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Grace Navarro San Marino’s Grace Navarro has advanced to the semifinal round of the Los Angeles Music Center’s annual Spotlight program, thus remaining in contention for more than $100,000 in scholarships.Navarro, a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), is majoring in classical voice in the school’s opera company and vocal department. She attended Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle schools before spending a year at Maranatha, then it was on to LACHSA.“This is an incredibly unique school and it has given me so many opportunities,” said Navarro. “I love all of my peers, friends and teachers at LACHSA because we are like-minded people and inspire one another to strive for citizen artistry. I really couldn’t ask for a better high school experience. By far, my favorite part about LACHSA is the confidence it instills in me. My teachers always encourage me to believe in what I am doing.”Navarro also studies piano, music theory and acting. After LACHSA, she plans on taking a gap year before applying to conservatory.

Longtime local resident Barbara Franks Bice has been appointed to the board of directors at Muse/ique, a Pasadena-based pioneering live music organization which holds a summer events series at The Huntington. The board, chaired by philanthropist LeeAnn Havner, provides leadership in carrying out Muse/ique’s mission of making music accessible to all through adventurous and meaningful programming, an effort continued throughout the pandemic with drive-in concerts, lawn serenades, and “In a Minute! (…or Two!)” video series, which recently surpassed 100 episodes. Also joining the board are Christine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman. “To serve as chair of Muse/ique’s board of directors is to be part of an inspiring and passionate team,” said Havner. “With much enthusiasm, we welcome to the board our newest members — Barbara Franks Bice, Chirstine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman — all of whom bring a breadth of experience and expertise that will help bring to fruition Muse/ique’s adventurous plans for the future.”

Charles Altamont Doyle (British, 1832-1893), “The Eavesdroppers,” pen and watercolor over pencil. Gift of Princess Nina Mdivani Conan Doyle with assistance from The Friends. Image courtesy The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Often dismissed as the work of a madman, the colorful, faery-filled watercolors of Charles Altamont Doyle—produced during his time as an inmate at Montrose Royal Lunatic Asylum—have languished in relative obscurity for over a hundred years. On display for the first time since 1980 and in honor of Father’s Day, the sixteen works in “The Unseen World of Charles Altamont Doyle” bring the forgotten father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, out of the shadows and into a new light. The exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens opened June 15 and goes to September 23, 2019. Charles Altamont Doyle (1832-1893) produced numerous watercolors featuring faeries and mythical scenes during his time as an inmate at Montrose Royal Lunatic Asylum. His life provides a nuanced view of the historic family. “The fact that Charles Doyle’s fairy pictures were produced while the artist was hospitalized has tended to obscure his active engagement with contemporary art,” The Huntington’s Associate Curator of British Art Melinda McCurdy told The Tribune. “They reveal him to be a skilled, if idiosyncratic, draftsman, with a sense of humor that was in line with that of his Victorian contemporaries.” Doyle was born in London, England, on March 25, 1832. He was surrounded by an artistic family with his…

CHOP, CHOP: Volunteers who affectionately call themselves the “Grateful Deadheaders’ prune the rose bushes at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Each of the more than 4,000 plants are carefully trimmed to allow for a spectacular bloom in the spring. Tom Carruth, an experienced rosarian, oversees the project. Mitch Lehman Photo For the past three weeks, a team of volunteers has descended each morning (or at least those not accompanied by a torrential downpour) upon the Rose Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens to partake in the very labor-intensive task of pruning the 4,000 or so roses that cover the three-acre expanse. They lovingly refer to themselves as the “Grateful Deadheaders” and come armed with coolers, sun protection, snacks and an arsenal of garden tools that could fell a sycamore or trim a fingernail. The Huntington’s John Villareal and Tom Carruth discuss the day’s strategy. Organizing the amateur army is Tom Carruth, the E. L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection, who patiently answers questions and provides directions to the early risers, who will spend more than a month on the annual trim as they remove all old growth, table-topping the rows of the prized plants. The Rose Garden was originally created in 1908 for the private enjoyment of Henry and Arabella Huntington. Roses were a particular favorite flower of Arabella’s. The garden was designed primarily for display, providing huge quantities of cut blooms for the elaborate floral arrangements favored in…

