"This is an evening to say we're vibrant and vital," announced Glenn Treibitz, new president of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra Assn., at a fundraising gala at Lexus of Glendale — turned into a miniature concert hall on Saturday.
Featured was a chamber ensemble concert conducted by Jeffrey Bernstein, the orchestra's associate conductor. Lawrence Kohl and flute soloists Sheridon Stokes and Salpy Kerkonian performed in selections from Bach and Mozart. Even the association's Interim Executive Director Arman Keyvanian put on his musician hat and played the harpsichord in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4.
But during a brief hiatus came the news more than 200 patrons and guests were waiting for. The evening's guest of honor, conductor-composer Loris Tjeknavorian, will become the principal conductor-music director of the orchestra. Tjeknavorian comes to Glendale after 11 years as music director of the Armenian Philharmonic in Armenia.
The pre- and post-concert party kept supporters sated with champagne, wine, sweets and savories. Association VIPs enjoying the celebration included Jack Kabateck, former association executive vice president, with wife Glady Kabateck. Current Executive Vice President Adel Luzuriaga and Recording Secretary Sheila Murray were also spotted among concert-goers. The Women's Committee of the association was well represented by Glendale residents, including President Jennifer Horine and Martha Feutz.
The Glendale Symphony Orchestra, due to begin its 2010-11 season, has been making music for 86 years.
PATH Achieve Glendale went all out for its second annual gala on the Green at the Americana at Brand on Friday. The evening, enjoyed by more than 400 supporters, featured dinner catered by Trattoria Amici, dancing and casino games. Staff members were out in force, including mental health consultant Linda Goodman Pillsbury and husband Sam Pillsbury.
Given the Hope and Compassion Award for supporting PATH Achieve were the S.H. Ho Foundation and the city of Glendale. But the individual who brought down the house was guest speaker Blanca Zavala, now living with her three children in a PATH Achieve apartment after years of being a victim of domestic abuse and months of homelessness. Currently, Zavala works part time and has an "A" grade point average in her full-time criminal justice studies at Pasadena City College.
"I was given a second chance to be all that I could be," said a tearful Zavala.
Last year, PATH Achieve Glendale provided housing and services to 1200 homeless men, women and children in Glendale.
The Cabrini Literary Guild has been around for 65 years. You'd think an aging organization would have trouble recruiting new, young members. But that wasn't the case Thursday. The guild's Annual Membership Tea at the La Cañada home of Connie Alamardi attracted 70 members and 25 guests interested in joining the organization. The guild must be doing something right. Last year $12,000 was donated to various charities including Loaves and Fishes.
President Mary Andrade and Tea Chairwoman Mary Wight welcomed all. Each department was introduced. When Mannequin department leader Wight announced a brief history of her group, she got a laugh. "As we got older, we didn't make good models at the fundraisers anymore, so now we're movers and shakers," Wight said.
Guild Moderator Father Paul Hruby gave the blessing on the food, a bevy of tea sandwiches, cookies and fruit salad. The sandwiches were handmade by Marie Urrutia and her sister Chantal Canaux, visiting from Normandy, France.
Soon to be 93-year-old Iva Carrico, a member of the guild for 60 years, was accompanied by her daughter and guest Mara Carrico. They drove up from Encinitas for the party. A former Glendale resident of many years, Carrico has been honored by Cardinal Roger Mahony for her volunteer work for Catholic charities.
The guild is looking forward to its luncheon fundraiser at the Oakmont Country Club on March 5.
The Days of the Verdugo Heritage Assn. presented its annual "Fiestacita" under a twilight sky on Sunday at Casa Adobe de San Rafael. Supporters enjoyed a Mexican taco dinner, music, a cash drawing and silent auction. Assocation President Julie Shermer welcomed about 150 members and guests, including mom Genevieve Sultenfuss, having recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Also recognized was 90-year-old board member Doris McKently. Glendale City Councilman Laura Friedman offered greetings from the city.
Longtime board member Celina Vizcarra was given the Honoree of the Year Award for her involvement with Glendale Sister Cities in Tlaquepaque, Mexico, and Rosarito Beach in Baja.
To become member and share in the heritage of Glendale, call (818) 244-2841.