The Georgia Laster Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians will host its annual scholarship fundraiser concert Friday, Oct. 19, featuring the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA). The orchestra has performed at numerous venues, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a Barack Obama presidential fundraiser attended by first lady Michelle Obama, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication luncheon in Washington, D.C.
The orchestra consists of middle school, high school and college students, under the direction of founder Charles Dickerson, and internationally acclaimed countertenor Daryll Taylor.
The funds raised from the show will support the Georgia Laster Branch’s (GLB) scholarship and music education programs.
“This [concert] is an opportunity for the Greater Los Angeles community to have an opportunity to assist us with our mission … to continue to encourage and assist musical talent and create wider opportunities for them,” said Dorothy Hayes, scholarship chair of GLB.
The organization works to provide scholarships for students interested in music, assist families in purchasing musical instruments, and sponsor concerts that showcase outstanding talent.
Several past winners of the scholarship who are current members of the ICYOLA will be featured in the concert. Previous scholarship winners such as Kristopher Bowers, Mahesh Balasooriya, and Jennifer Lindsay have gone on to pursue careers in music and continue their education at prestigious schools such as Juilliard and UCLA.
This year’s first-place scholarship winners are Jazz and Classical saxophonist Keeland Bowers, a student at L.A. County High School for the Arts, and violinist Annelle Gregory at the California Institute of Music.
“We are just so proud of them, and we want the public to know about the amazing ability of these young people,” said Gloria Lindsay, co-scholarship chair, who explained that the organization wants to continue to support passionate students because “that will ensure a permanent influence on young people for generations to come.”
This year’s scholarship participants come from Long Beach Poly, Hamilton High, Culver City High, Pacifica Christian, Greater San Diego Academy, Orange County, Renaissance, and L.A. County High School for the Arts.
While discussing the GLB’s plan for the future, Hayes said: “I would like to continue to find these young musicians, fine-tune them, and provide them the support they need.”
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles. General seating ticket prices cost $30 and VIP seating, $50.
To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/267484. or call GLB at (213) 787-6307.