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster Margaret Batjer. Michael Burke Photo Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) virtuosic musicians will serve as musical tour guides for In Focus, the Orchestra’s compelling chamber music series curated by Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, which provides insights into the quintessence of some of the great chamber music repertoire through the lens of LACO artists in an intimate setting. In Focus opens with the LACO-commissioned world premiere of Juan Pablo Contreras’ piano quintet Musas Mexicanas (Mexican Muses) with a performance on Friday, February 15 in The Huntington’s Rothenberg Hall at 7:30 p.m. The program also features Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, inspired by the sunny Italian city, and Dohnányi’s Serenade for String Trio, notable for its Hungarian folk music influences. With Musas Mexicanas, a collection of musical portraits, Contreras pays homage to several women who have made an indelible impact on Mexico, including artist and icon Frida Kahlo, 17th century poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and La Malinche, the Aztec woman who translated for Hernán Cortés during the Spanish Conquest. Batjer is joined by pianist Hye-Jin Kim and LACO artists Violins Susan Rishik and Maia Jasper White, Associate Principal Viola Victoria Miskolczy, Viola Robert Brophy, Principal Cello Andrew Shulman and Cello Trevor Handy. Contreras, born in Guadalajara, Mexico and currently based in Los Angeles, is recognized as “one of the most prominent young composers of Latin America” His music has been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Salta and Cordoba symphonies in Argentina and…

On April 28 at its annual “Simply Speaking” fundraiser, the Junior League of Pasadena, Inc. presented the 2018 Nancy Reed Payne Achievement Award to San Marino resident June Banta. The award honors a Junior League of Pasadena sustaining member who has made an exceptional contribution to the community throughout her Junior League career and beyond.  Banta has a long list of outstanding accomplishments and has made a significant difference in the community through her dedicated volunteer service, which has focused on mothers and children. June has worked tirelessly to give babies a healthy start in life, in mind, body and spirit. For example, June designed and taught motherhood preparation classes at Pasadena City College, which brought mothers into class before their first babies were born, and focused on the first two years of the children’s lives. June’s lifelong commitment to children and education has included leadership in a number of youth-focused activities including Girls Scouts, Cub Scouts, church school classes, and the San Marino PTA. June is also involved in Children’s Hospital as a foundation trustee and as a member of the board of trustees, as well as Huntington Hospital, where she continues to volunteer. June can often be found in the rehabilitation unit playing piano for the patients and their families. June has also volunteered and supported the Doheny Eye Institute and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Founded in 1926, the Junior League of Pasadena is a non-profit organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving…

ValerieGumbinerWeiss,alongtimeresidentandTheTribune’s2007CitizenoftheYear,washonoredbytheUniversityofSouthernCalifornialastweekendwithitsAlumniServiceAwardatagalainDowntownLosAngeles. The Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of the university. Weiss, who graduated from USC and earned a Masters of Public Administration in 1981, is a past chairman of USC’s Alumnae Coordinating Council and a longtime university volunteer. “I began volunteering at USC as an undergrad and basically, I haven’t stopped,” Weiss told The Tribune. With her entire family in attendance, Weiss told the audience she was “honored and humbled” to receive the award. Her husband and fellow USC grad, Aaron Weiss, previously received the same Alumni Service Award. “I remember when Aaron received the award and I saw how emotionally touched he was,” Valerie continued. “I, too, am equally touched.” Valerie is one of 23 members of her family to attend USC, a tradition started by her father, Marshall Gumbiner, a 1942 graduate of the USC Gould School of Law. Upon her own graduation from USC, Valerie worked at the USC Marshall School of Business as a graduate admissions officer, registrar and coordinator of the MBA Alumni Association. She also served as a program coordinator at the American Management Association. In 2002, Weiss was named chair of the university’s Alumnae Coordinating Council. She has also served as president of both the Intersorority Parents Council and the Alpha Delta Pi Parents Club. Over the years, she has fundraised for the Keck Hospital Guild of USC. In addition, she and Aaron are Chairman-level members of the USC Associates, the university’s premier academic support group,…

