The Music Center embraces outreach on a grand scale

We’ve been talking about “outreach” a great deal in the Listerhood, and with the classical and arts communities evolving so rapidly, every effort to expand creative experience for children and young adults deserves kudos. With many thousands of children slated to descend on Downtown Los Angeles in the coming weeks, this is a program that deserves serious applause.

The full press release is below.


FEBRUARY 27 – MARCH 1, 2024

Elementary, Middle and High School Students from Nearly 400 Schools to Experience the Magic of the Performing Arts in The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Plus the Unique Opportunity to Perform on Jerry Moss Plaza

LOS ANGELES (February 7, 2024) – Over four days, from February 27 through March 1, 2024The Music Center will be buzzing with high energy when more than 30,000 students converge in Downtown L.A. to experience the magic of the performing arts. Their enviable adventures include an exhilarating dance performance inside The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a live classical concert inside The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and a choreographed dance routine created especially for them.

Local fifth graders—as many as 16,900 of them—will participate in the 54th annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival held at The Music Center; another multitude of elementary, middle and high school students—approximately 15,500 of them—will participate in Symphonies for Schools, a free annual concert presented by LA Phil since the orchestra’s first season in 1919, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Many of these young guests will experience a live performing arts event for the first time during the multi-day festival.

“We know the arts transform lives so we cannot wait to welcome tens of thousands of students to The Music Center campus for these incredible experiences. We believe it is essential to introduce the performing arts to people at a young age. We hope those who will be experiencing a live performing arts event for the first time will feel inspired, come visit again or even decide to pursue their dream of becoming an artist,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “Without a doubt, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival and Symphonies for Schools have made an indelible mark on millions of young people. The Music Center, which is celebrating its 60th year, will continue to transform many more young Angelenos’ lives and encourage them to be a part of the arts.”

As part of The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, each day from February 27–29 (Tuesday through Thursday), an average of 5,500 fifth grade students will attend a performance by Brooklyn-based dance company STREB EXTREME ACTION in The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The nine-member dance troupe will perform an original work, Time Machine, with choreographic feats that combine physicality and strength with grace and elegance. Following STREB EXTREME ACTION’s live performance, students will have the unique opportunity to perform a two-minute choreographed dance (created especially for them by Music Center Teaching Artist Tara Cook Davis and inspired by the dance company’s choreography) on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center. At the end of the day, each participating student will receive a copy of the book My Journey Through The Music Center, which introduces them to The Music Center‘s four theatres and the performing arts presented in each venue. The 26-page illustrated book, made possible by a generous $1 million gift from Blue Ribbon member Maxine Dunitz to ensure all participating students receive a copy in perpetuity, also includes profiles of performers and behind-the-scenes staff, selected vocabulary used in the performing arts and fun facts about The Music Center.

“We are thrilled to bring the performing arts to local fifth grade students for the 54th year! The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival welcomes thousands of students to experience the joy of a live performance and explore their own creativity because the performing arts are vital to our community and our well-being,” said Mary Ann Hunt-Jacobsen, president of The Blue Ribbon. “We hope our young guests remember their experiences fondly and feel inspired by the magic of The Music Center.”

Across the street from The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents Symphonies for Schools: an exciting, in-person concert experience for students from throughout Los Angeles. On February 27–28 (Tuesday and Wednesday), approximately 106 local elementary schools will experience Swan Lake: Reimagined, a revamped story of Tchaikovsky’s timeless composition featuring selected pieces from the classic suite and, of course, a dancing accompaniment. On the following two days, February 29–March 1 (Thursday and Friday), thousands of middle and high school students will fill the Concert Hall for the specially curated program Music and Architecture featuring music by composers through the ages who have been inspired by the buildings around them—after all, music and architecture share similar cornerstones of rhythm, proportion and harmony. The audience will travel through time with the LA Phil to explore the connections between music-making and the structures that have moved us. The LA Phil has offered the Symphonies for Schools free concerts to hundreds of thousands of children since its first season in 1919.

“For decades, the LA Phil has welcomed students from across Los Angeles County, inviting them to experience the magic of live performance in one of the world’s premier concert halls,” said Elsje Kibler-Vermaas, Vice President of Learning. “The LA Phil and The Music Center have always championed the transformative power of the performing arts, leaving a lasting impact on young people across generations. We look forward to continuing this tradition and to the epic celebration that will unfold when Symphonies for Schools and The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival converge for three special days.”

Debuting in 1970, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is California’s longest-continuing free arts learning initiative. It is spearheaded by The Blue Ribbon, the premier women’s support organization of The Music Center whose members champion the performing arts and are committed to arts education, volunteerism and financial support for L.A.’s only performing arts destination. For more information about The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, visit

Symphonies for Schools is made possible by the generous support of the Department of Cultural Affairs – City of Los Angeles; Disney; Edison International; The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation; Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee; Max H. Gluck Foundation; Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts; and Specialty Family Foundation. For more information about Symphonies for Schools, visit

The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. Celebrating its 60th year in 2024, the $70 million non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: TMC Arts and TMC Ops. TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on Jerry Moss Plaza, outside at Gloria Molina Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County and on a digital platform called The Music Center Offstage. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as live and digital K–12 arts education programs, workshops, performances, interactive experiences and special events. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the Plaza and Gloria Molina Grand Park, which comprise $2 billion in county assets, on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit Follow The Music Center on social media @MusicCenterLA.

Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.

For over 50 years, The Blue Ribbon remains the premier women’s support organization for The Music Center. The Blue Ribbon enriches the lives of the greater Los Angeles community through its commitment to arts education, volunteerism and financial support for The Music Center and its resident companies. Created in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler to raise funds for The Music Center, its education programs and its resident companies, The Blue Ribbon has contributed more than $80 million as part of its commitment to uphold artistic excellence in programming on The Music Center’s stages and arts education for youth. For more information, visit

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