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By Joyce Rudolph | December 12, 2009
Producers forecast a frosting of renewed energy in dance and music for California Contemporary Ballet?s 12th annual performance of ?The Snow Queen? next weekend. Based on the classic by Hans Christian Andersen, the story is about a little girl named Gerda who saves her friend Kai from an evil spell. Emma Mesrobian of Glendale returns this year to dance the role of the Gypsy Woman, and she infuses the character with a lot of passion, said Erin Holt, artistic director of the professional nonprofit company.
January 15, 2003
Jackson Bell If anyone can vouch for the meaning of "the better half," that age-old euphemism husbands use to describe their wives, it would be John Petersen. The reason? He has owned and operated the musical instrument retail and repair store Petersen's Band & Orchestra for more than 30 years. Three years ago, his wife, Nedre, became his business partner and took charge of marketing -- increasing clientele astronomically and doubling sales.
By Ani Amirkhanian | August 30, 2006
When he is not busy teaching, Justin Riner spends his time pursuing his passion for music — a passion he pursues not only on stage, but with the students in his classroom. The 25--year-old eighth-grade English teacher at John Muir Middle School has been playing with his band, Loverlee, an indie pop band, for nearly a year. What sets Riner's band apart is the untraditional sounds the group uses during performances, he said. "We use diverse instruments," he said. "The music is upbeat and fun and the instruments keep the sound fresh."
June 6, 2001
Gary Moskowitz MAGNOLIA PARK -- Bryce Alley hopped off the Space Mountain roller coaster ride at Disneyland once and asked his mother if she had heard the background music. His mother, Cheri Alley, hadn't. She, like many others around her, simply jumped into the roller coaster, screamed and enjoyed the ride. To Bryce, the music was the best part. "I just make up songs in my mind," said the 11-year-old fifth-grade student at Roosevelt Elementary School, who performed his original composition "Give It Up" at a piano recital in Burbank last weekend.
June 29, 2002
Laura Sturza Film and television composer Deon Vozov's work takes her to places that not every songwriter visits. Underground salt caverns in Poland, a fantasy sky world where people move in vehicles or free-float, a desert with visiting aliens and a salon with belly dancers in 1920s Morocco -- all have been subjects of motion pictures she has scored. Having first tried her hand as a singer and songwriter during the 1980s, producers couldn't quite categorize her sound.
December 13, 2000
MAGNOLIA PARK -- "A Winter's Tale,' a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol," will be presented at 7:30 tonight and 8 p.m. Thursday at the SpiritWorks Center for Spiritual Living. First premiered in December 1984 at the Burbank Theatre Guild, the libretto, music and most of the lyrics of "A Winter's Tale" were created by David James, with additional lyrics by Douglas James and Kelli James-Chase. The SpiritWorks presentation, directed and staged by Edgar J. Wood, will be at 260 N. Pass Ave. and is free, although offerings will be accepted.
January 26, 2005
Rosette Gonzales When Angela Balogh Calin designs costumes for a play, it's not just about having a keen fashion sense. It's an artistic process that involves literature, music and collaborative research. And she goes through the same process when she designs stage sets. Calin, a Burbank resident, has worked on dozens of plays, sometimes designing sets and costumes in the same production at A Noise Within in Glendale and South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa Mesa.
By Chris Wiebe | September 20, 2006
DOWNTOWN BURBANK ? The tantalizing aroma of a feast served up for hungry crowds will waft through the streets on Thursday as a Taste of Downtown Burbank returns for its third year. With more than 30 restaurants slated to participate and a third musical act added to the entertainment venue, organizers are expecting large crowds. Last year attendance doubled from the first year, rocketing from approximately 600 to 1,200 attendees, said Gail Stewart, manager of the Downtown Burbank Partnership, Inc. "We are looking forward to this event," she said.
By Joyce Rudolph | November 4, 2006
Singers in a local church choir have shared their uplifting music with audiences ranging from Cardinal Roger Mahony to inmates at juvenile detention centers, and while doing it, they say have grown closer than family. Members of Cornerstone, the contemporary choir at St. Francis Xavier Church, have been together for about 30 years, said Barbara Cimini, one of the two sopranos. "It got its name about 15 years ago, but the same basic four or five people have been together singing at the contemporary Mass at the church for 30 years," she said.
By Patrick Caneday | November 19, 2008
Not only is Burbank home to some of the giants of the entertainment industry (Disney and Warner Bros. to name just two), but Burbank is also the post-production capital of the world (based on my informal polling consisting of me, driving around town, noticing how many post-production companies are here). There are the global conglomerates Deluxe, Technicolor and Ascent Media. The local behemoth Fotokem, and literally dozens and dozens of other players in this marketplace performing all of the various functions needed to complete feature films and TV shows so we can all enjoy them on our big-screen TVs or multiplex.
By Jonny Whiteside | November 22, 2013
So much of today's pop music targeting the youth demographic is dominated by manufactured stars and lip-syncing singing groups that it often comes off as utterly flavorless and predictable, but the teenage Toluca Lake siblings of musical quartet Echosmith are unquestionably the exception which proves the rule. Pop music isn't rocket science; simplicity and honesty are the order of the form, yet its commercial arbiters seldom seem to manage either. Echosmith, comprised of Jamie, Noah, Graham and Sydney Sierota, effortlessly wield these tools of the trade, creating accessible yet elegantly contoured songs like “March into the Sun” and “Cool Kids.” Richly melodic, chronically catchy, these kids' compositions employ equal measures of musical dynamics and understated simplicity.
