I have loved the arts my entire life. I must admit it has mainly been the performing arts, since I began singing solos for audiences when I was in sixth grade and all through high school and college, when I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University. Then, it was on to teaching vocal music in Angola, Indiana, before my husband and I moved to Orange County, and I taught vocal music (K-8) in Fountain Valley for six years. If it weren’t for a superintendent who didn’t like music, I would have continued teaching into retirement. It didn’t stop me from singing, however. I sang with the William Hall Master Chorale (formerly the Master Chorale of Orange County) for 25 years and continue to sing with the 120-member chancel choir at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana.
That’s why I love this issue. It is such a pleasure to write about Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 30th anniversary. I sang the inaugural performance with the Master Chorale of Orange County at the grand opening of Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa in 1986 and many other performances following that. I’ve seen Segerstrom Center grow to be one of the top performing arts centers in the country, and our story in this issue reflects that remarkable journey. Also of note is the debut of the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University this past March. Receiving a wonderful reception from the community, it is garnering rave reviews for its acoustics and programming. Not arts related, but just as important, is the fact that one of our community’s icons, Chapman President Jim Doti, is leaving his post after 25 years to return to the classroom as an economics professor. He has singlehandedly put Chapman on the map, although he would modestly downplay that fact.
Our issue also features the visual arts in our story on the artistic renaissance of the art scene in Los Angeles. The city’s art world is having its moment. Our story on the Laguna Beach Dance Festival’s 12th year and its showcasing three dynamic dance companies, through the guidance of its Founder/Director Jodie Gates, is impressive.
I’m hoping to see you at a performance at the amazing Segerstrom or Musco Centers, or perhaps enjoying a performance at the Laguna Dance Festival. Regardless, we are blessed to live in such a dynamic artistic community!
Until next time,
Donna Bunce, Editor