Monthly Archives

April 2015

Bankhead Theater Welcomes Hot Club of Cowtown’s Western Swing

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Mueller
Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
925-583-2306
nmueller@livermoreperformingarts.org

Bankhead Theater Welcomes Hot Club of Cowtown’s Western Swing During Annual Livermore Rodeo Weekend

LIVERMORE, CA – (April 30, 2015) – The annual tradition of a Western-themed music performance at the Bankhead Theater in conjunction with the Annual Livermore Rodeo will continue this year when LVPAC Presents welcomes Hot Club of Cowtown this June. Their unique and exhilarating take on Western swing is inspired by the hot jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and the swing style of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. The trio called “an arsenal of technique and joy” by The New York Times will appear for one performance only on Friday evening June 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Tickets to see Hot Club of Cowtown are $29 or $52 for adults and just $16 for students.

Hot Club of Cowtown was crowned Western Swing Group of the Year at the 2015 Ameripolitan Music Awards and has earned an international following for their distinctive style. According to fiddler Elana James, she was living in New York and working as a magazine editor when she answered an advertisement guitarist Whit Smith ran in The Village Voice in 1994. They started playing clubs as a duo at first but after leaving New York, added Jake Erwin on bass. The trio has been playing and singing their own brand of hot jazz swing ever since. Hot Club of Cowtown’s out-of-the-mainstream music is difficult to classify as it does not fall neatly in the swing revival or the acoustic roots style. Playing standards from the early part of the 20th century, they use their own original arrangements so that, while it retains vintage elements, their music is completely new and modern as well.

Hot Club of Cowtown has released nearly a dozen albums including their most recent, the acclaimed “Rendezvous in Rhythm,” an exuberant collection of Gypsy songs and American Songbook standards. James described it as an exploration of their Left Bank, gypsy-jazz influences, interpreted with their own hot jazz style. The first American band to tour Azerbaijan, Hot Club of Cowtown has opened for artists from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson, and performed at festivals worldwide.

Since the first LVPAC Presents season in 2007-2008, country music concerts in the Bankhead Theater have been offered in conjunction with the Annual Livermore Rodeo held each June in Robertson Park. Called “The World’s Fastest Rodeo,” this year’s 97th Rodeo will be preceded by the annual parade through downtown Livermore and opens officially on Saturday, June 13, 2015.

The performance by Hot Club of Cowtown brings the regular LVPAC Presents season to a close, but the Bankhead Theater will continue to be filled with music during the summer months with shows from hilarious musical theater and familiar folk tunes, to traditional jazz and world music. The regular 2015-2016 LVPAC Presents season, which begins in September, will include dozens of events featuring a variety of acclaimed artists in music, dance, theater and other performing arts. The diverse schedule includes exciting groups performing at the Bankhead Theater for the first time, as well as a number of audience favorites making a welcome return. Details on the LVPAC Presents 2015-2016 Season will be announced at the end of May with tickets available to the general public beginning in July.

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The Bankhead Theater, located at 2400 First Street in Downtown Livermore, is home to the LVPAC Presents series as well as performances by resident companies and touring performing arts groups. Rotating art exhibitions are also presented in the lobby and Founder’s Room throughout the year. The ticket office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On performance days the ticket office is open from two hours before to 30 minutes after the scheduled start of each show. To purchase tickets call 925-373-6800 or visit www.bankheadtheater.org.

LVPAC to Collaborate with Del Valle High School Culinary Arts Program for Concessions at the Bankhead Theater

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Mueller
Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
925-583-2306
nmueller@livermoreperformingarts.org

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center to Collaborate with Del Valle High School Culinary Arts Program for Concessions at the Bankhead Theater

LIVERMORE, CA – (April 27, 2015) – The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) announced that it will collaborate with the Del Valle High School Culinary Academy to provide specialty food items for performances and events at the Bankhead Theater. The agreement, which is effective immediately, will have the Del Valle Culinary Arts Program providing a range of items from baked goods, such as scones, cookies, cheesecakes and tarts, to cheese platters, fresh fruit cups, specialty nuts and caramel corn. The items will be delivered once per week and offered in the VIP room, as well as sold in the concessions area of the theater before shows and at intermission.