By Joyce Rudolph | October 22, 2013
Performers from the TV and music industries are helping the organization Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter shout out about its recently launched campaign - “Love. Protect. Adopt.” They are appearing in still photographs and videos and providing voice-overs which are produced at the shelter by volunteer videographers and photographers, said Tiffany Brain, creator and project manager of the campaign and director of volunteer training at the shelter. “For the campaign, we are just trying to promote adoptions by showcasing local talents from all walks of life who vow to 'Love.
By Kirk Silsbee | October 11, 2013
We've all heard it: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The adage applies to music as much as anything. A case in point is violinist and bandleader Susie Hansen. “In the last five years,” she says from her Los Angeles home, “I've had to cut down the personnel in my band from nine or 10 pieces to six.” But even without the horns, extra voices and percussion, the Susie Hansen Band still plays most of the parts in the arrangements of the group's book. Resourcefulness and mental toughness are part of the Hansen's toolbox.
By Lynne Heffley | September 20, 2013
Roland Hayes, born in 1887 to former slaves-turned-impoverished tenant farmers, was in his teens when he heard a recording of the great tenor Caruso and knew that he had found his calling. By the mid-1920s, despite being barred from some venues because of the color of his skin, Hayes was world-renowned and had become the highest-paid classical singer in the country. Somehow, this groundbreaking artist has been largely forgotten. “Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes,” a play with music by Daniel Beaty, is therefore something of a revelation in its stirring West Coast premiere as the Colony Theatre's 2013-14 season-opener in Burbank . Multitalented Elijah Rock, an actor, a jazz singer and classically trained vocalist of stunning power and subtlety, heads the cast as Hayes and does memorable justice to the play's wealth of spirituals, operatic arias and art songs.
By Joyce Rudolph | July 31, 2013
Walking down the street, I couldn't remember which house it was, but suddenly I heard the familiar trombone and it guided me to my destination. Students of Harold "Hal" E. Wetherwax had made a circle around the grand piano in the living room and they were remembering their teacher by playing lively music after the morning funeral. The piece was "Sunny. " Wetherwax passed away on July 18. Family members, including his wife, Virginia, and daughter Leslie were seated around the room.
By Steve Appleford, | July 19, 2013
This post has been corrected. See details below. The quick, sharp blasts of a pocket trumpet can be heard out in the courtyard. Inside a small Echo Park home recording studio, Asdrubal Sierra is adding his horn parts to a new song by Ozomatli. It's a warm, danceable track destined to be offered for use at the next World Cup soccer tournament, and a fitting sound for a vibrantly multicultural event. Just outside sit two of Sierra's bandmates, singer-guitarist Raul Pacheco and percussionist-singer Jiro Yamaguchi, relaxing in the shade to talk about a new season of activity for the distinctive Los Angeles band.
By Jonny Whiteside | June 7, 2013
The soulful 1960's Chicano rock 'n' roll sound that put East Los Angeles on the musical map was one of Southern California's most distinctly urban, joyful styles. Yet one of the movement's earliest, most influential and successful groups, the Premiers, first came to life in a small-town San Gabriel backyard over 50 years ago. Within 24 months, the casual, mostly instrumental outdoor rehearsals started by Lawrence and John Perez had transformed the siblings into leaders of a nationally known act, one with a devastatingly catchy Top 20 hit, "Farmer John".
By Joyce Rudolph | June 6, 2013
Mark Sellers describes the music his band Wildhorse plays as southern country rock with a soulful rhythm-and-blues feel. “I always add southern to it because I grew up in the South and that is really where country rock came from - you have the Eagles and the Allman Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival - so we play '70s classic rock,” Sellers said. But they shake things up with Motown hits like “Heard It Through the Grapevine” and R&B tunes such as “Soul Man” - music that inspires people to dance.
By Kelly Corrigan, | May 14, 2013
It's been more than 20 years since the Burbank Unified School District dropped instrumental music programs in its elementary schools in order to deal with budget cuts. But parents and educators have rallied the past several years to bring instrumental music back to the classroom. Their efforts got a boost in recent months as the 2013 Leadership Burbank class raised thousands of dollars for new instruments. Since January, the 25 class members who are honing their leadership skills and learning about the inner workings of the local community also set out to raise $14,000 to purchase 31 violins and 40 music stands for students at Roosevelt and Providencia elementary schools.
By Lynne Heffley and By Lynne Heffley | May 12, 2013
The Colony Theatre in Burbank continues its fight for survival due to serious financial shortfalls, but you'd never know it from the venerable mid-sized venue's fine season-ender, "Falling for Make Believe. " This world premiere musical by Mark Saltzman, developed by the Colony, delves into the troubled life of lyricist Lorenz Hart through actual events, deft fictional constructs and a feast of glorious Rodgers and Hart songs. The musical opens in 1943, on the day of Hart's New York funeral.
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