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Comedy to bring music lessons to students

March 19, 2013|By Joyce Rudolph
  • La Providencia Guild of Children's Hospital Los Angeles welcomed new members during a tea in February at the Burbank home of Marcia Baroda. They are, from left, DeeDee Rowlands, Sandra Kelley, Sophia Macisaac, Sue Meckley, Marsha Floyd and Beth Bowles.
La Providencia Guild of Children's Hospital Los… (Photo courtesy…)

The 2013 Leadership Burbank Class is planning a comedy night to raise funds for its community project, “31 Violins”, a program to expand instrumental music instruction to Burbank’s elementary schools.

The event, “Laughs for Leadership Burbank,” will take place on March 28 at Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant, 102 E. Magnolia Blvd. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling (818) 845-9721 or visiting

Leadership Burbank offers leaders and emerging leaders the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional skills, gain a deeper understanding of community dynamics, and cultivate civic involvement.

The Burbank Unified School District eliminated weekly elementary instrumental music programs in 1992, but in 2007 a general music program was developed for grades 2-5 that allowed students to attend classes twice a month. Today, five elementary schools offer general music education but only two — Providencia and Roosevelt — teach instrumental music instruction within the school day.


“After learning about the decline in music instruction in our community, we felt inspired to help expand the programs for more children to have the opportunity to learn music,” said Monica Newhouse, Leadership Burbank 2013 participant. “Our vision in the creation of ‘31 Violins’ is to not only provide instruments, but to also increase instruction time, reduce music class sizes, free up district resources and eliminate the financial burden from the district and schools.”

Teacher writes book on skateboarder

Former Burbank resident Janet Eoff Berend, a high school English teacher, has written a novel about a teen skateboarder that now is available through major book sellers.

Berend said her inspiration to write “Vertical” came from years of listening to students in her English class at La Costa Canyon High School in North San Diego County, where she has taught for 17 years. She grew up in Burbank and moved to Encinitas when she was 19.

It has been released by Breakaway Books, a New York publishing house. “Vertical” is written for junior- high- and high-school-aged audiences. Berend has included descriptions of skateboarding and references to classic literature throughout the story, while exploring the topic of bullying and the theme of friendship.

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