“The collaboration is a win-win project for both Del Valle and LVPAC and we’re excited to put it into motion,” said Scott Kenison, executive director at LVPAC. “It’s a wonderful example of how LVPAC and the Bankhead Theater can play a role in strengthening our community.” Culinary Arts students will not only be able to advance their culinary skills as they prepare the food items in the catering kitchen at Livermore High, they will have an invaluable opportunity to learn about the business of catering and concessions. Students will take part in planning for quantity cooking, and manage customer service, packaging, presentation, marketing and delivery of their finished product. In addition, the program is a fundraising opportunity that provides resources to support all the classes in the Culinary Arts program.

Dianne Russell, culinary arts instructor at Del Valle Continuation High School, is very enthusiastic about the many ways this specialty foods concessions program fits into the school’s overall goals. “The program is an excellent opportunity for students to put skills they have learned in class into action,” said Russell. Working with the Bankhead will also give students a chance to provide a service and give back to their community. As the relationship between LVPAC and Del Valle expands over time, Russell hopes it may be possible to have students placed into internships at LVPAC to learn more about the theater and its concessions program. “All these aspects ultimately support Del Valle High School’s goal: to help students graduate with the skills needed to contribute and thrive in a changing world and give them a positive experience with a sense of accomplishment and pride,” Russell added.

In addition to enhancing the culinary arts program for Del Valle students, LVPAC will benefit by being able to reduce its costs, while offering Bankhead patrons a wider selection of high-quality food products. “Everything will be made locally, not mass manufactured, so the products will not only be fresher, they can be more unique,” said Arthur Barinque, Concessions Manager at LVPAC. According to Barinque, the specialty food concessions program is already in effect with the first deliveries being made this week for performances this weekend. The full transition will be done over time with the goal of having Del Valle Culinary Arts foods available at all events at the Bankhead Theater when the 2015-2016 season begins in September. As the venue approaches its ninth season, other concessions-related changes are also underway. In addition to local wineries, now local breweries and distilleries, including Eight Bridges Brewing, Altamont Beer Works, Working Man Brewing and Sutherland Distilling Company, will be represented in the beverage selection at the Bankhead and drinks from the concession counter may be brought into the theater during events.

Del Valle Continuation High School, located near downtown Livermore, serves more than 150 students within the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. The school offers an individualized and supportive small-learning environment focused on providing graduates with the skills needed to contribute and thrive in a changing world. In addition to core curriculum classes, electives are offered in art, digital photography, physical education, computer applications, and culinary arts. The Del Valle Culinary Academy was launched in the 2013-2014 school year.

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center provides wide-ranging programs that give access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. LVPAC Presents offers a diverse variety of exceptional music, dance and theatrical performances at the Bankhead Theater each year. The Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. Between them, they have offered more than 500 public activities each year, from classes and workshops, to concerts, festivals and performances, as well as ArtWalk and extensive educational arts outreach. A list of upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater, as well as activities at the Bothwell Arts Center, is available online at livermoreperformingarts.org.

Local high school string quartet joins touring Beatles musical

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For Immediate Release

Editorial Contact: Andy Nagle, La Jolla Booking Agency

Ph: (562) 480-7951 Email:andy@lajollabooking.com

Additional promotional photos of Beatles cast available

Orchestra director and string quartet members may be contacted directly at:
Orchestra Director Mark Aubel 925-273-1779 maubel@pleasantonusd.net

Joseph Mo (Violin 1) 925-577-5747josephmo1594@gmail.com
Diane Jo (Violin II) 925-461-2406 dianej527@gmail.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”>
Hannah Scarborough (Cello) 925-202-6466hannahbear5@comcast.netThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”>
Cynthia Tien (Viola) 925-922-2397cynthia.oddrepublic@gmail.com

Local high school string quartet joins touring Beatles musical

PLEASANTON, CA (04/10/2015) When the touring show “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” comes to the Bankhead Theatre on May 18, be on the lookout for two quartets — not just one. The Amador Valley (Pleasanton) High School string quartet has the privilege of joining the professional actors on stage to add an element of orchestral texture to the evening.

