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On Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m., the La Crescenta Presbyterian Church at 2902 Montrose Ave. will host the Crescenta Valley Arts Council’s third annual Music Program.
Last year we had the Brass Bash, attended by nearly 90 brass players and hundreds of on-listeners. This robust group was made up of local professional musicians (of which the Crescenta Valley is amply blessed), college ensembles and local school students from Rosemont, CVHS and Glendale HS.
It was a very informal gathering that drew its magnificent energy from the fact that all ages and all levels were intermixed, playing for each other and together.
This year we are altering the focus a little bit to make a Baroque Bash. This will give the string and wind players a chance to get in on the fun. We will have some brass players there too but they won’t be the exclusive participants.
One of the ways in which this is special is that there is no rehearsal of the large works we will play together (Bach Brandenburg No. 3 Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite, Handel Royal Fireworks Music). This instills a certain patina of bug-eyed panic in the players that makes for exciting sounds and breathless arrivals. We count on the professionals in the group to drag the rest across the finish line and then we all fall in a heap together.
Last year the audience loved it as did the players. So far as I’m aware, there is nothing else like this in Southern California. We do it for the purpose of inspiring the younger players as well as to link the professional musicians more closely to their community.
Last year we had so much fun that everyone was ready to do it again – we’ve made them wait a year but the time is now right.
We’ll have violins, violas, cellos, basses, oboes, flutes, bassoons, French horns, trumpets, and even a quartet of sackbuts. This quartet are interlopers from the Renaissance period (pre-baroque) – which isn’t exactly Baroque – but when Steve Ferguson and Loren Marsteller offer to put this together, how can we refuse? Then we’ll get the student trombone players to join them.
The date is the same as the official opening day of the wonderful new La Crescenta Library. After you‘ve visited the Library, come on down to the church and enjoy this extemporaneous community suggested donation for admission.
Rob Roy McGregor, trumpet
Los Angeles Philharmonic (retired)