Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday Night at Santa Anita with the Cal Phil

CalPhil

The California Philharmonic made its big move this year from the Los Angeles County Arboretum to the Santa Anita Race Track right across the street -- and it hasn't missed a beat. The Franklin Avenue family was invited on Saturday night to attend the final night of its summertime Festival on the Green series, and it was a perfect one to bring the kids to: Among the highlights of "Beethoven and John Williams" night were the familiar sounds of the "Star Wars," "Superman" and "Raiders of the Lost Arc" themes. And Beethoven's "Ode To Joy from Symphony No. 9" is very familiar to young ears as well. The Cal Phil is meant to be a populist, approachable music organization and focuses on crowd favorites. Maestro Victor Vener, who founded the organization more than 15 years ago, takes joy in stopping between numbers to give his own spin on the works.

As for the change in venue -- one that was against Cal Phil's will -- it appears that things turned out just fine for the orchestra. Santa Anita built a nice green area for tables and chairs; a playground kept kids pre-occupied before the show; and the unobstructed views of the San Gabriel Mountains gave the concert setting a majestic feel. Also in attendance: The horse that played "Seabiscuit" in the movie.

We brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed the cool summer evening air -- it was a nice night, and the kids (particularly Blogger Toddler 2.0) got into the music.

That's it for the "Festival on the Green," but check their website for future events.

Some pics from Saturday night:

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