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  • WDCH
  • Feb. 19, 2006
  • First Public High School Featured in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Associations' Sounds About Town Series

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2006, AT 7:30 PM

    Orchestra director Joni Swenson leads her award-winning Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) Symphony in a debut performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. The SAMOHI Symphony is the first of a four-concert Sounds About Town series presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association during the 2005/06 season. Sounds About Town focuses on the Association's goal of nurturing tomorrow's performers by providing opportunities for premier youth ensembles to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Based on their successful arts program, longstanding tradition and numerous accolades, SAMOHI is the first public high school ensemble to perform in the series. The SAMOHI Symphony - made up of 90 talented freshman, sophomore, junior and senior musicians - perform a program featuring the "Procession of the Nobles" from Rimsky-Korsakov's Mlada, the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5, Gershwin's An American in Paris and concludes with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17, "Little Russian."

    SAMOHI partakes in an exciting Far East tour this April by the invitation from the city of Hangzhou, China for a cultural exchange visit with the Hangzhou High School of Performing Arts. Highlights of their 10-day performance tour of China includes a public concert at the Red Star Theater in Hangzhou, plus exchange concerts at both the Beijing Conservatory in Beijing, and the Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou.

    The Sounds About Town series continues with Juilliard Orchestra featuring conductor James DePriest and pianist Joseph Kalichstein (March 11, 2006); American Youth Symphony with conductor Alexander Treger and the Los Angeles Children's Chorus (April 9, 2006); and concludes with the Henry Mancini Institute Alumni Orchestra (May 14, 2006).

    SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL (SAMOHI) has a long tradition of musical excellence. There are several factors that contribute to the strength of the music programs at Samohi which include a consistent elementary and middle school feeder program, a community supportive of the arts, dedicated parents, a Fine Arts Coordinator, and enthusiastic administrative and district support. The Samohi Symphony was founded in 1903 making the 2005-2006 school year its 103rd anniversary. In 1992 and in 1994, the Symphony Orchestra took part in the International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. In 1996, the Symphony was featured at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Valencia, Spain, the only high school orchestra to be so honored. In 1999, the Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra was chosen to perform at the 53rd Annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and in 2002, the Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall. More recently, in 2004, the orchestra participated in the Dvorák Centenary Festival in the Czech Republic. The Samohi Symphony performed at the Rudolfinum in Prague as well as in Brno, Nelahozeves and Vienna. In 2005, the Samohi Symphony received First Place at the American String Teachers Association with National School Orchestra Association (ASTA with NSOA) National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada. The Santa Monica High School Symphony is proud to perform at Walt Disney Concert Disney Hall and is grateful to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for its kind invitation and support.

    JONI SWENSON is in her fourth year as the Orchestra Director at Santa Monica High School. A graduate of UCLA, she taught for 23 years in Sacramento and San Jose. Joni has served as guest conductor of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Capitol Section Honor Orchestra, the Bay Section Honor Orchestra, the Central Coast Section Honor Orchestra and the Marin County Honor Orchestra. She has presented sessions at both the CMEA State and Bay Section Conferences as well as at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) Fall Conference. In addition, she has served as the Orchestra Representative in both CMEA Capitol and Bay Sections. Currently, Joni is on the board of the California Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). In 2001, Joni was selected by San Francisco radio station, KDFC Classical 102.1 as the Music Educator of the Year and in 2004, she received the CMEA Le Blanc Outstanding Orchestra Music Educator Award from CMEA.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2006 at 7:30 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Sounds About Town


    JONI SWENSON, orchestra director

    RIMSKY-KORASAKOV "Procession of the Nobles" from Mlada

    MAHLER Adagietto from Symphony No. 5

    GERSHWIN An American in Paris

    TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17, "Little Russian"

    Tickets ($16-$37) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sabrina Skacan, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034