The Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) Orchestra brought the audience to its feet at its finale and fundraising concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall on August 12.
HMI is celebrating its 10th anniversary season as a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to nurture the future of music by providing comprehensive professional training and multi-level outreach programs that make a direct impact on people’s lives. The Institute strives to inspire, entertain and educate audiences of all ages through live musical performance, while mentoring the next generation of professional musicians.” It was founded in 1997 in memory of the accomplished composer and songwriter Henry Mancini, composer of the inimitable “Pink Panther” theme and winner of numerous Oscars and Grammys.
The 85 orchestra members, ages 18 through 33, were chosen through a rigorous audition of young musicians worldwide. After participating in the Summer Program for Emerging Professional Musicians held at the UCLA campus, some of them also serve as teachers and mentors in the Institute’s Community Outreach Initiative by leading seminars, instrument-instruction classes and live performance music programs in over 25 elementary schools throughout Los Angeles. The Institute also produces a Free Summer Music Festival that includes nine public concerts performed in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles.
The concert opened and closed with pieces written by Henry Mancini and conducted by the Institute’s artistic director Patrick Williams. The concert began with “Symphony Soul,” and ended with the “Theme from Peter Gunn.” The program also included a piece composed by Marianne Trudel – a HMI composer participant – entitled “Je Retourne a Toi” and a piece composed by HMI alumni Damien Montano called “Concerto for Piccolo and Contrabassoon.”
“Ghost Ranch,” a piece in three movements by American composer Michael Daugherty, was also performed. After intermission, Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust,” this version arranged by Patrick Williams, was performed. The concert also included “To Ruth,” composed by Bill Cunliffe for a jazz trio and orchestra, a suite from The Tempest by UCLA Professor Paul Seiko Chihara and “Hardware Concerto” by Kenji Bunch.
More information about the Institute is available at www.manciniinstitute.org or by calling 888.HMI.1903.