Here’s the rundown:

The show: “In My Life” is the musical retelling of the Beatles story through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and featuring the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. The band features Chris Paul Overall (“Paul”), Nathaniel Bott (“John”), Jesse Wilder (“George”) and Axel Clarke (“Ringo”). Brian Epstein is played by Murphy Martin. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the Orange County Register at one point declaring, “If you see one tribute show, see this one –smart and loads of fun.” The show is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades.

The string quartet: Amador senior Cynthia Tien, juniors Joseph Mo and Hannah Scarborough and sophomore Diane Jo will join the band for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” and “Hey Jude.” In a special touch, “Yesterday” is played as a scene in which the Paul McCartney character plays the song for the first time for Beatles producer George Martin, with the songwriter explaining that he envisioned a string-quartet accompaniment.

In addition to playing with the Amador Valley High Orchestra, members of the quartet belong to prestigious area youth ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra and the Livermore Pleasanton Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Amador Valley’s other music achievements:  The Amador Valley High School Music Department has been recognized as one of the top music programs in California.  The department has more than 500 students enrolled in orchestras, choirs, and marching, concert and jazz bands.  In 2014 the Wind Ensemble performed at the Midwest National Conference in Chicago and the Orchestra played at the California All-State Convention. Amador groups have consistently scored unanimous superior ratings at California Music Education Association festivals and have performed across the U.S. and several other countries. Their website is at www.amadormusic.org

How the “Beatles” connection was started: The producers of “In My Life” approached AVHS Orchestra Director Mark Aubel looking for a talented ensemble which could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly uses a local quartet to augment the production while on tour.

The quartet’s Beatles fan: Scarborough is the quartet’s Beatles enthusiast. Her parents played Beatles albums since she was a child. “As a little girl, I loved how quirky the song ‘Rocky Racoon’ was.” “I adore the Beatles because they wrote substantial cello parts for many songs and their music is timeless and so versatile,” said Scarborough. Mo’s favorite Beatles song is “Hey Jude.” “I’m excited we get to perform the song for this show,” said Mo.

The details:”In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to The Beatles” performs Monday, May 18 at 7:30 pm at the Bankhead Theater at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $42/$60 and may be purchased online at www.bankheadtheater.org, by phone at 925.373.6800, or at the theatre box office located at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center 2400 First Street, Livermore, CA 94550. The box office is openTuesday throughFriday from noon to 6 pm, Saturday from 3 pm6 pm and two hours before shows. The show is appropriate for all ages.

PHOTO TAG: “Quartet photo” shows Hannah Scarborough in front with the cello.  In the back from left to right is Diane Jo, Joseph Mo, and Cynthia Tien. Photo taken by Mark Aubel. “Sullivanfunniest” shows (l-r) Nate Bott (“John”), Axel Clarke (“Ringo”), Jesse Wilder (“George”) and Chris Paul Overall (“Paul”); “Beatles Chase” shows Overall, Bott, Clarke and Wilder. Photos taken by Michelle Fairless.  

And here is some additional information about the Amador Valley High School String Quartet:

Joesph Mo decided he wanted to learn to play the violin 12 years ago when he first heard it being performed at a concert. “I loved the brilliance of the instrument,” said Mo. He also plays the erho, a two-stringed Chinese instrument. Mo is a member of Amador Valley’s Math Club and participates in math and science competitions. He volunteers as a tutor for middle school students and maintains a 4.0 grade point average. The junior aspires to major in engineering in college. Mo’s favorite Beatles song is “Hey Jude.” “I’m excited we get to perform the song for this show,” said Mo.

