Each Christmas, Los Angeles County’s arts commission organizes a free performing arts showcase at downtown LA’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. One ensemble on the bill this season has a message that resonates beyond the holiday season: keeping music instruction alive in public schools.
The women’s chorale group includes former and current L.A. Unified music teachers, including Julie Pritkin, who's been teaching music since 1979.
Pritkin grew up in a Van Nuys family steeped in music, and her career’s taken her to the Dorothy Chandler stage before.
"I sang with LA Jazz choir in the 80s and I sang with Rosemary Clooney on her singers salute to songwriters," said Pritkin.
For the Music Center Holiday Celebration her group chose a modern Christmas carol: "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” as composed by John Rutter.
Despite budget cuts, Pritkin says, L.A. Unified music and choral teaching in the lower grades is alive and well.
For decades, the chorale has given scholarships to promising music students. Members hope this year’s Holiday Celebration showcase will help continue that tradition.