Monthly Archives

September 2017

Five for Fighting
with String Quartet

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Backed by a string quartet,
Five for Fighting will be at the Bankhead
Thursday, January 25!

Never has the phrase “he shoots, he scores” been more applicable than when mentioning rabid hockey fan and chart-topping singer/songwriter John Ondrasik. The Los Angeles native, who goes by Five for Fighting (a five-minute penalty for on-the-ice fisticuffs), burst on the scene some 15 years ago with his Grammy Award-nominated hit “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” and has been a mainstay on mainstream radio ever since. While he doesn’t wear tights and fight crime as his breakthrough track “Superman” suggests, his songs could bring any maniacal villain to their knees (and tears) with his poignantly sharp songs that cut deeper than a Ginsu knife.

Ondrasik signed his first deal in 1997 with “Message For Albert,” but it was his follow-up “American Town” that really took flight for Fighting. The aforementioned “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” went Platinum (as did the album), was #1 on Adult Top 40, #2 on Hot AC, and in the Top 40 Top 10. The song actually hit the airwaves, and reached #1 the same week his daughter Olivia was born. Not too shabby as Adam Sandler once said. Adding more fuel to the emotional fire, the mega-hit served as sort of an unofficial anthem following the 9.11 attacks on American soil. Naturally, he performed it at The Concert For New York City.

In his career, Ondrasik has sold over 2.5 million albums including 2004’s “Battle for Everything,” which spawned the 2X platinum “100 Years,” which continues to melt hearts, provide all ages with an instant case of nostalgia. Other hits have included “The Riddle,” “World,” “Chances” and “What If.” His music has been featured in 350 films, TV shows and advertisements ranging from the “The Blind Side” to “Hawaii Five-O.” He has also written tunes for everyone from Josh Groban to The Backstreet Boys.

Yet, there’s more to Ondrasik than the music and it’s far more important to him and countless others. “Music is the great healer as well as being a unique vehicle in raising awareness and funds for important causes,” he explains. Ondrasik has given away a million copies of a five-volume compilation album (featuring himself and other artists) he created for United States troops. He has also performed regularly for the USO.

Additionally, www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com was created off of his song “World,” in which fans uploaded videos showing their respective interpretations of a better world. That initiative raised more than $250,000 for five designated charities: Augie’s Quest, Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children and Operation Homefront.

Ondrasik is a featured speaker from Ted Talks to the Salk Institute. He’s also presented at various private and corporate events. He’s also graced The Kennedy Center stage, performed for world leaders and presidents, and contributed special performance for NASA to commemorate the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Mission.

When not writing killer tunes, Ondrasik is putting pen to paper for his other passion: sports. The avid Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings fan has been a sports commentator for SI.com, the Kings, and a guest on everything from Jim Rome to ESPN SportsCenter, the latter of which he became the first “band” to appear and perform.

“I recognize the immature shallowness of the adult sports fan obsession, but I’ve always had it. Lakers as a kid, UCLA, Kings etc…Many folks use music as their escape, I imagine sports as mine. Writing is a kick as I’ve always had a fantasy to be a sports reporter/writer,” he says gleefully.

As he explores the possibility of a Broadway show featuring his tunes, he’s currently on the road (not literally) performing songs as a quartet (Five for Fighting literally) and with symphonies around the country. “The symphony and quartet shows have been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve had the honor of working with some world class arrangers in my career. To present the more ambitious songs, as well as the popular tunes, in this format has refueled my passion for performing.”

…And making new music. Ondrasik’s “What If” hit the Hot AC charts and was chosen by Richard Branson (sorry, Sir Richard Branson) as the soundtrack for his non-profit Virgin Unite. And his most recent song “All for One” was penned for the 100th episode of Hawaii Five-O. Ondrasik is currently working on the follow-up to his sixth album, “Bookmarks.”

Looking ahead while looking back, the one-man Fighting army, said, “I have been blessed to have loving and supportive parents, an amazing wife and partner, and two great kids. Family is crucial to any career, keeps the ups and downs, down and up.”

Don’t miss this unique performance in the intimate Bankhead Theater!

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The Benefits of Arts Education

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Now that school is back in session, it’s a good idea to think about how to help your child get a leg up in the classroom. One way is through a strong arts education. The performing arts not only enrich our lives, culture, and communities, but they are also vital to a young person’s education. Research shows that exposure to art education promotes self-directed learning, improves school attendance, and sharpens critical and creative skills. Those with an interest in the arts also have an easier time in classes such as reading, math, and social studies. In this blog post, we will dive more into the benefits of arts education and the educational outreach programs of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

Why Should Children Take in the Performing Arts?

