better with Music Center On Tour!

It’s hard to believe that most Los Angeles schools have started back already and SoCal kids everywhere are trading their swimsuits for school supplies.  But here at The Music Center, we’ve got a solution to sweeten any students’ school day – Music Center On Tour!

Our Music Center On Tour program brings amazing performers like Diavolo / Architecture in Motion dance company and Ballet Folclorico do Brasil to schools across LA county.  Through thrilling, in-school assemblies, our large selection of touring artists are able to bring the magic of the performing arts to thousands of kids each year – exposing them to new art forms, classic stories, diverse cultural traditions, and rich educational content.

The shows are fun, high energy, and engaging for students and faculty alike, but we take it one step further.    Music Center on Tour school assemblies are designed to complement and enhance what students are learning in the classroom too, so we also include written teacher preparation materials that contain background information on the artist(s), as well as pre- and post-performance activities for the classroom that connect to multiple curricular areas.

Music Center On Tour

Check out all the details on Music Center On Tour, and peruse our list of performers on our website.  Fill out our request form to book an assembly for your students, your child’s school, your friend’s school, your second cousin’s kids’ school… Whomever!  Now’s the perfect time to bring a little razzle dazzle into the school day, and Music Center On Tour is just the ticket!

Shining the Spotlight on New Talent!

This past Tuesday, we celebrated the 27th Annual Spotlight Awards with the Grand Finale Performance in Walt Disney Concert Hall!  It was a new venue for our Spotlight Awards (usually held in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion,) with a new host in the brilliant Jenna Elfman, and with an added new category- Acting.  We also had a new format for our grand prize finalists (of which there are two in each category) in that they all received the grand prize and this final performance was just that – a performance celebrating their tremendous talent and dedication to their art-forms.   So while it felt like a year of “new things” for Spotlight, the talent in all the participants was just as inspiring and remarkable as ever!

Take a moment to meet all our amazing finalists… We can bet you’re going to see their names in programs and marquees in the future!

Here’s a quick slideshow of some of our favorite moments from the day…

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Also, if you came to the performance take your ticket stub over to any Urth Caffe and get a FREE cappuccino or any drink up to $5, plus 20% off any purchase at all URTH CAFFE LOCATIONS.  (Offer valid thru April 15, 2015.)

 

All photos by Danielle Klebanow

Gone Gamelan

The Music Center Gamelan Workshop

We recently held our first ever Gamelan Workshop here at The Music Center – allowing Angelenos from all walks of life the chance to learn to play this beautifully unique instrument.  What’s more, participants learned traditional Balinese songs and dances to accompany their music making, giving a full-spectrum into the art-form.

The sounds of gamelans and gongs echoing through the halls of our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was truly magical and despite being newbies to the craft, everyone at our workshop totally rocked it!

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Want to come to one of our workshops in the future?

 Sign up for our email list to stay in the know!  

Spotlight Acting Master Class

Spotlight Awards Acting Masterclass 2015As part of the Spotlight Awards, all high school students who make it through the initial round of auditions into the semi-finals are treated to masterclasses with some of the brightest luminaries in the field of their discipline.  This year’s masterclass series kicked off this past Sunday in the Acting category (a discipline we haven’t had for Spotlight in years!)  Students gathered at Cortines High School (just down the block from The Music Center) to workshop their monologues and get feedback from award winning actor, director, and teacher Bernard Addison.   Mr. Addison is a theatre teaching artist for the August Wilson In-School Residency Program, serves as a Master Teacher for the August Wilson Monologue Competition, and has been engaged in various Center Theatre Group educational programs since 2001. Currently, he is part of the theatre faculty at Los Angeles High School of the Arts, specializing in Voice, Speech and Advanced Acting.

Here’s a few snaps from the day…

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