Youth Program

Building the Future Through Music + Education

Engaging Students: Learning Through Music

The La Mirada Symphony Youth Program engages middle and high schoolers in active music participation by connecting them with the symphony.

The La Mirada Symphony Youth Program gives audiences opportunities to not only hear the sounds of all the instruments on stage, individually and collectively, but also encourages on-stage participation with the symphony through instrumental musical performances. Many students have been inspired in past seasons to play instruments themselves and are ready to add music to their curriculum at school.

The La Mirada Symphony Youth Program was created in 2001 to enhance curriculum, inspire, educate and entertain all students in the Norwalk/La Mirada School District and home-schooled children in the local area, which includes South Los Angeles County and North Orange County.

Approximately 30 to 40 honor band musicians from the district are given the fantastic opportunity to play their instruments on stage with the adult orchestra at the youth concerts.

“As an educator, music has always played an important role in the total education of young people,” said Pat Ruiz, Chairperson Emeritus, The La Mirada Symphony Youth Program. “This kind of program is not an ‘extra’ in our children’s curricula, but a necessity.”

A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by brain researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist and Education Week, stated that students who participated in instrumental music performances scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests.

The La Mirada Symphony Youth Program is made possible through generous gifts from individuals and corporate sponsorships.

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A Visit to the Past: Downey Patriot Visits La Mirada Symphony as Norwalk-La Mirada Students Showcase Talents

Back in April 2016, the Downey Patriot, an online publication, visited the La Mirada Symphony Orchestra during a performance at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts that included thirty middle school musicians in a very special concert.

During their visit, they spent time with our conductor Alan Mautner and many of the young people who were chosen to perform with the symphony on stage. At the event, thirty Norwalk-La Mirada middle school musicians, all District Honor Band members, got their first experience performing on the big stage when they joined with the La Mirada Symphony for a pair of performances April 19 at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts, with more than 1,000 district students in the audience.

The Youth Enrichment program performance is a showcase for the district’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. Two district music teachers – Vanessa Trevino from Benton Middle School and David Yamamoto from Corvallis Middle School – served as guest conductors. >>>continue reading

Fifth Graders Enjoy Youth Concerts

Over 2000 5th graders from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District attended a free concert performed by the La Mirada Symphony on Tuesday at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Conductor Alan Mautner had created a program to peak the interest and enthusiasm of the young people present. It did just that. In addition, he invited 4 members of the audience to ’volunter’ to join on stage at one point to ‘enhance’ “Fiddle Faddle” by Leroy Anderson with small instruments, much to the pleasure of the students present.

30 Middle School Honor Band students sat in with the orchestra to play two selected pieces directed by Band teachers Vanessa Trevino, Benton School in La Mirada , and David Yamamoto, Corvallis School in Norwalk. The audience was pleased to see their school mates performing on stage, and the Honor Band participants were excited to play beside their adult counterparts.

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 were inspired to play instruments themselves and were ready 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.