by Pat Ruiz
Over two thousand 5th graders from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District attended a free concert performed by the La Mirada Symphony on Tuesday, April 21st, at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Conductor Alan Mautner created a program to pique the interest and enthusiasm of the young people present. In addition, he invited four members of the audience on stage to enhance Leroy Anderson’s joyful piece, Fiddle Faddle, with small instruments, much to the students’ pleasure.
Thirty middle school Honor Band students enjoyed the opportunity to sit in with the orchestra and play two selected pieces directed by band teachers Vanessa Trevino (Benton School in La Mirada) and David Yamamoto (Corvallis School in Norwalk.) The audience eagerly applauded their school mates performing on stage.
Introduction to the Orchestra by Kraft gave the young audience a chance to hear the sounds of all of the instruments on stage, individually and collectively. Many students were inspired to play instruments themselves and expressed a desire to add music to their curriculum at school.
As a special treat, Alyssa Salas and Kayla Harrell, duo guitarists from La Mirada High School and winners of a competition provided by the Symphony Association, played for the audience. Their agile finger work produced another inspiration for the 5th graders present.
A recent university study reported, “Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music performances scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests.” The La Mirada Symphony and Norwalk-La Mirada School District support music education as a vital component of course curriculum.
“Music is the universal language of mankind” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.