Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blue Ribbon Festival - Music Center

The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is an annual admission-free program for fifth grade students to attend a live, professional performance at The Music Center, which has been running for 43 years.

The Children’s Festival is sponsored by The Blue Ribbon, a support organization of the Music Center, founded in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler.  The festival began in 1970 as part of The Music Center’s commitment to engage young people in the arts, and is one of California’s longest ongoing free arts education programs.  More than 700,000 children have participated in the festival since its inception, and for many, the festival is their first experience at a live performing arts event. 

I was blown away by this amazing opportunity for our students.  Individual homeschooling families may RSVP, but it's a lot more fun to attend in a group.  Reservations are accepted around the middle of January with materials being mailed out a month later.  Parents and students are free.  Although, the recommended age is 11 years old, they have no problem allowing 6-18 year olds enjoy the show.  Families also get complimentary parking.

There is an optional, audience participation portion so you may want to schedule in a rehearsal.  Families could also practice while they are waiting to enter the theatre.  After parking in the garage, you up the stairs or escalators to the plaza.  There are 3000 public school kids waiting for the show, but look for the information table in the middle of the plaza.  It is pretty easy to gather there while waiting for your party.

The cast of TRACES enjoyed the student performance

About 30 minutes before showtime, we were assigned a guide to take care of us.  She ended up telling us a bit of history about the Music Center.  The place looks completely different in the day time.  There was so much I never noticed before.

Finally, we got in line to wait to enter the theatre.  We were sent up to the Loge level and the show began.  The kids whooped and hollered and had a great time.  When the show ends, I recommend waiting until the last group leaves the theatre.  Because we were a small group, we ended up walking out to the front of the plaza to do our performance.  It was very relaxed, you could sit out the dance, but why?  The kids and parents had a wonderful time.

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