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The Valley Line: Sounds of singing caress foothills

November 23, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Jeanne Walston, left, chats with La Canadans Tim Sandoval and his wife Heidi Simpson at the gala dinner following the LAMC opening gala. (Photo by Jane Napier Neely)
Jeanne Walston, left, chats with La Canadans Tim Sandoval…

Some folks around our burg might think the cloudy, cooler days are inclement. I think they are wonderful. I’m at last catching the autumn spirit. The liquidambar trees are dotting our landscape with their rich colors of burgundy, orange and gold. The damp air makes their leaves even more brilliant.

I’ll be celebrating this Thanksgiving with daughter Heather and grandchildren Catherine and Ryan. Son Chris and his family are still in England, so they are inviting about 20 of their Brit friends to share this American custom with them.

I actually am looking forward to doing the turkey ritual and preparing all the side dishes. I can already smell the delicious aroma of roasting turkey. I hope that all of you have a very memorable gathering with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Social and cultural events have been swirling and of course our town folk are in the middle of the mix. Just the other night I saw Elza and Michael Gross, with their granddaughter Allison Budde, at the Pantages Theatre for the opening of “Riverdance.”

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I have seen this production several times, yet it is always thrilling. These traditional Irish dancers are so skilled and amazing to watch. Then you add beautiful voices singing Celtic folk tunes and it is stunning. Oh, I’d almost forgotten, yet how could I? There are the pipes, drums, fiddle and keyboards — what an amazing blending.

Perhaps the fact that I have several Irish forebears who came to America in the mid 1600 and 1700s makes this music and dancing resonate more within my soul. Also, within the past few years, I traveled to Ireland with my sister and we retraced some of our Irish roots, something that also makes the music and dancing more meaningful for me.

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On another cultural note, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, under the direction of Grant Gershon, opened its 48th season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles with a mostly a cappella performance.

A magnificent addition to the evening was when organist Paul Meier played the Hall’s iconic pipe organ in “Lux Aeterna,” composed by Morten Lauridsen who later came to the stage to take a bow.

This chorale, which performed on opening night with 115 members, has always drawn singers from our foothills. Among them are Bradley Chapman, Samela and Mark Beasom, Helene Quintana, Sal Malaki, Greg Davies, Jody Golightly and Suzanne Anderson.

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