MHS Orchestra performs outside City Hall

Dr. Maia Zander and The Malibu High School Orchestra stand for applause. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

On Saturday afternoon, a little over 50 guests had their eyes and ears focused towards a group of young musicians, the Malibu High School string orchestra. 

On March 26, Malibu High School competed in their first orchestra competition since the start of COVID-19 — and they won. Sponsored by the Malibu Arts Commission and in partnership with A Call 2Peace Foundation (AC2P), MHS provided an outdoor concert in efforts to raise money to go to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall in March 2023 as part of Manhattan Concert Production’s Symphonic Series for accomplished young musicians. 

The “Road to Carnegie Hall,” concert provided an afternoon filled with diverse music including current MHS students, several professional musicians and MHS alumni who performed their own written songs, Kalvin “Kal” Madsen” and Gabriel “Gabe” Deibel.

Guests and speakers included Grammy winner and spokesperson for AC2P Eduardo Del Signore, Grammy-nominated opera singer and songwriter Sonia Paxson, and Malibu Mayor Paul Grisanti.

“Students from Malibu High are mind blowing,” Grisanti said. “You guys are great.”

“It was a wonderful event and hopefully the beginning of a series that I originally premiered to the Malibu Arts Commission nine months ago,” Del Signore said. “It feels like everyone present had a wonderful time and I’m for sure carrying the aftertaste of a fulfilled heart from the experience.”

Among those performing was MHS Orchestra Director Maia Zander. Zander said the students have been practicing without an audience for two years and are excited to be able to perform once again.

“I am exceedingly grateful to A Call 2Peace for organizing and hosting this event for the benefit of the MHS orchestra, and for including and collaborating with our students,” Zander said. “It was a great experience for these high school students to get to share the stage with such accomplished professionals, and I could not be more proud of them and how well they played.”

The cost for each student is estimated to be $2,000, which includes hotel, airfare, performance, workshop, Broadway show tickets, professional orchestra concert and more. The suggested donation for the concert was $30 for one ticket or $50 for two tickets. Zander said based on the number of people in the audience, they are estimating it may be around $1,500. Del Signore said minus the fees charged by the engines collecting contributions, the total raised was $1,989.87. Del Signore said it was agreed that half of the funds raised goes to the students and the other half goes to the organization for basic foundation expenses such as the posters and maintenance and towards the food recovery program. 

Zander said they hope to provide every student with the same opportunity regardless of their financial situation.

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