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Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony to Hold Celebratory Concert and Benefit Luncheon April 28

Unique Program Provides Musical Opportunities for Children in Underserved Areas;
Local Community Leaders Dr. Trudy Arriaga and Dr. Sam Bruttomesso to Be Honored

[Thousand Oaks, CA – April 22, 2019] – The Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony will hold its annual benefit lunch and celebratory concert on Sunday, April 28, at the Marriott Ventura Beach Hotel in Ventura. The event will celebrate its student musicians and honor community leaders for their dedication to education and music.

The Laby Harmony Project is a unique program that provides musical opportunities to children in underserved communities. Currently serving more than 160 students in Ventura, the youth development program creates pathways to success for these children by engaging them in a multi-year continuum of rigorous music training. The instruments, the instruction and the program is free for the students and is funded by the New West Symphony and its generous donors.

“Harmony Project provides students from kindergarten through high school with continuous, high-quality music instruction,” says New West Symphony CEO Natalia Staneva. “Learning to play an instrument takes patience, persistence and focus—the same qualities students need to excel in school and in their future careers. We support our students in the heart of Ventura every step of the way to achieve their goals throughout their entire childhood. Harmony Project builds social equity and gives these children a chance they might never otherwise have had.

At the April 28 luncheon, student musicians will perform Mexican folk tunes, which have been arranged for Harmony’s student orchestras and Son Jarocho ensemble. The Harmony Project leadership students selected the theme for this year’s event so as to honor the prominent Mexican culture rooted in the community.

The luncheon will also honor Dr. Trudy Arriaga with the Sandra Laby Memorial Award for “making the world a better place through education.” Dr. Arriaga is on the faculty of California Lutheran University Graduate School of Education and is the former Ventura Unified School District Superintendent. She was instrumental in collaborating with local philanthropists Sandra and Jordan Laby and the New West Symphony in the early stages of establishing the program in Ventura.

Also being honored is Sam Bruttomesso, M.D., who will receive the Harmony Celebration award for his contribution “toward building healthier communities through music.” Dr. Bruttomesso is a New West Symphony board member and a retired pediatrician and educator.

Performing at the luncheon, in addition to the students, will be celebrity guest artist Lupita Infante. Granddaughter of Mexican music star Pedro Infante, Lupita is a popular performing and recording artist of mariachi and ranchera music. She is Pandora’s 2019 “Latin Artist to Watch” and Billboard’s “Latin Artist on the Rise.”

Further information on the Laby Harmony Project and tickets for the luncheon may be obtained at

Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. The Symphony is the resident company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. It presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually and provides a number of educational opportunities for local youth through its annual “Symphonic Adventures” concerts, its traveling Music Van and the Laby Harmony Project for underserved youth. For information, go to and follow us on Facebook at

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