Notes of Gratitude from Harmonic Bronze
The winter holiday season is a good time for past reflection and future anticipation. The Harmonic Bronze Family would like to take a moment to express our sincere appreciation to Acton-Agua Dulce organizations and individuals as well as update the community on this year’s happenings.
Thank you! Our handbell program could not exist without the support of incredibly kind and generous people. We would like to thank Dr. Giselle Bice, principal of High Desert School, for providing our students with a large rehearsal room that can perfectly accommodate our equipment and practice needs. Without the support of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, we also could not achieve many of our performance goals. Once again, the school board has generously covered transportation costs so that the students can perform on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Current school board members include Mr. Mike Fox, Ms. Kelly Jensen, Mr. Tim Jorgensen, Mr. Ed Porter, and Mr. Ken Pfalzgraf. School district superintendent, Mr. Larry King, has been an enthusiastic supporter of student-centered programs from day one. We anxiously look forward to him joining us in our Spring Concert (more details to follow) where he will share his own personal musical talent through his trumpet. Local public servants such as the Acton Women’s Club have also continuously and unselfishly provided us with financial support to help cover many of our annual program needs including new music, replacement supplies, and equipment repairs. Lastly, we would like to thank all the audience members, families, and friends who encourage our talented young people to pursue teamwork and perseverance – pillars of the Harmonic Bronze program.
Performance Highlights. Our school season began with an exciting performance at Master’s University. Along with numerous local handbell groups, the Friday Group Harmonic Bronze students debuted our memorized piece of music for our first live audience with great success. In December, the Tuesday and Thursday Groups began their performance season at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints Creche’ Festival held in the Antelope Valley. The beautiful setting along with the mellifluous sound of the bells created an ambiance of holiday perfection.
Christmas Eve. After a rigorous application process, our local handbell students have once again been selected to perform at the prestigious annual event known as the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration. The PBS live broadcast occurs at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Music Center) from 3:00 – 6:00 P.M. on December 24. This concert is the singular day all year that admission to the Music Center is free to the public. You can also view it on PBS SoCAl & Stream at pbssocal.org. Amazingly, our local handbell students have been selected for this event for thirteen years. Twenty-one groups from the Los Angeles area were chosen to perform based on professional quality and diversity within the fields of dance, vocals, and instrumental musicianship. As a group, we feel it is an immense honor to be selected. If the same performers were highlighted each year, then the show would feel identical. The Los Angeles Arts Commission strives to create an uplifting and inspirational concert. As a group we are profoundly humbled that for thirteen years they have found us representative of what they desire in quality musicianship. Please visit the following websites for highlights of our group and information regarding the Christmas Eve Concert: musiccenter.org and/or harmonicbronze.com.
Handbell Group Members. The 2018-2019 establishes a new landmark for our group membership. This school year marks our largest student membership in our group history – eighty-one members! How amazing that so many young people are willing to prioritize fine arts as a commitment into their weekly extracurricular schedules. Allow me to proudly introduce this year’s members to the community.
Monday Group Members (beginning): Ryan Ames, Maylea Bruce, Jonah Comino, Mariana Farias, Aidan Gameros, Vivienne Granger, Shayla Helton, Tatyana Hernandez, Charles Kendall, Sarah Monson, Caillen Morgan, Ethan Oltman, Dylan Peterson, Andy Reveles, Angel Rios, Priscilla Rivas-Valencia, Jared Sanchez, Samantha Seeley, Dessery Serrano, Max Schneider, Elizabeth Southworth, Olivia Taksony, Natalee Tebbitt, Brandon Vasquez, Fernando Vazquez, and Aleko Zorba. Group Assistants: Amanda Ames, Brielle Flores, Payton Peterson, Jayden Okerlund, Myra Schneider, and Mackenzie Van Ornum.
Tuesday Group Members (intermediate): Jair Argueta, Alex Coons, Brett Dawson, John Fawkes, Brielle Flores, Grant Fosberg, Zachary Levin, Leilani McLaws, Jayden Okerlund, Westin Roueche, Brooke Sands, Cienna Taksony, and Mackenzie Van Ornum. Group Assistants: Aaron Lents, Emily Main, and Payton Peterson.
Thursday Group Members (advanced-intermediate): Dillon Anderson, Amanda Ames, Gus Balkcom, Madelynn Blane, Adam Coons, Nicholas Costan, Emily Goldner, Ashley Hinkel, Dean Matas, Megan Monson, Christalyn O’Keefe, Payton Peterson, Myra Schneider, Jacob Van Ornum, and Brody Villasenor. Thursday Group Assistants: Brett Dawson, Angela Gonzalez, Zachary Levin, Chloe Main, and Mackenzie Van Ornum.
Friday Group Members (advanced): Kacy Arguelles, Ethan Arnold, Ryann Arnold, Jessica Bauman, Annabel Becker, Chloie Belansky, Nathan Chacon, David Fawkes, Braeden Flores, Angela Gonzalez, Carol Hammett, Alyssa Heeb, Kurt Horney, Alyssa Hunter, Jackson Kestler, Morgan Kies, Payton Kies, Benjamin Lee, Aaron Lents, Chloe Main, Emily Main, and Jolene Wessel. Group Assistant Directors: Brylee Flores and Carl Foster.
Looking for Adult Musicians. Periodically a group of local adult musicians gather together to learn handbells for a few months. It’s been quite a few years since our last adult handbell ensemble, so I thought this year would be a great year to publicize an interest survey to any interested adults willing to commit once a week for approximately two months. In past attempts, we have been successful in learning one or two pieces of music that could be performed at our Spring Concert some time in March. Some music background is helpful but not required. Currently I foresee practices occurring on Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 P.M. at High Desert School during the months of January and February. If this is an opportunity that you would like to be involved, please contact Larry Rowland. E-mail addresses: (larryrowland@Juno.com) or (firstname.lastname@example.org). Telephone number at High Desert School (661-269-0310). Please contact me before the end of December if you are willing to embark on this journey and discover why so many young people enjoy celebrating music through teamwork and perseverance.