Some parents believe that since their children are doing well in the classroom, they don’t need to do anything more to stimulate academic development. But that just isn’t the case. The knowledge that stems from the arts can’t be replicated in a normal classroom setting. With that in mind, here are some key benefits of an arts education:

  • Higher scores on achievement tests – Students with high arts involvement tend to perform better on standardized achievement tests in comparison to students with low arts involvement, according to research. Keep in mind that those who branch out to the arts watch fewer hours of television, participate in more community service, and report less boredom in school.
  • Improved cognition skills and attention for learning – Young students who are motivated in the arts develop attention skills and memory retrieval that also apply to other subject areas.
  • Development of skills highly valued by employers – More than ever before, employers are looking for traits of innovation and creativity in job candidates. Organizations value those who can think critically, solve a problem, work as a team, and come up with an out-of-the-box solution when necessary. It’s not surprising that arts education can help build each of these skills.

How the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is Helping

The goal at LVPAC is to ensure that every student in the Tri-Valley is given the chance to experience the arts each year through a variety of educational activities. LVPAC presents performances at schools, as well as the Bankhead Theater. We also provide free monthly family events as well as workshops and master classes with visiting artists. You can feel comfortable knowing that portions of these activities are underwritten through generous contributions and matching gifts to our education fund.   

How to Contribute

We put a great deal of energy into our educational outreach programs. To learn more about these programs that support school/family performances and students tickets or to donate, please contact our development staff at 925-583-2305.      

Looking for a unique way to contribute to our arts education? We are fortunate to be able to offer a gift box featuring three Gold Medal -winning Livermore Valley wines in the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The wines are perfectly packed in a natural pine wooden box with the Livermore Arts Bankhead Theater logo. The box includes one bottle each of Cuda Ridge Wines 2013 Malbec, 1846 by Nottingham Cellars 2014 Chardonnay, and Mia Nipote 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. The proceeds of this one-of-a-kind gift box support the LVPAC Education Fund. Please note that your purchase must be picked up at the Bankhead lobby between noon and 6 p.m.

Theater Etiquette

We love seeing young patrons enjoying our theater and live music performances, especially for the first time! If your child has never been to the arts, here are few rules of etiquette that they must follow:

  • Outside food and beverages are not allowed (including gum).
  • Take care of personal needs in advance so you don’t have to leave your seat until either intermission or the end of the performance.
  • Photography of any kind is prohibited. Please silence any electronic devices prior to the beginning of the show.
  • Please refrain from talking or singing along, except when encouraged to do so by the artist.
  • Please do not put your feet up on the chairs or railing in front of you and do not kick the chair in front of you.
  • Please sit in your assigned seat so you do not cause confusion for other audience members. Should you need further assistance, please consult the nearest usher.

For more information on how you can get your child involved with the arts, feel free to contact LVPAC.

Plan Your Visit to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is proud to be the heart of a vibrant cultural arts community. At the Bankhead Theater, we truly have something for everyone. From incredible musical performances to comedy and everything in between, the events we put on are fun for the whole family. With that in mind, if you’ve never been to a performing arts center, you may have some questions regarding your visit. In this blog post, we hope to provide some clarification so all you have to do is enjoy the performance.

How to Get to the Performing Arts Center

From Interstate 580, take the North Livermore Avenue exit and continue about a mile to downtown Livermore. Then take a left onto Railroad Avenue. LVPAC parking is located one block ahead on your left. Whether you choose the main parking area or street parking surrounding the theater downtown, you don’t have to pay a dime. The Bankhead Theater is located on the block to your right, between First Street, Railroad Avenue, and North Livermore Avenue. For your convenience, there is a drop-off/pick-up area located on Railroad prior to you reaching the stop light to enter the parking garage. Please click here for additional details on public transportation directions.

Accessibility

Please call our Ticket Office in advance for wheelchair accessible seating. Note that these seats cannot be purchased online. There is a wheelchair accessible drop-off/pick-up area located on Railroad Avenue before you reach the stoplight to enter the garage. We do have an elevator in the main lobby, as well as fully accessible restrooms in the main and upper lobby. We also have assistive listening devices available free of charge.

House Rules

LVPAC follows a strict rule of no food or beverages in the auditorium. Patrons who take photos, video, or record sound of the performance will be asked to leave. Prior to all events, the audience will be asked to silence all phones and wireless devices.

Children

We proudly welcome entire families, not just adults, to take in our performances. That said, children under the age of two are not allowed for most LVPAC events. We ask that patrons with small children be courteous to other guests in order for everyone to fully enjoy the performance.

Concessions

We offer a full-service concessions area located in the Garden Courtyard Foyer on the east side of the theater lobby. Enjoy desserts, coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks, beer, and, of course, award-winning Livermore Valley wines. Feel free to sit in the Madden Family Courtyard where patrons can find tables and chairs, in addition to the relaxing water wall and garden paintings.  

What to Do in Livermore

Seeing the arts isn’t the only thing to do in Livermore. Take advantage of incredible shopping, live entertainment, and outdoor activities. The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District offers hiking trails, weekend program, skateboarding, bicycling, dog parks, and much more. Plus, if you haven’t already heard, Livermore Valley is unbelievable wine country. Here are just some of the wineries you can check out during your visit:

  • 3 Steves Winery
  • Bent Creek Winery
  • Crooked Vine
  • Leisure Street Winery
  • Nottingham Cellars
  • The Steven Kent Winery
  • Wood Family Vineyards

When you’re ready to settle down for a nice dinner, you and your family will have quite the selection to choose from. The Livermore Valley attracts visitors from all over the world, so you’ll have plenty of fantastic dining choices. A number of destinations even provide live entertainment and patio seating to ensure the perfect visit.

