The Claremont Community School of Music hosted its sixth annual Mayor’s Recital and dinner Nov. 21 at Padua Hills Theatre, an event to which yours truly was invited.
Some 200 people were there and more than $13,000 was raised for scholarships to defray tuition for lower-income students, who range from preschool age to senior citizens. The school also wants to expand that opportunity to chamber music, which gives students the chance to perform in small groups, something usually not available to them until college courses, executive director Matt Keating says.
We saw instrumental performances (and a couple of vocal turns) by students, usually children, and while I thought it might be a long night, the students were quite good and the pace brisk.
Oh, yes: Mayor’s Recital? Claremont Mayor Corey Calaycay was there — he’s pictured in the center, holding a proclamation, with the bushy-haired Keating — but he didn’t perform. He could have, though: He said he studied piano at the school as a boy.
The venue, Padua Hills Theatre, was of course lovely. I’ve been there a handful of times over the years — for a luncheon and for a memorial service — but hadn’t seen a performance in the main room before, just like when the Mexican Players strutted the stage in the old days. I’m glad I attended.