Every so often, a person brings their passion to an organization that gives it new life. Pat Ruiz, Past President and Director of the La Mirada Symphony Association, did just that. On Thursday, April 11, 2019, Pat passed away peacefully with her children at her side.
Pat had been a resident of La Mirada since 1956 when she and husband Nick moved with their daughter and subsequently raised four children. She considered the La Mirada to be a wonderful place to live and due to her pride in the burgeoning city, she served the community in a variety of ways.
Pat was a member of the Norwalk-La Mirada School Board for 8 years and the La Mirada High School BEST foundation for 5 years. Pat also served as Human Services Commissioner, Cantor at St. Paul of the Cross Church, Community Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and the Ebell Women’s Club member. She had also been a member of the Kiwanis Club and on the Advisory Board of St. Paul of the Cross School. After a lifetime of devotion to education, she retired from teaching at Escalona Elementary School after 26 years.
“There was something very special about Pat,” said David Derks, President of the La Mirada Symphony Association. “She was very passionate about music and education, and because of her efforts during both the good times and the hard times, the La Mirada Symphony has remained a constant for the past fifty years.
So saddened to hear of passing of Pat Ruiz. Spoke about her at HPAC meeting earlier this evening. Legit La Mirada community member, no La Mirada elitist mentality whatsoever, similar to Lou Piltz. Thank you Pat for your true service and longtime acquaintance.
From the short time I knew Pat. Here love for our community and schools was unconditional. I am sorry to see her pass. I am very thankful for her service to our schools and community. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/SpNuR5FfpO
During the past season, the La Mirada’s Symphony Board of Directors has grown in size to include two musicians from our orchestra. One of them, Greg Adamson, brings diversity and his experience in music to the table.
Like most musicians, Greg Adamson wears many hats; cellist, composer, conductor, and educator. He has performed worldwide, in such diverse venues as Vatican City, Disney Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Radio City Music Hall, to name but a few. He has performed with a broad range of artists including James Taylor, John Williams, Rod Stewart, Yo Yo Ma, Dr. Dre, Glenn Campbell, The Who, Guns ‘n Roses, and Elton John, and has been seen on numerous occasions performing on the MTV Music Awards as well as the American Music Awards.
In 2014 he founded the Fullerton String Orchestra, a music education program that is open to all 4th through 8th grade violin, viola and cello students, beginners, intermediate and advanced. With help from the All the Arts for All the Kids Foundation, this orchestra (only in its fourth year) has over 60 student members, most of whom participate at no charge. Adamson has taught K-6 music in Fullerton’s All the Arts for All the Kids program for 15 years. In that capacity, he was selected as a Teaching Artist to participate in a U.S. Department of Education study called Project Create, where he wrote and implemented arts curriculum for Fullerton School District.
With so many opportunities ahead of the Symphony during a time of social change and how the public connects with music through live performances and technology, Adamson’s perspective on music and education will bring more depth to the organization.
In 1961, creating a symphony for the community was the dream of Blanche Nissim, a La Mirada resident and concert pianist. She and a determined group of community advocates and local musicians united to make her dream a reality. Their Mission was to provide free concerts for residents who appreciated the cultural value of beautiful music in their lives and an opportunity for local musicians to share their talents.
The make-up of the orchestra has changed from mainly hobbyist volunteer musicians to including the many professional musicians we enjoy hearing today. However, excellence comes with a price. In an age when support for the arts from public money is growing increasingly scarce, individual support is more vital than ever.
Did you know the actual cost of each concert is seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000)?
Do you have a desire to participate in supporting the symphony?
Creative fund raising is on-going. People to help with grant writing, corporate sponsorships, community fundraisers, or any other volunteering ideas are invited to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers provide support to the Symphony Association and its mission as they:
Assist in the lobby at each of the ADMISSION FREE concerts during the season
Assistance with the annual Norwalk-La Mirada School District student concert
Prepare informational materials for distribution
Raise funds to support their activities and to contribute to the needs of the Association
Sponsor opportunity drawings held at each concert
A gift to the La Mirada Symphony is an investment in the potential for the musical arts to create a better world. You have options. Make a choice.
