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  • WDCH
  • May. 14, 2005

    Television Journalist Ananda Lewis, plus Award-Winning Flutist/Mancini Protégé Gregory Jefferson Join Multimedia Journey Exploring One of the Greatest Film/TV Composers of All Time

    Pre-Concert Activities Begin at 10 AM; Concert Begins at 11 AM

    Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2004/2005 Toyota Symphonies for Youth concert series concludes on Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall with The Wonderful World of Henry Mancini, featuring the orchestra led by Assistant Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate.Pre-concert activities begin outdoors, in the Keck Amphitheatre, at 10 a.m.

    The Wonderful World of Henry Mancini incorporates live music performed by the world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, with a vivid narrative, film clips and special guest musicians introducing children to composer/ arranger/ conductor Henry Mancini (1924-1994). With 20 Grammy Awards, seven gold records, four Oscars and a Golden Globe to his credit, the late Mancini is acknowledged as one of the greatest film and television composers of all time.

    Pre-concert activities will take place at the outdoor Keck Amphitheatre, adjacent to the Concert Hall. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Education Department presents performances by young, beginning instrumentalists from its School Partners program, guided by mentors from the Young Musicians Foundation, including 13-year old flutist Shelley Ackerman, who won a Mancini scholarship. Additional information about these programs that further the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's commitment to inspire and support lifelong music learning is available at

    Ananda Lewis, television journalist, hosts The Wonderful World of Henry Mancini. Award-winning flutist Gregory Jefferson, who debuted at the Hollywood Bowl as a teen, with Mancini as conductor, offers personal anecdotes and helps tell the story of the first-generation Italian-American who began studying music at the age of eight, joined his first professional band at 11, went on to serve the U.S. in World War II and eventually became the most dominant musical figure in film and television during the sixties. Program selections include "The Pink Panther Theme," "Moon River," "Pie-In-The-Face Polka," "Baby Elephant Walk" and "Peter Gunn Theme," among others. Children experience Mancini's knack for catchy melodies and sense of playfulness, as well as learn about his dedication to family and friendship.

    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Assistant Conductor at the start of the 2004/2005 season. Most recently, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where, in addition to his ASO duties he served as co-artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta-based contemporary music ensemble Bent Frequency, which he co-founded in May 2003. In the summer of 2002, he was Conductor in Residence and Director of Conducting Studies for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and he is a member of the conducting faculty at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and artist in residence at Georgia State University. Though still in the early stages of his career, Mickelthwate has already conducted the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, New Jersey, and Oregon, as well as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Eos Orchestra, and Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and worked as cover conductor for the Boston Symphony. Michelthwate recently made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut, stepping in on 30 minutes' notice for guest conductor Mikko Franck, and led a Green Umbrella program in January 2005 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. He makes his Hollywood Bowl debut this summer in August with the Philharmonic.

    Broadcast personality ANANDA LEWIS serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent on The Insider, the nationally syndicated newsmagazine based on the popular Entertainment Tonight segment of the same name. Lewis began her broadcast career hosting Teen Summit on BET, where she covered issues from teen pregnancy to date rape. Her work earned her a Cable Ace nomination and NAACP Image Award for her interview with Hillary Rodham-Clinton. As host of her self-titled syndicated talk show, Lewis confronted a myriad of issues facing women 18-34, ranging from breast cancer and body image, to relationships and domestic violence. For three years, Lewis hosted MTV's Total Request Live, as well as other MTV specials. Named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," Lewis has been a youth activist since childhood. She began volunteering at Head Start at the age of 13, while still a student at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. At Howard University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, she was a member of the program "Youth at Risk," where she helped re-structure the lives of teenagers in crisis. Lewis also worked for the "Youth Leadership and Development Institute" as a trainer in leadership skills, parenting, nutrition, conflict resolution and violence prevention. A native of San Diego, Lewis resides in Los Angeles.

    As a teen, award-winning flutist GREGORY L. JEFFERSON debuted at the Hollywood Bowl, with Henry Mancini as conductor. He considers Mancini, also a flute player, his mentor. Jefferson was the recipient of a fellowship from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Fund for Excellence in Diversity, a program of the Philharmonic's Community Advisory Committee. Jefferson attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and went on to earn a B.A. in music at USC. In addition, he has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta and Shanghai Symphony at CarnegieHall. His television appearances include The Tonight Show, Mancini's Disney special and NBC's White House Christmas Special. He has also served as a flutist for the Los Angeles Opera.


    SATURDAY, MAY 14 (pre-concert activities begin at 10 AM; Concert at 11 AM)

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    151 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles




    ANANDA LEWIS, host


    Featuring special guest musicians: John Berkman, piano; Michael Higgins, electric guitar; Ralph Humphreys, drums; Tommy Morgan, harmonica; Brian Scanlon, saxophone; and Mike Valerio, bass

    ED BARGUIARENA, writer

    GAIL PURSE, producer

    CAROLYN PALMER, line producer

    DEBBIE DEVINE, theater consultant

    T. STIRLIN BURK, lighting designer

    MEGAN SWAN, projections

    MATT PURSE, video editor

    The Wonderful World of Henry Mancini

    All Compositions by Henry Mancini

    Program to include:

    Overture to a Pops Concert

    Cameo for Flute…for James

    "Moon River"

    "Pennywhistle Jig"

    "The Pink Panther Theme"

    "Baby Elephant Walk"

    "Peter Gunn Theme"

    Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA

    TICKETS ($15) are extremely limited and are on sale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Cathy Williams, 213.972.3689; photos: 213.972.3034