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…in the form of ‘Force of Nature’ Suzanna Guzmán, who teaches the Music Center’s Spotlight ‘Classical Voice Mastery Class.’ She is an Emmy Award-winning associate of LA Opera, and TIME magazine called her “a fire-eating singing actress.”I watched Suzanna in action last year and must say it’s inspiring and overwhelming to watch her again and see the degree to which she pours all of herself into the students. Mezzo-soprano Suzanna gives the students insights and tips on choosing a song for their audition, dealing with performance anxiety, selecting a music school, and so much more.

Let me tell you a little bit about the ‘Spotlight’ Program. Semifinalists in each field participate in master classes where they receive personalized instruction. On June 4, 2024, two Grand Prize Finalists from each of the seven categories in the program will perform on stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This nationally recognized, free performing arts competition and artistic development program for So. California high school students provides mentorship to over 1,500 young artists and awards more than $100,000 in scholarships.

Jeri Gaile is the Spotlight Director, and she shepherds the young people with so much love and devotion.

There are seven categories: Acing, Ballet, Classical Instrumental, Classical Voice, Dance, Contemporary Instrumental, and Non-Classical Voice. I’ve also watch the Master classes for Dance, Ballet and Acting. Josh Groban, Misty Copeland were Spotlight winners.

The students had a lunch break and we were provided a lunch while we listened to Suzanna, Jeri Gaile and Rachel Moore, President of the Music Center discuss the program.

I just love our little neighborhood group—three couples and me. We get together at alternating houses, have lunch, and play catch-up! So cute! Thank you dear Izabela and Wayne.

You may remember Mary Beth who was Kita’s trainer. Well she’s back and every Monday Somi the Goldendoodle will be in school!

Sweet Sandie Girl stopped by with a calligraphy piece of her mother’s she had found. Of course, Somi had to approve it before cards could be made of the image.

Dear Amy and I had a delightful time at Via Selfie…

And then it was back to her lovely home for dessert because we didn’t eat enough!

Time for Awesome Carol Soucek King’s ‘Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life’ and Somi thoughtfully helped me deliver the opening Meditation.

As always, videographer Curtis McElhinney masterfully guides us throughout the Zoom presentation. If you do not receive the Salon notifications and are interested in joining, DM me.

The Salon begins with 30 minutes of Himalayan Singing Bowls by Janet Martorello which is always so peaceful and inspiring. Dean LeGrand Carlston will sing a song many times of his own composition as does Douglas Decker later in the program.

‘Possibility’ was this month’s theme and Anee Rajan gave the Main Presentation. “Letting God Into the Driver’s Seat.” My main take-away was a quote from Wayne Dyer, “Don’t die with the music still inside you.”

Artist/Sculptor Patricia Ferber gave the poetry reading.


Are they black or are they white, pink, or blue,

are they high or are they low, or do they look like the moon?

Do you need to stand, sit, or jump, 

or simply dance to the rhythm within you?

The winds will blow, the rain will fall,

listen to the song that makes you want to

dance, dance, dance to the tune of

endless possibilities. 


Catching a moon beam, wishing upon a star, dreams of possibility. 

P – is for Positive, being optimistic.

O – is for Opportunity of the golden moments in time.

S – is for Sensitivity to finer feelings, thoughtfulness.

S – is for Sensibility, insight, awareness. 

I – is for Imagination, fantasy, dreams of possibilities creating passion within.

B – is for Beauty one’s aesthetics, visions of wonder, splendor.

I – is for Inspiration triggering our creativity, insight, peace.

L – is for Love, warmth, friendships, unselfishness, care, kindness.

As my dear friend Dabney Zorthian always said, “Be love and do good work”.  

I – is for Intuition, this we must trust in and listen to our inner voice.

T – is for Treasure all that we have, cherish, appreciate.

Y – is for YES, stay young-at-heart, absolute certainty, creating Possibility. 

Freddie Stroma’s lyrics in his song Possibilities, says- “It is written in the stars”.  “It is in front of us… close enough to touch, far enough to have some time to see”. 

Patricia Ferber

March – 2024

Nino Wong, Head Docent of the Chinese Garden at the Huntington, led the question and answer period.

To close out the Salon, Lovely Susie Katharine Shaw sang ‘More I Cannot Wish You.’

How grand for Carol to always treat her ‘stars’ at El Portal Restaurant.

I had taped the Oscars…

If it’s Monday…It must be park day with Mary Beth!

Always fun to see Lovely Izabela and Wayne on walkies!

Time to catch up with Lovely Maggie at Via Selfie.

It’s a joy to drive to ‘Play Review’ with Wondrous Carol. This month, we were treated to a talk by the amazing Donna Stein, whose book, ‘The Empress and I,’ brilliantly describes how she curated the modern art collection for Iran. The book is absolutely fascinating!

That evening it was time for the monthly Camerata Pacifica’s performance at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, presented by Founder and Artistic Director Adrian Spence.

Somi supervised Yoshida-san and Carlos as they worked to Bonsai the stately Juniper.

Sandie Girl stopped by with two homemade Chicken Tetrazzini and Pot Pies from Howie’s! Yum!!!

And dear Amy had a delightful little gathering…

There’s more to come in March but in the meantime…Don’t pass up the Ice Cream man!

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