Whichever you prefer, know that your commitment is key to enriching the symphony with the opportunity to continue assisting us with providing concerts to the local population and opening up possibilities.
You may direct your annual gift in one of two ways:
Donation: Donations help sustain our music programs that are renowned, highly respected and legendary for their rigor. Any amount has a positive impact on the symphony.
Gifts: At each concert, we host an opportunity drawing that includes donated gifts from local businesses and individuals. The funds made from these drawings help us with our operating expenses.
Support the La Mirada Symphony with your generous tax deductible donations. (Tax ID #94-3223735)
Send checks payable to La Mirada Symphony Association via mail to: La Mirada Symphony, P.O. Box 117, La Mirada. CA 90637-0117
Donate a gift to our opportunity drawings, please contact us at email@example.com.
The La Mirada Symphony depends on donations from friends like you.
Alan Mautner is a native of Southern California growing up in nearby Downey. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in cello performance from California State University, Fullerton. He has been very active as a freelance cellist performing with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony, Riverside Symphony, Redlands Symphony, Desert Symphony, Mozart Classical Orchestra as well as the La Mirada Symphony, serving as principal cello for the last several seasons. He has performed with such noted artists as James Taylor, George Benson, Andrea Boccelli, Crystal Gayle, John Tesh, Glen Campbell, Dionne Warwick and Phil Collins. He has also performed with artists of the jazz world such as Terry Gibbs, Teddy Edwards and McCoy Tyner. He currently performs with his string trio, “Vio-fonik” which is dedicated to performance of contemporary and original works.
Mr. Mautner has been conducting ensembles since his high school days. He began conducting the Symphony Orchestra at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 1994, a position he still holds today. During his tenure, the LACHSA Orchestra has received numerous superior ratings at local festivals. The Orchestra has been selected to be a part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Educational Partnership, allowing many master class and coaching opportunities for the students. Mr. Mautner and the LACHSA Orchestra were invited to perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Spring of 2013. In addition, Mr. Mautner also co-conducts the LACHSA String Ensemble and coaches string chamber music.
Many of Mr. Mautner’s students have gone on to major music schools such as Julliard, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin, Eastman and USC to name a few. His position at LACHSA has also involved him conducting Operas such as “The Magic Flute”, “Tales of Hoffman” and “Carmen”. He has also been involved as music director of many music theater works such as “West Side Story”, “Evita”, “Into the Woods” and “Phantom of the Opera”. In February of 2014, Mr. Mautner collaborated with LA Opera conductor, James Conlon, for a production of Benjamin Britten’s Opera “The Little Sweep” performed as part of the Britten Centennial celebration.
In January of 2014, Mr. Mautner became the Partnership Manager for YOLA at LACHSA, an initiative partnered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic bringing music into the lives of 4th grade students in the East LA area. In this first month of existence, 95 4th grade students are learning string instruments on the campus of LACHSA free of charge. They were visited by Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the LA Phil for its grand opening in March
Mr. Mautner is also the conductor of the Wildwood Music Camp Senior High Festival Orchestra, a position that was passed to him from his father, Arthur Mautner, in 2007. He has conducted the Pasadena Summer Young Chamber Orchestra in 1996. He was guest conductor for the 2011 Pasadena All-City Orchestra and also directed the Cal Poly Pomona String Ensemble from 2005-2009.
Do you have a desire to participate in supporting the Symphony?
There are many opportunities where volunteers provide support to the Symphony Association and its mission by contributing their diverse array of skills and experience to make a difference in the arts. Diversity brings strength to the organization!
One of the important skills a volunteer can help is with creative fund raising. People who would like to assist us with grant writing, corporate sponsorships, community fundraisers, or any other volunteering ideas are invited to contact us.
