LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices Raises the Musical Bar with Salute to Hollywood Film Scores

LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices Raises the Musical Bar with Salute to Hollywood Film ScoresThis past week, the LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices held their 5th Annual Concert Extraordinaire at Disney Hall. The concert was hosted by Bill Handel, Esq., and produced by Executive Director Debra Marisa Greene Kaiser. Under the direction of Gary S. Greene, Esq. (Founder-Conductor) the evenings performance began with an appropriate Flag Day tribute to the 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner, followed by a masterfully done rendition of O Fortuna from "Carmina Burana," which was featured in the motion picture "Excalibur," and a special tribute to Selma Moidel Smith, Esq., with the Waltz from "Espressivo," who has written more than 100 compositions and is listed in the International Encyclopedia of Women Composers. Before intermission the more than 100 attorneys, judges and legal professionals that gather on stage for the purpose of raising funds for individuals who cant afford legal help, dazzled the patrons with "Symphony No. 8, Op. 88 in G Minor." This symphony is seldom used in film, but appeared most recently in the 2005 release of "Dear Wendy."

One of the evening's Sponsors, Thomas V. Girardi, Esq. of Giradi / Keese Lawyers remarked, "It is so nice to see so many arbitrators, litigators and judges getting along and 'Playing' together."

The second half of the evening was dedicated to a more traditional "Salute to HOLLYWOOD," beginning with Tara's Theme from "Gone With The Wind," celebrating its 75th anniversary. Another classic and children's staple celebrating its 75th is "The Wizard of OZ," making Over The Rainbow, a must for the song that was almost cut from the score, and eventually voted as the greatest film song by the American Film Institute. This was followed but the AFI's number two film song, As Time Goes By from "Cassablanca." The 1961 film "Breakfast At Tiffany's" hit song Moon River, by Henry Mancini, which left the audience in a reverent hush, was also nearly deleted from the original film score. Two films celebrating their 70th anniversaries were included in the program - "Laura" and "Meet Me In St. Louis." Their respective title songs, were introduced by a star of the latter, Ms. June Lockhart, who gave the audience a glimpse into what working with Judy Garland was like. "She was often late or never showed at all, but when she was on ... she was absolutely breath taking and brilliant." Stealing the show was a performance of the title song for "Goldfinger" by a law student at Loyola Law School, Ms. Caitlin Easter, brings the audience to their feet. Both Bond and the following film, "Mary Poppins," are celebrating their 50th anniversaries. So, it was appropriate to have multi Academy Award winning composer, Richard Sherman, introduce Chim-Chim Cher-ee. Sherman remarked that, "When Disney asked us to write a score for a film about a Nanny, we thought he meant a goat." Giving a special nod to the poetry of music, the organization performed Dry Your Tears Africa from "Amistad" and Down In The River To Pray from "O, Brother, Where Art Thou." Both songs were originally created as literary works, later put to music. The latter of the two is believed to have been written by an unknown African-American slave in 1835, but in 1867 the words were adopted and credited to a white southerner, named G.H. Allen of Memphis Tennessee. Included among the nostalgic songs for the evening was a performance of a song that was introduced as "The most recognized song on earth ... and on Vulcan," the title song to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" for its 35th anniversary and the recent 2014 Academy Awarding winning Let It Go, from "Frozen," which has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

The evenings vocal solos by Kenneth, D. Freundlich, Esq., Hon Curtis A Kin, Ana Mihanovic, Lauren Michelle Hazarian, Esq., Renee' Burkett, Laura Hummasti, Hon. Steven Perren and, of course, Caitlin Easter, were lauded by the crowd, including guest Lindsay Wagner, who remarked "I'm blown away. I'll never look at members of the legal field the same way again." While Broadway star. Tamra Hayden, added "Im visiting Los Angeles for a tribute to my stage father, Theo Bikel, so this was an unexpected and delightful excursion. I wish we had something like this in New York."

Proclaimed by the City of Los Angeles as "LA's Only Legal Orchestra," the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic held its first rehearsal on Jan 19th, 2009 with 30 legal musicians and Maestro Gary Greene, Esq., at the podium. Since then, the orchestra has grown to 75 members and has performed more than 40 concerts. On April 30th, 2011, Legal Voices, under the choral direction of Jim Raycroft, held its first rehearsal. Three months later they debuted with the LA Lawyers Philharmonic at The Walt Disney Concert Hall, and today consist of 100 members. The orchestra and chorus perform on a professional level for bar associations, civic and charitable events. They are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation. For more information, visit www.lalawyersPhil.org.

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