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The Valley Line

July 19, 2007

Last Saturday I thought I was going to melt into a big puddle. I don't think I've ever felt it so humid in California, ever!

I was out puttering in the garden in the morning and within 10 minutes I looked like I had stuck my head in a bucket of water -- my hair was soaking wet. My genetic makeup didn't bless me with the ability that ladies should "glow" and not sweat when the weather gets too darn hot.

When it gets like this I'm just going to have to retreat to anywhere the air conditioning breezes are blowing steady and cool.

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Bear with me; I'm catching up on social news of the community. The Los Angeles Children's Chorus was abloom with flowers, music and good cheer at its "Midsummer Night's Garden Party." The lovely evening raised $55,000 for the choir's artistic educational and scholarship program.

The party was held in the secluded Collins House garden at Occidental College. The garden itself was exquisite and in full bloom.

The event, co-chaired by Antoinette Blodgett, Eileen Stueck Leech and Jennifer Harris Sliskovich, featured not only the beautiful singing of choir members but also gourmet cuisine, fine wines and a chance for guests to catch up on summer news.

The culinary treats included what seemed liked a never-ending array of passed hors d'oeuvres, turkey and beef carving stations and dessert tables loaded with tempting sweets.

Anne Tomlinson, LACC artistic director, led a musical program by the chorus and a special treat was that LACC alumna soprano Lauren Libaw also performed.

A live auction incurred a bidding war over such unique items as a "Razor Party" for 15 children that includes a tour of the Razor headquarters and the chance to "test drive" new Razor products on the factory floor; gourmet lunch and an architectural tour of downtown 'Lost Angeles' with Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne; and an olive canning party and Italian feast for 10 people at a private home. Several pieces of sparkling diamond jewelry were also tempting auction items.

Just this past weekend the LACC presented the world premiere of "Keepers of the Night," a new opera by composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Sixty-five of the LACC choristers sang both prominent solo and choral parts in this largest opera production ever staged in the U.S. by a children's choir.

Foothill area kids who sing in the chorus include Maria Amend, Brandon Cheung, Evans Jameson, Simone Garcia, Allison Guthrie, Kelsey Haley, Alana Mailes, Kira Muraoka, Isabella Ramos, Ryan Schiller, Noah Sonderling, Lindsay and Madeline Stauffer and Sarah Terry.

The chorus, with 250 members, was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary film, "SING!," which chronicles a year in the life of the choir and is shown periodically on PBS stations nationwide.

The chorus, founded in 1986 is noted throughout the country for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability.

Choristers frequently perform with such leading musical ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and The Pasadena Symphony.

It also assists the Los Angeles Opera by providing and training children for its opera productions that require children's chorus or soloists.

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