Classics, Jazz and Favorites Found at Strike Up the Band

During rehearsal for the 2023 performance, Noel Collins (seated, front) conducts band members for the Strike Up the Band concert. This year’s concert is on April 28 at 2 p.m. at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church.
File photo


Benefit concert supports students’ costs of pursuing higher education.

Musicians of all ages from around the region will gather on Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. for the third annual Strike Up the Band, a benefit concert supporting higher education students of all ages.

The dynamic annual variety show will feature music renditions of popular classical, jazz and folk tunes featuring the band and members of the La Crescenta Presbyterian Church (LCPC) vocal quartet. They will be singing solos and performing group numbers. The night will feature the original Glenn Miller arrangement of “Song of the Volga Boatman” and the original Herb Alpert arrangement of the “Theme from Zorba the Greek.” The evening will bring fresh fun with teens from the youth group dancing down the aisle in elephant and lion costumes.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Deacon’s Higher Education Scholarship Fund, which assists members of the LCPC community with meeting the rising costs of education and job training at trade schools, graduate schools, community colleges and four-year universities.

Hilary Norton, co-chair of the La Crescenta Deacon Scholarship Fund, said the main goal of the fund is to help students of any age meet the rising costs of college.

“For many of our young people at the church, we’re finding the cost of college is getting further and further out of reach. And we really feel like this is a nice opportunity when you think about how much the cost is of tuition, books and room and board,” she said.

The Deacon’s Higher Education Scholarship Fund was formed in 2000 to provide relief to students and older adults seeking to continue their educational journey. Since 2020, LCPC has supplemented the scholarship with a benefit concert. Biola University and other Christian colleges have agreed to match funds raised by the scholarship fund to the maximum of $1,000.

The night will include testimonials from past scholarship awardees who will give testimonials on how the scholarship helped them achieve their goals.

Norton said she hopes scholarship students feel the support of the community especially when support is difficult to find at university.

“It’s easy to go through a youth group, be an active church member, and then you go off to college. In college, it’s not as easy to connect to a church or to stay connected in faith,” said Norton. “It’s nice to know that you have a community in La Crescenta praying for you and supporting you.”

Collins said he is most looking forward to his favorite part of the annual performance: playing with talented musicians dedicated to the project and, of course, raising money for the Scholarship Fund.

“As a retired music educator, I consider this to be a high priority project in benefit for our youth. Higher education is extremely expensive and it is our obligation to help out as much as we can,” he said. “Aside from contributing to the Fund, I hope that our audience enjoys and appreciates the older music ‘standards’ that I have programmed for the show. This great old music isn’t heard much anymore and I want to preserve it through performance any chance I get.”

Tickets to the show are $15 with an option to make an additional donation. More information is available at

La Crescenta Presbyterian Church is located at 2902 Montrose Ave. in La Crescenta.