-Photo by Terry Miller
Arcadia High School students performing arts students are gearing up to move into their new state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot Performing Arts Center, and many are tuning up for an orchestral once-in-a-lifetime collaboration with the iconic Paul Anka during “An Evening With Anka,” an exclusive benefit concert taking place Saturday October 27, 2012 at the brand new Performing Arts Center.
With a career that spans more than four decades, Paul Anka is undoubtedly one of the world’s most prolific and beloved singer/songwriters of any generation. Named Billboard Magazine’s 21st most successful artist to date, Anka’s long list of number one songs and hits include the ever-popular “My Way,” “Diana,”“(You’re) Having My Baby,” “You Are My Destiny” and “The Tonight Show Theme” among many others.
“We are so proud to officially open the doors to The Performing Arts Center in such a spectacular way. This will undoubtedly be a history-making moment for the district, the students, attendees and community as a whole,” said AUSD Superintendent Joel Shawn of the opening night festivities that honors the vast significance of the arts. “Having Paul Anka perform on our stage is such an honor and the opportunity to share the experience firsthand with some of our students who will accompany him during a portion of the concert, is beyond exciting and inspirational.”
The other star of “An Evening With Anka” is the Performing Arts Center itself. Upon your first step into the Performing Arts Center, you are immediately transported to a world of possibilities and opportunities where valuable lessons are learned, talent is fostered and the majesty of the arts is shared, cultivated and alive. It is a phenomenal new venue that students, the community, and the arts, can call home.
A premiere 40,000 square foot, 1200 seat, high-concept state-of-the-art facility located on the Arcadia High School campus, the Performing Arts Center was designed to benefit Arcadia students and the San Gabriel Valley as a whole. The modern glass and brick architectural center serves as an inclusive hub for all of the performing arts.
Among its many distinctions, the Performing Arts Center boasts a performance stage that accommodates 200 musicians, variable acoustics and orchestral shells and professional lighting and sound systems. There is also an additional Black Box theater with a separate control room and flexible seating that can host 125 guests. The sound attenuated orchestra room contains instrument storage, practice rooms and a music library.
A professional dance studio with sprung wood floors is also housed in the Performing Arts Center as are comfortable dressing rooms, scene prop and costume storage space, back of the house stage crafts areas and a concessions booth. The superstructure is further adorned with a dramatic internal courtyard, lobby and outdoor pavilion areas.
“Our students are talented and work hard, and they deserve to perform in a facility that reflects their level of musicianship,” continued Pin Chen, who has served as Orchestra Director at AHS for the past three years along with veteran Orchestra Director Thomas J. Forbes, who is in his 33rd year of teaching music in the Arcadia Unified School District..Over the years at Arcadia High School, we have been blessed to have fantastic students and they have been rewarded with a facility that we all can enjoy and be proud of everyday.”
“In the past we would have to rent other facilities and take buses to our concerts and performances. Having a facility like this on campus allows us to do more collaborative performances with the entire Performing Arts Department,” added Forbes, a product of the Arcadia School system and longtime employee of AUSD. “It is always a thrill to perform with the Dance, Choral or Drama Departments on the same program. It will also be possible to do exchange concerts with other high schools and colleges.”
Rick England, Choral Director and former Orchestra Director echoes “This is my 19th year in AUSD as a Music Teacher and we have always had to travel to other locations and rent facilities from other high schools. It is very exciting to have The Performing Arts Center here. We are looking forward to hosting regional concerts and choral competitions.”
The exclusive Paul Anka opening night fundraiser/concert is presented by the Arcadia school district and the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, established to support the Performing Arts Center. Monies generated from ticket sales for the event are donations to Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation and will benefit the Performing Arts Center, art education and art programming for the community.
Opening events will begin the week prior to “An Evening With Anka” with AUSD students performing in select talent showcases Thursday October 18, 2012 through Saturday October 20, 2012. The student performances are open for the entire community to enjoy.
Ticket order/donations to “An Evening With Anka” can be purchased online at theperformingartscenter.ausd.net. To order by mail or in person, the address is 234 Campus Drive, Arcadia 91107- Attn: Rachel Abeyta, AUSD Superintendent office. For more information, or to purchase tickets by phone, please call (626) 821-1781.