Diane Jo has been playing the violin for six years. “I enjoy practicing and feeling myself improve,” said Jo. In addition to playing with the Amador Valley High Orchestra, Jo has performed with the Oakland Youth Orchestra for three years. The sophomore is a member of her school’s science club and Interact, a service organization which promotes international understanding. Her favorite Beatles songs are “Yesterday” and “Imagine.”

Hannah Scarborough has been playing the cello for seven years. “I was always drawn to deep, rich sounds,” she said. “The cello is so versatile and there are incredible arrangements for the instrument.”

In addition to performing with her high school’s orchestra, Scarborough plays with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. “It’s a honor to play with them,” she said. “It is a lot of time and work but definitely worth the effort. The junior is an editor of her school newspaper and a member of Honors Society and the French Honor Society, a club which focuses on French culture and language. She is vice-president of Music Council, which plans school-wide concerts and events within the music department. “I am drawn to magnitude and depth of sound that an orchestra can produce,” said Scarborough. “An orchestra can reach people in a way that can not be created in any other way.” Scarborough is the  quartet’s Beatles enthusiast. Her parents have played Beatles albums since she was a child. “As a little girl, I loved how quirky the song ‘Rocky Racoon’ was.” “I adore the Beatles because they wrote substantial cello parts for many songs and their music is timeless and so versatile,” she said. Scarborough’s favorite Fab Four tunes are “Eleanor Rigby” and “Because.” “I’m so excited we get to perform “Eleanor Rigby” in the show.” She plans to attend college after graduation.

Cynthia Tien has been playing the viola for eight years and is also a pianist. In addition to be a member of the AVHS orchestra, Tien performs with the Oakland Youth Orchestra. She played the viola with the Livermore Pleasanton Youth Symphony Orchestra, which brings classical and patriotic music to local hospices. “I enjoy the collaborative experience of playing in an orchestra and the sense of coordination between talented musicians,” said Tien. Tien volunteers with Science for Youth, which assists elementary school students with science projects. She is a member of her school’s water polo and swim teams. The senior maintains a 3.9 grade point average and plans to major in chemical engineering in college. Her favorite Beatles song is “Blackbird.” “I really like the music the Beatles created,” she said.

And here is some additional information about AVHS Orchestra Director Mark Aubel:

Mark Aubel has been teaching orchestra, choir and band for 28 years. He has taught at  San Mateo High School, Pleasanton Middle School, Harvest Park Middle School, and Amador Valley High School. Aubel has been named “Teacher of the Year” twice in his career.  He has served the California Music Educators Association as a site host, adjudicator, and the Area III representative.  He has directed honor groups throughout the Bay Area and has performed professionally with Lou Rawles, Jamey Aebersol, and Clay Aiken. He is the producer and music director for the PUSD district musical and serves on the board of directors for Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment. (P.S.E.E.) Aubel’s philosophy of education is to help students become better musicians and people through the art of music.

And here is some additional information about “In My Life”:

“In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” is the award winning, smash hit musical biography of the Beatles as seen through the eyes of their manager Brian Epstein and featuring the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. This family friendly musical tale is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades.

“The show delivers!” said the L.A. Times. “If you see one tribute show, see this one – smart and loads of fun,” said the O.C. Register. “This is the ticket for you,” said the Idaho Statesman. “The most original of all the shows on the Beatles,” San Diego Theatre Review.

More than just a Beatles tribute concert, “In My Life” gives the audience a chance to “be there” at pivotal moments in the extraordinary career of the Beatles – from Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, to the Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium’s 50,000 + screaming fans and their final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corp offices. With manager Brian Epstein serving as Narrator, “In My Life” allows the audience to get a glimpse inside the world of the Beatles from their point of view, as well as hear some of the greatest songs ever written.

“In My Life” takes the audience back to February 1964, when Americans saw the Beatles for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, playing I Want to Hold Your Hand. Progressing through their various musical stages, the audience re-experiences the psychedelic era of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the creation of the haunting Yesterday and the raucous rock and roll of Revolution.

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Sun 30

The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers

Sun, April 30 @ 3:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information