Joseph Yakovetic, President 2015-2016 Season, may be three years new to the La Mirada Symphony, but his involvement with the City of La Mirada and the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts goes back many years. As an award winning set, costume and prop designer for theatre, television, film and theme parks, Yakovetic’s creative expertise includes children’s book illustrations, fine art, concept art and prop design. His credits include, La Mirada’s Splash!, Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Ice and Say Hello! to Honda’s ASIMO, NBC’s Diana Ross Special and the Tonight Show. He also sculpts in a variety of mediums and has been featured recently on the Foods Network’s Halloween Wars! Season 5. Joseph has been involved with several non-profit groups including SHARE Inc., The Young Musicians Foundation and the Professional Dancers Society, of which he also serves on the board of directors.
David Derks, Vice President, is also currently Vice President of ASIFA-Hollywood, a digital producer at Twentieth Television, as well as digital producer for EuroPacific Films and Web producer for animationscoop.com. He was previously at ABC Studios and involved with shows like Desperate Housewives, LOST, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, According to Jim and Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as television miniseries like Muppets’ Wizard of Oz and Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. Additionally, David is also producing animation for an independent film that’s currently in post production.
Hiten Ratanjee, Treasurer/Director of Finance, grew up in Southern California. He attended Troy High School, earned his Bachelor’s degree at Cal State Fullerton and went on to pursue his Graduate degree from the University of Illinois. He is actively involved in the La Mirada business community and also serves as the Treasurer/Director of Finance of the La Mirada Chamber of Commerce. He loves spending time with his family (wife, son, & dog) and traveling the world. He shares a passion for music and enjoys playing guitar and performing on stage with his music school throughout the year. Hiten brings his love of music and his experience in business finance to help promote the arts to the community and the younger generation.ed.
Joan Cain, Orchestra Manager/Contractor, moved to La Mirada in 1955 and joined the La Mirada Symphony in 1964. She remained with the orchestra as principal flute for the next 47 years. During this time, she was a featured soloist seven times. In 2011, she retired from her flute position, but continued as Manager/Contractor/Librarian for the Symphony. She also maintained a private flute studio for 46 years. Her students have gone on to be professionals in music, science and education. Her most meaningful time with the orchestra was performing the Vivaldi Concerto in C Major for two flutes with her son Brad, who made his debut with the La Mirada Symphony at the age of 12 and is now co-principal flute of the orchestra.
Past President and Director Pat Ruiz has been a resident of La Mirada since 1956 when she and husband Nick moved with their daughter and subsequently raised 4 children. Pat considers La Mirada to be a wonderful place to live has served the city in a variety of ways through the years. She retired from teaching at Escalona Elementary School after 26 years, was a member of the Norwalk-La Mirada School Board for 8 years and the La Mirada High School BEST foundation for 5 years. Pat has also served as Human Services Commissioner, Cantor at St Paul of the Cross Church, Community Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and the Ebell Women’s Club member. She has been a member of the Kiwanis Club and on the Advisory Board of St. Paul of the Cross School. We are proud to add, Pat served 11 years as president on the board of the La Mirada Symphony.
Director/Ways and Means Chairman Chris Kawate is a senior contract analyst for the County of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services, and has administered, negotiated, and monitored County contracts since 1987. He received his B.A from the University of California, Berkeley. Chris enjoys traveling, fishing, and spending time with family and friends. He grew up in La Mirada, and graduated from La Mirada High School in 1972. Chris currently resides in Montebello with his wife Jeanie.
Antoniette Saunders, Creative Director, Social Media, Event Coordinator, grew up one block from the La Mirada theater and watched the city go through many changes over the last 50 years. Her love of people, the arts and community are part of what makes Antoniette perfect for the role of Creative Director and Social Media Director. In the past, she has studied piano, dance and was an award winning choreographer who volunteered locally as cheer coordinator for youth football and has also coached at the high school level bringing her elite cheer/dance squad to victory as state champs. She is multi-passionate and is active in local communities coordinating events such as an International Food Festival, Celebrating Creativity mixed media art workshops and is currently doing soulful art-healing workshops for women. She considers it an honor to serve others and help bring the gift of music to her home-town via the La Mirada Symphony and looks forward to enjoying the symphony with her husband and two young daughters.