As far as accommodations are concerned, we encourage you to make a week or weekend of your visit to the Livermore Valley. Visitors can choose from a room nestled in an Olive Orchard or a standard drop-in spot with full service.

With whatever you choose to do, just know that you will have a memorable time in beautiful Livermore Valley!

Book Your Tickets Today

Whether it’s live music, theater, or something completely different, there’s no question that the performances at LVPAC are first-class. As we continue to grow, our mission remains the same: to offer a broad range of arts opportunities and experiences to engage our diverse community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions you may have regarding your visit.

Celebrate Native American Culture

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In 1968, the fourth Friday in September was designated Native American Day in California by Governor Ronald Reagan. This year it will be celebrated at the Bankhead with two events.

September 21

Widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute, R. Carlos Nakai will offer a single performance at the Bankhead Theater on Thursday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. Nakai’s music showcases the wood flute’s lovely, sophisticated sound and shows its versatility across the spectrum of musical genres. Combined with the vibrant tones of William Eaton’s ambient, lyraharp guitar, and the subtle pulse of Will Clipman’s world beat percussion, Nakai offers music that has been described as “a vast panorama of moods, from plaintive laments to soaring joy.” Tickets are just $30 with $17 tickets for students and active military personnel.

Earlier in the day, Nakai will also offer an educational outreach workshop for students in fourth grade and up from the Livermore Valley Unified School District sharing his passion for the instruments, music and traditions of the Native American culture.

September 22

The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center with support from the Western States Arts Federation will host its second annual Native American Day on the plaza outside the Bankhead theater from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  The family friendly event for all ages, offered in collaboration with Livermore’s American Indian Center led by director Mary Puthoff, will include demonstrations of tipi building, dancing and singing, as well as artifacts, crafts and food.

READ about Mary Puthoff and Livermore’s American Indian Center in the East Bay Times.
HEAR R. Carlos Nakai’s hauntingly beautiful wood flute music.
 BUY TICKETS to see R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton and Will Clipman on September 21st at 7:30 pm.

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING NATIVE AMERICAN DAY!

 

A Brilliant Night!

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The Bankhead Theater launched the 11th Season of the LVPAC Presents series with the second annual “Brilliance at the Bankhead” Gala featuring the Grammy Award-Winning Indigo Girls accompanied by our own resident company, the Livermore-Amador Symphony conducted by Music Director Lara Webber.

The festive night began with a sumptuous reception on the plaza with delicious food and wine catered by Wente and filled with the music of the East Bay Jazz High School All Stars. A raffle for a lovely pair of 14K white gold halo design diamond earrings crafted by Lance Cavalieri Jewelers, live and silent auctions for items from unique dining and travel experiences to sports and concert tickets, energized the crowd before the Indigo Girls and the symphony filled the night with unforgettable music.

The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the Gala event raised more than $300,000 to help support the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center, including $37,000 for the Arts in Education Fund.

Every year, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center presents and produces over 250 arts events and activities, and engages with more than 10,000 students and adult learners through the Arts in Education programs.  We are so thankful for the support and generosity from our “Brilliant” community who help make it all possible!

Did you miss the event?  Watch the video shown at the event and see how the “Arts are Amplified” in the Tri Valley here.  Check out the photos from the evening taken by photographer Robert Suguitan here.  And read about the Gala in the East Bay Times here.

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR 2017 GALA SPONSORS!

 

Joan Osborne Interview

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Joan Osborne Sings “Songs of Bob Dylan”
at the Bankhead … with Will Champlin

In an interview with RIFF Magazine, Joan Osborne talks about the road that led to her most recent album, “Songs of Bob Dylan” and where that road might lead her next.  Osborne has always covered others’ songs, including Dylans’, and has been slowly evolving an interest in singing modern day “standards” starting with his legendary catalog. “I’ve sung his songs in the past and felt a real affinity for them,” Osborne said. “Partly [it’s] because I’ve sung with him a handful of times. And also, because he’s got so many amazing songs that you’re never going to run out of options.” Read the whole article HERE.“Songs of Bob Dylan” was released on September 1st.

Joan Osborne makes a stop at the intimate Bankhead Theater on her “Songs of Bob Dylan” tour on Friday evening, October 27. Opening for her will be singer/songwriter Will Champlin, best known as a top three winner in season five of television’s “The Voice,” whose song co-writer credits include “Wolves” from One Direction’s “Made in the AM” album. For more information on Joan Osborne and Will Champlin, see the event page here.

Don’t miss hearing Joan Osborne’s take on such Bob Dylan favorites as
“Tangled Up In Blue,” “Dark Eyes” and more
BUY TICKETS NOW

 

 

Upcoming Events

Sat 25

The Snow Queen

Sat, November 25 @ 2:00 pm
Sun 26
Dec 02
Dec 02

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