The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) honors the remarkable legacy of legendary composer and beloved American musical storyteller Richard M. Sherman (Beverly Hills) and LACC advocates and benefactors Mary Blodgett and Carlton Calvin (San Marino) at its annual fundraiser, Gala Bel Canto, on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 6 p.m., at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Hall in downtown Los Angeles. LACC and esteemed special guests, including Dick Van Dyke, star of such iconic films as Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Broadway star Ashley Brown, who played the title role in the hit stage version of Mary Poppins, present heartfelt tributes musical and otherwise to the evening’s illustrious honorees. Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin serves as emcee for the evening, which includes a sumptuous three-course sit-down dinner by Patina, exquisite wines and a dazzling live auction. Proceeds benefit Los Angeles Children’s Chorus’ artistic, educational and scholarship programs.
Gala Bel Canto committee members are Chair Ann Sunshine (Pasadena), Rashmi Bansal (La Canada), Elissa Johnston (Los Angeles), Vena Bennett Luthey (Pasadena), Dianne Magee (Pasadena) and Andrea Greene Willard (San Marino).
Richard M. Sherman and his late brother Robert were one of Walt Disney’s most successful songwriting teams, having amassed numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards from a total of nine nominations. Over five decades, The Sherman Brothers wrote some of the most beloved songs in motion picture history. Music from such classic films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Parent Trap and The Aristocats, among many others, along with It’s A Small World (After All) – one of the most widely performed and translated songs on earth – represent a monumental body of work that continues to touch the lives of millions each year. The brothers’ work finds continuing popularity through stage plays presented around the world, and a second CD of Richard’s personal piano compositions has recently been released. The spirit, joy, creativity, and generosity evident in the Sherman’s work have inspired children’s love of music for generations. These same principles have influenced 27 seasons of LACC choristers.
LACC parents Mary Blodgett and Carlton Calvin make the world a better place for children through their indefatigable community service, inspired leadership and generous philanthropy. Mary’s commitment to the arts led her to LACC’s Board of Directors in 2006, where she has since championed a choral music experience for all children. Among her many significant accomplishments, Mary spearheaded the effort to create and fund LACC’s Young Men’s Ensemble for boys with changing voices, now in its fourth year. Since 2001, Carlton’s company Razor® USA has been a major supporter of children’s causes. Through their vast breadth of support, Mary and Carlton have helped to secure the Chorus’ strength and artistic vibrancy for generations to come.
Gala tickets are $350 per person with special sponsorship packages available. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which is one of the theatres at the Music Center, is located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90012. For tickets and information, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.