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Music Professor Pursues Passion of Helping Young Artists Perform

September 26, 1993|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Music has always played an important role in Sue Ann Pinner's life.

The daughter of a Methodist minister, she first was introduced to opera listening to her parents' radio as a youngster. By age 12, she was an accomplished pianist, and went on to study the cello, violin and organ. She received a voice scholarship to Michigan State University, and earned a master's degree in opera performance at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pinner has performed in more than a dozen lead roles in the United States and abroad during her professional career. Performances include portrayals of heroines in "La Traviata," "The Merry Widow" and "La Boheme."

The Santa Monica College professor, who sings in 10 languages, teaches voice and opera classes in addition to serving as artistic director of SMC's Opera Theatre.

"I am really active doing concerts, teaching and performing," she said. "I have to help the young artists and I feel like I am supposed to do it."

For the past four years, she has dedicated herself to teaching the finer points of voice and opera. The result has been the production of seven operas and a trip abroad.

Sponsored by SMC's department of music and the Hungarian Consulate, Pinner accompanied a group of students last spring to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where they performed in a special concert.

With the success of the SMC opera program, students from around Southern California have come to study with Pinner. She says she sees herself as a role model for beginning and advanced students. And she hopes to instill a sense of value for the history and culture of opera, drama and the arts.

"Do the work and get an education," she said. "The bottom line is to start studying, get a college degree and have a foundation in piano . . . everything else will come."

Pinner also serves as regional music consultant of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Singing as the soprano soloist with the Santa Barbara Regional Choir, she recently released a compact disc titled "Ave Maria." It has an array of Ave Maria hymns from Gregorian chants to Bach, Mozart, Brahms and Verdi.

Pinner is finishing up a bilingual mariachi compact disc with Cuco Chavez. It is due out next month.

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Board of Supervisors Chairman Ed Edelman has named three Westside residents to Los Angeles County commissions.

Beverly Hills physician Sandra Aronberg has been appointed to the Los Angeles County Fish and Game Commission. A doctor in private practice, she is active in several sport-fishing organizations.

Mary Joan Solow, a longtime Brentwood resident, has been reappointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Public Social Service. Solow, a past chair of the commission, also has served as president of the Consumer Federation of California and Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles.

Harold Karpman of Beverly Hills has been appointed to the Los Angeles County Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. Karpman, a Los Angeles native, is the senior member and founder of a cardiology group in Beverly Hills.

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Garrett Smith has been named Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Westchester.

Smith, a resident of Los Angeles and six-year member of Rotary, was honored for his service to community projects and programs. He also is serving as vice president of the club for 1993-94.

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Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles recently presented awards to two Los Angeles residents.

Hilda Dershewitz was honored as best recruiter, and Marlon Montrose was given the award as most outstanding volunteer. The two were honored during the hospital's annual awards luncheon, which was held last month at the Beverly Prescot Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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Judith Aronson has been named West Coast recipient of the Israel Master Teacher Program Scholarship.

Aronson, who is principal of the Ohr Eliyahu Academy in Venice, will spend the 1993-94 academic year at Israel Bar Ilan in Romat Gan, Israel.

She is one of 10 educators to receive the scholarship.

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Florence Rosenberg of West Los Angeles recently donated $250,000 to the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

The donation will be used to establish the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professorship. The annual professorship will be bestowed to a member of the Southwestern faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching, service to the law school and professional accomplishments.

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