Althea Waites to Solo with Southeast Symphony

Althea Waites will be guest soloist in a performance of the Beethoven Choral Fantasy for the opening concert of the Southeast Symphony. The orchestra is now in residence at First Congregational Church in Los Angeles.

“African-American music teachers were determined to create an orchestra where African-American musicians – most notably, their students – could learn orchestral repertoire and ensemble performance, a place where Blacks could prepare for careers in the great orchestras of the world and the music pits of Broadway and the opera world; a place where African-American musicians could prepare for the challenges of the recording studios of Los Angeles, and the movie studios of Hollywood; and even a place where African-American concert-goers could go to enjoy the music of the great masters in comfort. It was in this context that one of those music teachers, Mabel Massengill Gunn, gathered her colleagues, most who lived in an area of Los Angeles that is southeast of the city’s downtown sector, and formed The Southeast Symphony.” credit

George and Beverly August Piano Competition

Congratulations to all who competed in the inaugural George and Beverly August Piano Competition. Adjudicator Dr. Mark Sullivan was impressed with our strong keyboard program.

The results are as follows: First (tie): Andrew Dyquiangco, Aaron Ramirez; Second (tie): Danielle Yi, Chris Maldonado; Third: Paul Blackwell, Honorable mention: Austin Kebeley

Mostly Kosher Releases Sneak Peek

Mostly Kosher, with alumni Leaav Sofer, Mike King, Will Brahm, Eric Hagstrom, Casey Solow, has released a sneak peak of their new album.

Mostly Kosher is a klezmer band based in Southern California, but has the feel of Lower Eastside New York 1930s “radio show” and Depression Era elation and angst. Directed by the multi-talented clarinetist, pianist and singer, Leeav Sofer, in cahoots with Janice “Rachele the Matchmaker” Mautner Markham on violin and shtick. Band members also include Casey Solow, Mike King, Will Brahm, Adam Levy, Eric Hagstrom and Michael Bolger. Mostly Kosher continues to perform throughout Southern California with plans to tour the East Coast and Europe in the not too distant future.

Althea Waites Performs Concertos

Pianist Althea Waites will be the featured soloist in a performance of the Mozart Concerto in B-Flat Major, K.450, with the Cole Conservatory Orchestra on September 19 in CPAC.

She will also appear as guest artist with Anthony Parnther, music director and conductor of the Southeast Symphony in a program of chamber music at First Congregational Church/Los Angeles on September 25. The Southeast Symphony is celebrating its 67th season as one of the pioneer orchestras composed of African-American musicians in Southern California.

Kathy Smith to give class “And You Can Lift That By YOURSELF?” to National Piano Tuners Guild convention

Kathy Smith will teach three classes in Atlanta next summer at the National Piano Tuners Guild convention: “Grand Piano Action Rebuilding,” “Mentoring,” and “And You Can Lift That By YOURSELF?” about the skills needed for 1 person to get a grand piano onto a dolly from casters, or vice versa (with minimal equipment and no help). It was standing room only when Kathy presented “And You Can Lift That By YOURSELF?” last March in Phoenix.

Raymond Torres-Santos records CD as Jazz Pianist

Raymond Torres-Santos recorded a CD as a jazz pianist this past summer. The CD, “Antillano,” was mastered by Bernie Grundman, and includes 13 tracks and 20 musicians. The recording showcases the musical richness found in Puerto Rican music (aguinaldo, mapeyé, danza, mazurka, bomba, salsa, bolero), the Caribbean world (merengue, reggae, calypso, soca, songo) and South America (samba). They are seen through the lenses of classical (symphonic), jazz (straight ahead and smooth) and other contemporary genres (fusion, rock, funk, R&B and ballad).

Linda Rose in Schubertiade

Violin faculty member Linda Rose will perform on a Schubertiade concert October 12, 2013, sponsored by Steinway Society of Riverside County and Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre at The Atrium in Rancho Mirage. The other performers are pianists Linda love, and James Mccormick, baritone Jacob Bartle and cellist Kihae Kim.