December 1, 2017
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Dawna Snow, left, and Catherine Bacus, rehearse on cello.

LA VERNE, California, Dec. 1, 2017 — Something very note-worthy is taking place on Dec. 10, 8 p.m., at Morgan Auditorium on the University of La Verne campus — and you won’t want to miss it.

The La Verne Symphony Orchestra (LVSO) will be performing a free (although your donation won’t be turned down) concert with selections by such classical masters as Bach, Bertok, Faure and Mozart.

There will also be solo performances by Melody Hui-Chi Lin on her Steinway piano and Jonathan Rios on violin.

Jonathan Rios prepares for his violin solo.

Additionally, the orchestra’s founder, Danielle Rosaria, will premiere her new orchestral poem, “Sagrada Familia.”

They are just three of the outstanding musicians brought together in this amazing ensemble of student, faculty and community musicians directed and conducted by Rachel Huang, University of La Verne Professor of Applied Strings.

“We want the community to experience a live symphony orchestra,” said Huang. “The experience is so different from the canned music we all live with.

“And the acoustics in this hall are beautiful. If people listen to their old albums because they feel there is so much more quality in the old recordings, what they will love here is that live sound.”

The strings, with the assured assistance of Loretta Tatum, will also be doing their part on the big night!

Audience members with children concerned that the concert might be a little too stuffy or highbrow will be pleasantly surprised, according to Huang.

“It’s not going to be a deadly two hours where you’re not going to be able to cough or scratch your head or anything like that,” she said. “It’s going to be nice, short, varied and lively.”

The orchestra’s talents are deep and diverse. What started as a classical ensemble for strings (Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass) five years ago has now become a full-blown orchestra and a magnet for not only university music majors but also community members aching to let their inner-musician out.

“There are so, so many super-talented players in our community,” Huang said. “Many are doing other things, but they are just dying for a chance to play.”

But finding a place to play isn’t always easy, say, like a cyclist who can simply hop on a bike and pedal away.

“You can’t just say, ‘Today, I think I’ll go play in an orchestra,’” Huang explained. “There has to be an institution there for you to join and be a part of. It’s not something you can do yourself.”

ULV music major Jessica Lewis and community member Dr. Bennett McAllister are focused on providing a noteworthy performance.

Then once assembled — the conductor, concertmaster, players, soloists, administrative help — all have to work together and come together, preferably in time for the orchestra’s two yearly performances, in fall and spring.

“Every person has to learn their part and how they fit in,” Huang said. “They have to learn how to interact and interlock with the others, when to step forward, when to step back.

“It’s the art of compromise, all the time.”

But somehow, with repeated Thursday night rehearsals over the course of the semester, the sour notes get smoothed out, the cacophony miraculously melding into symphony.

And now the grand performance is almost here — and the entire community is invited to hear the results.


The Steve Morgan Auditorium is located on the University of La Verne campus at 1950 Third Street in La Verne. For more information, email



MORE NOTES: For all your pharmacy needs, try 986 Pharmacy in La Verne. And for all your real estate needs, call longtime La Verne Realtor Colleen Bennett (909.374.4744). 

Take a bow!


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