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LACC sings for its supper

April 13, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • (Left to right) Jenny and Sarah Terry and Ann and Tony Cannon attend the Gala Bel Canto at Walt Disney Concert Hall's BP Hall.
(Left to right) Jenny and Sarah Terry and Ann and Tony Cannon…

Elegant silver invitations were sent recently inviting guests to the 25th Anniversary of The Los Angeles Children's Chorus (LACC) fund-raising event at the Walt Disney Hall's BP room.

The benefit, themed “Gala Bel Canto” ended up being a lovely gathering of friends dedicated to ensuring the future of this exceptional chorus, which over the past quarter century has performed with virtually every major music organization in the Los Angeles area as well as some known internationally.

Honorees for the evening were three people closely tied to the choir’s success: Alice Columbe, a tireless philanthropist and avid champion of the chorus throughout the years; Esa-Pekka Salonen, the illustrious conductor of The Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years; and Anne Tomlinson, who has been the LACC artistic director since 1995.

Opera tenor John Atkins served as master of ceremonies for the music-filled evening. The chorus, under the direction of Tomlinson, was the focal point of the evening’s entertainment, singing three pieces. Most notable was a piece composed by Salonen, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” the U.S. premiere of which the chorus performed just one day before at Disney Hall at a “Tribute to Ernest (Fleischmann).” Coulombe and Tomlinson were also surprised with musical tributes.

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Adding a very personal touch to the gala were the evening’s presenters. LACC chair David Scheidemantle, who has helped lead LACC’s growth in recent years, honored Tomlinson, who has shaped the choir’s distinctive sound and artistic excellence. Pasadena Mayor and avid arts supporter Bill Bogaard presented Coulombe, a longtime Pasadena resident, with her award. LA Philharmonic president and CEO Deborah Borda paid tribute to Salonen.

Mary Blodgett and Jennifer Sliskovitch were co-chairs of the beautiful evening, which included a three-course dinner and a live auction filled with tantalizing items.

Most unique were the thank-you gifts to the guests as they left after the very spectacular evening — a Razor scooter, compliments of the Razor company, which is owned by Mary Blodgett and husband Carlton Calvin.

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