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On The Town:

A week of wins, awards and wishes

February 25, 2009|By DAVID LAURELL

The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra teamed up with the Hennings-Fischer Foundation on Saturday to present the eighth annual Young Artist’s Competition at the Hall of Liberty in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. Those competing were judged by a panel of internationally renowned musical authorities and world-class opera coaches. The winners were soprano Clarissa Shan Clarissa Shan and clarinetist Jose Granero.

Having bettered a preliminary field of more than 60 artists, including other finalists, Stephanie Elsaed, Seul-A Lee, Edward Trybek and Athena Mertes, Shan and Granero were awarded honorariums and extended an invitation to perform with the Burbank Phil during its upcoming concert season and at the Starlight Bowl’s Summer Pops Concert.

Among those who assisted in the competition were the organization’s President James Brandon, President Emeritus Lynda Willner, Vice President Katie Brandon and Secretary Elsbeth Riess.

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Others who made the evening a success included the orchestra’s Maestro Steven Kerstein and board members Marianne Atkinson, Francine Chapman, Bob Diller, Judy Gragg, Leeanne Reynolds, Rebecca Haussling, Larry Lazar and Aaron Petersen.

The following morning, for Burbankers who were passed over for an invitation to the evening’s presentation of the Academy Awards at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, Pastor Paul Clairville and the drama ministry of the Westminster Presbyterian Church helped ease the pain by presenting the seventh annual Greg Baldwin Oscar Sunday Extravaganza.

Written, directed and produced by Greg and Melissa Baldwin, Clairville rolled out the red carpet for a performance that honored the most-thanked individual in Oscar history — God. Presented with a “Wizard of Oz” theme, Clairville explained at the outset that due to a horrible coffee-cup accident, this year’s Oscar Extravaganza would be different than those in the past being as that Greg Baldwin had become disoriented and didn’t know where he was.

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