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A Chance to Bach Around the Clock

February 13, 1987|David Johnston and and Lynn Simross

Carol Gentry worries that her pupils, many of them poor, don't get exposed to the fine arts. So for 15 years as an administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District she has been creating opportunities for them to hear Bach as well as rock.

"I feel children need to be exposed to all kinds of music, but many times all children hear are rock 'n' roll, jazz and things like that," said Gentry, principal of Hillcrest Elementary School in Baldwin Hills, which is also home to the Hillcrest Drive Center for Enriched Studies, the school district's music magnet school.

Sunday night, Gentry and a group of teachers will volunteer their time to take 67 fifth- and sixth-graders to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where they will hear Tchaikovsky performed by 110 young classical musicians from the American Youth Symphony. Mehli Mehta will conduct.

Students who are interested in music, have at least a C average and are well behaved are chosen by Gentry to attend the concert. But even that group could find the whole experience an aural bore without preparation, Gentry said.

But that's not easy because "most elementary schools don't have a music teacher anymore," she said.

To prepare the youngsters for the concert Lily Tang, the music specialist in the magnet school, and a retired music teacher, Sally Quaglino, will spend two hours teaching some basics about the musical score, the composer and etiquette.

Honors for Women

Attorney Gloria Allred and five other women will receive Susan B. Anthony awards Feb. 28 from Hollywood Business and Professional Women in recognition of their achievements and presentation of a positive image of Hollywood.

Children's librarian Marjory Hopper, Ramona Elementary School vice principal Jo Ellyn Siraganian, sign company executive Hilda Lane, ballet teacher Kathryn Ettienne and Bonnie Oliver, an educational consultant at KCET-TV, also will be honored. Allred will speak at the luncheon.

Notes From NASA

Failing to acknowledge letters is not nice, English teachers Nanci Leonard and Dorris Lang teach their pupils at Burbank Senior High in Burbank. So when no one acknowledged their 1984 applications to the teacher in space program, Leonard and Lang sent the National Aeronautics and Space Administration notes scolding the bureaucrats for their bad manners.

"I never really wanted to go, it would have messed my hair," said Leonard, who recalls the entire episode with bemusement. "I just wanted to get a certificate saying I had participated so I could display it to my grandchildren.

"There was no fee to apply--the fee was filling out the application, which took a ridiculous amount of time," Leonard said. "Even getting an application took time. You sent in a letter asking for an application and then they sent you a postcard application for an application and then NASA sent you the real application."

Months after the teachers sent their scolding note, NASA got the message. Now, hanging in the classrooms of Leonard and Lang are color certificates acknowledging their participation in the program.

Help for Runners

Thinking about being one of the 15,000 starters in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 1? Worried you might huff and puff yourself right out of the race?

Worry not. Marathon organizers expect about 30% of the starters to drop out. For those who run into trouble, the American Red Cross chapter in Los Angeles expects to have dozens of volunteers trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation along the entire 26.2-mile route.

Autographs, Please

In celebration of Hollywood's Centennial this year, 12 of Cecil B. DeMille's most famous movie stars will participate in a tribute to the Hollywood Studio Museum, the site of DeMille's first full-length motion picture, "The Squaw Man," filmed in 1913.

Each of the actors have signed 100 posters of the Studio Barn, illustrated by artist Shay Austin. The cast of signatories, headed by Jimmy Stewart, includes the late Anne Baxter, Eleanor Boardman, Claudette Colbert, Nina Foch, Signe Hasso, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Barbara Stanwyck, Martha Scott, the late Henry Wilcoxon and Loretta Young.

The 12 actors starred in 73 DeMille productions, including "Cleopatra," "The Ten Commandments," "It Happened One Night," "The Greatest Show on Earth," "Union Pacific," "Wuthering Heights" and "The Philadelphia Story."

Ninety-nine of the signed posters will be sold; the 100th is to be placed in a Hollywood Centennial time capsule to be opened in 2087. During this year's centennial, the time capsule will be on display at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, headquarters of the centennial committee.

"It's thrilling to have so many of film history's biggest stars join us in this," Hollywood Studio Museum director Timothy Burke said of the commemorative poster. "Even DeMille never assembled such a stellar cast."

The 18-by-24-inch signed posters are on display at the museum, 2100 Highland Blvd., and are on sale for $125 each at the museum gift shop. Proceeds will go to support the museum, operated by Hollywood Heritage Inc., a nonprofit volunteer group dedicated to the preservation of Hollywood.

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