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Compton’s Classical Christmas Concert was a huge success

(photo: Urban Girl Media)

(photo: Urban Girl Media)

As we head into the New Year, I failed to mention a little of what I did over the holidays. In addition to relaxing and seeing Selma, I was invited to listen to the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO) at the Classical Christmas Concert, hosted by City of Compton Councilman Dr. Willie Jones.
The event took place in the brand new Dollarhide Senior Center, named after the city’s first black mayor, Douglas Dollarhide. You will also find images of the founders of the “Hub City”, the nation’s first black female mayor west of the Mississippi, Doris Davis, and of course, the youngest mayor elected, Aja Brown.


Community members gathered in the courtyard over food, cider and friendly banter. Recently elected 64th Asm. Mike Gipson was in the house along with Mayor Brown and many, many families. We all came out in our holiday finest to listen to the smooth sounds of the orchestra.

I am hopeful that the partnership between LAYO and Compton Unified School District will yield more children’s interest in fine arts and music. It is a great way to express themselves and have the excitement of preparing to perform what they have learned.

In the spirit of youth taking an interest in arts, as I mentioned, I went and saw Selma and afterwards, I went to Post and Beam. Sitting on the bar stools; we struck up conversation with the gentlemen already there. One of which was Robert Lee Watt, a black man, who plays the classic French horn. In fact, Mr. Watt was the first African-American French Hornist hired by a major symphony in the United States.  Ironically, I saw LAYO perform the week before.

He has written a book, The Black Horn: The Story of a Classical French Hornist, and will have a book signing at Eso Won Bookstore Thursday, January 8th, starting at 7PM.

In 8th grade, I attended Crozier Middle School.  Until then I only played the piano.  My Grandma Jerry got me a piano and lessons out in Carson.  I chose orchestra as my elective and Mr. Patterson was such a great instructor, I moved up to 1st chair violin.  Exposing children to different forms of art, is a great way of them expanding their talents and interests.  If you are interested in your child participating, visit the LAYO website by clicking here.

About Los Angeles Youth Orchestra

LAYO is a youth orchestra that is open to all youth no matter their socio-economic background, and they work hard to provide scholarships to those that may need it. They train their youth to be professionals, and many of these kids build the foundation they need to make a mark on the music world. This is a small organization that is hugely passionate about their work, and is making an even bigger difference in the lives of the children they work with. I am extremely proud to be representing them in their social space.

LAYO was featured on The Sonic Highways on HBO during their final episode. This show was masterminded by David Grohl and followed the Foo Fighters as they explored the music of America –a different city each episode. LAYO were featured on the NYC finale episode. LAYO students are featured on the Foo Fighters latest album, specifically the track entitled “I Am A River:”



About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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