To help celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra will perform three concerts in Rothenberg Hall at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. The series, entitled “In Focus,” will provide insights into the backstories of the great chamber music repertoire through the lens of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s artists in an intimate setting. The first performance will take place on Weds., Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and includes the chamber works of Mozart and Brahms. Among the selections for Wednesday’s show are Brahms’ Horn Trio and String Sextet in B-flat major and Mozart’s D Major Flute Quartet. Featured Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra artists are Concertmaster Margaret Batjer, violin Jacqueline Brand, Associate Principal viola Victoria Miskolczy, viola Robert Brophy, Principal cello Andrew Shulman, cello Trevor Handy, Principal flute Joachim Becerra Thomsen, Principal horn Michael Thornton and guest Bernadene Blaha, piano. “In Focus” continues at The Huntington on April 5 with clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms featuring Principal clarinet Joshua Ranz, and concludes May 10 with Principal oboe Claire Brazeau and special guest pianist Robert Theis featured on Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, Brahms’s Piano Quartet and works by Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann. At both concerts, NPR’s Renée Montagne moderates a discussion at the conclusion of the program. Tickets, starting at $49, are available online at laco.org, or by calling the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at (213) 622 7001. Single tickets can also be purchased at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets…

Dr. Matthew Lin has traveled the world on missions of medicinal mercy, but his newly developed penchant for taking long, local walks with his wife, Joy, recently benefitted The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, which is less than a mile from his San Marino home. Lin – a recently retired orthopedic surgeon – made a $3 million donation to The Huntington to help complete Phase II of its renowned Chinese Garden and was honored last Thursday at a reception in the institution’s Stewart Smith Board Room. Lin has twice climbed, but not summited, Mt. Everest and has circled the globe on self-funded disaster relief efforts which include earthquakes in Bolivia, El Salvador, Taiwan, Nepal and Haiti, among others, and the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. He has also made five trips to Africa to provide free medical assistance. But his support of The Huntington has more local roots. “Joy and I take walks at The Huntington almost every day,” Lin said. “Sometimes, twice. We go early in the morning and often we come back in the afternoon.” For photos from the reception, visit sanmarinophotos.com A former two-term San Marino City Council Member and Mayor, Lin came to the United States in 1973 with $300 in his pocket (a gift from his late mother), “one piece of luggage and a few boxes of instant noodles,” he told The Tribune. During one of their Huntington walks, the Lins decided to give $3 million. “Joy and I talked about it one…

San Marino High School Drama Director Blake Williams isn’t afraid to push the envelope every now and then, but her plan for the upcoming musical production of ‘Pippin’ is cheeky even by her own standards. Williams has decided to assign multiple roles to three of her top performers, reconstructing the traditional casting model of one of Broadway’s most popular and successful musicals. Senior Ava Hargett and juniors Ariana Prappas and Erik Olson will each play two major parts in the production. “Everyone who plays a part doubles up in this show,” said Williams. “When you have people this talented, you would lose them for a large portion of the production if you assign them just one role. I wanted to share the wealth. And it actually works out very well.” Traditionally hitting the Neher Auditorium stage much later in the semester, scheduling changes forced an abbreviated ramp-up to the annual spring musical and the cast began rehearsals just days after the closing of the fall play – ‘Alice, An Original Re-telling of A Classic Tale’ – which ran in mid-October. ‘Pippin’ opens on Friday, January 27, which has led to an assembly line-like atmosphere. “I really wanted to do this,” said Williams of her unique casting method. “I have changed the concept and created a power struggle, which sort of raises the stakes.” A senior, Ava Hargett will be cast as both the Lead Player and Catherine in ‘Pippin.’ She began performing in the theater when she was 7 years…