Talents of San Gabriel Valley Performed at the S.G. Mission Playhouse
By Jo Anne Disney
June 13, 2013 • 784 views
On June 2, 1013, the Olympia Philharmonic Society presented the Cal-State, L.A. Symphony Orchestra and the Olympia Youth Orchestra, “in Talents of San Gabriel Valley, celebrating the centenary of the City of San Gabriel.” The Music Director and Conductor was Fung Ho, who “is on the violin and symphony orchestra faculty of Cal State University, Los Angeles; and, chamber music and string orchestra faculty of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He has also assumed the position of Music Director & Conductor of the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra in the fall of 2012.” The orchestra did an outstanding job!
Two world renowned soloists, mezzo-soprano, Suzanna Guzman and soprano, Alba Quezada performed. Both Ms. Guzman and Ms. Quezada are San Gabriel Mission High School Alumni. The audience was mesmerized by their amazing voices!
Ms. Guzman “is one of the original Associate Artists of Los Angeles Opera and has appeared as principal soloist with symphonies and opera houses around the world.” Among her many awards and accomplishments, Ms. Guzman has received “the Hispanic Scholarship Fund 2012 Mentor of the Year, 2012 California Latino Caucus Spirit Award, 2012 Legacy Award for Women in Theatre, 2012 Mexican American Opportunity Fund Woman of the Year, just to name a few. Currently, she can be seen weekly on the KCET’s series OPEN CALL.” In addition, Ms. Guzman is the Director of Community Engagement at the L.A. County High School for the Arts.
Ms. Quezada “has performed in operas, musicals and on the recital stage throughout the United States and Europe. She has worked in recording, film, television, and radio.” Some of Ms. Quezada’s many highlights include: “an original cast member of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, the title role of Frida at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Maria in West Side Story at the Teatro Tivoli in Barcelona, a Community Concert Artist, and the featured soprano in the Grammy nominated recording for Best Classical Album, Carlos Chavez: Vol. 3.” Currently, Ms. Quezada is on the singing faculty at Long Island University in Brooklyn; is an Associate Professor of Voice at the New School for Drama; and is on the voice and speech faculty at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York City.
Another performer was Ms. Celia Liu, who “is an internationally renowned musician and virtuoso of two major Chinese musical instruments: the Pipa (Chinese Guitar) and the Gu-Zheng (Chinese Harp).” She has worked with such groups as “the Hollywood Bowl Symphonic Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and she also concurrently recorded for soundtracks for several TV series and movies with studios such as Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and NBC’s Good Morning Sunday show.” Recently, Ms Liu “has been working with composer and music producer Jeremy Zuckerman to record music for the TV show Kung Fu Panda.”
Other performers included 13 year old “Tiffany Wee, who played the violin, and 14 year old Danna Xue, who played the cello.
The concert concluded with film score selections of Nathan Wang, who was a special guest pianist.
Mr. Wang is “one of the most successful composers in Hollywood and Asian cinema.” Among his accomplishments include “writing music for Jackie Chan movies, Steven Spielberg documentaries, live-action and animated movies for Disney, DreamWorks and Sony Studios.”