Concerto, Pops concert coming

Talented La Cañada High musicians will take to the stage at Lanterman Auditorium.

April 23, 2009|By Ruth Longoria

After three months of strenuous practice and rehearsals, some of La Cañada’s finest musicians will be highlighted in the upcoming La Cañada High School Orchestra Concerto and Pops concert. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on May 1 at Lanterman Auditorium on Cornishon Avenue. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Student tickets are $5.

This year’s concert features eight student soloists, accompanied by the La Cañada High orchestra. Soloists are: Ivana Cho, senior, flute; Bernard Kim, junior, alto and tenor saxophone; Jessie Cho, sophomore, violin; Jeff Kim, junior, piano; Chris Omae, senior, flute; Alex Rosen, junior, piano; Tim Joo, junior, violin; and, Joo’s brother, La Cañada High 7/8 eighth grader, Jerry Joo, cello.

The Joo brothers, ages 14 and 16, have been playing their instruments for about seven years, since shortly before the family immigrated to the United States from Korea. The boys initially knew very few words in English, Jerry Joo said.


Learning to play a musical instrument has been a great way to become acclimated, he said, adding that being part of musical groups has helped him meet new people.

“I think playing an instrument should be taken very personally. It takes a lot of time to practice and become good, but it is worth the time. It has many benefits,” he said.

In the concert, the younger Joo will perform the first movement of the Lalo Cello Concerto. Each of the student soloists selects their own piece and the high school’s orchestra learns each piece in order to accompany the soloists.

His piece is difficult musically, but, depending on the player, isn’t too hard technically, he said. He practices his instrument between 90 minutes and 3 hours every day and has become comfortable with the piece.

Although the 7/8 orchestra performs every few months for parents, Jerry Joo said he’s looking forward to the Concerto and Pops concert because there will be more of the community in the audience.

“It should be heartening to see a lot of people out there,” he said.

Older brother Tim’s solo at the concert will be Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. “It’s not the most technically challenging, but it’s a nice piece and I really like it,” Tim Joo said.

Flutist Ivana Cho also is enthused about performing her piece, Concerto by Jacques Ibert, at the concert.

Cho, 17, has been playing her flute for about 11 years and began playing because her mom loved the sound of the flute. Through the years, Cho also has come to love her instrument.

Cho said her piece, which is from the contemporary period, is “a bit odd.”

“It’s not the usual melodic sounding piece, and when played with the piano, it’s not the same piece,” she said, adding, “But, I fell in love with it when I first heard it with the orchestra. It’s very grand.”

Cho hopes many La Cañadans will attend next week’s concert. “All the musicians are very talented and it should be a great concert,” she said.

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