Young members of the New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County will present a free concert for the community on Saturday, December 12 at 6:00 pm at Bell Arts Factory, located at 432 N. Ventura Avenue in Ventura. The concert will include classical pieces, jazz tunes and holiday songs performed by 40 students from Ventura’s DeAnza Middle School and Cabrillo Middle School who take part in the New West Symphony Harmony Project youth development program. The sixth, seventh and eighth graders will perform on violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and saxophone.
The New West Symphony Harmony Project provides after-school music instruction to 140 underserved children in grades 3 through 8 in West Ventura, with 40 students on the waiting list. The program, which is funded largely through individual donations and community and foundation grants, was founded in 2011 by Ventura arts philanthropists Sandra and Jordan Laby and is managed under the direction and auspices of the New West Symphony. During its first season, 35 participants began by learning rhythm and percussion on orange Home Depot buckets, and today the program currently offers instruction on 10 different musical instruments. All students receive a full scholarship and are given instruments to use for the duration of their participation.
“All of our students have been working very hard these past few months, attending rehearsals two-to-three times a week and regularly practicing at home,” said New West Symphony Harmony Project Director Andrea Landin. “Concerts provide a time for the community to come together to support these young musicians and listen to their accomplishments. Our parents and teachers are so proud of them!”
Ms. Landin, who has been instrumental in the development of Harmony Project as both administrator and teacher and runs the daily operations of the program, was recently named recipient of the 2015 City of Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator. She may be reached for further information at 805-279-2424 or [email protected].