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ORANGE COUNTY PEOPLE: ACHIEVEMENTS AND CELEBRATIONS
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All 'Cause You Gotta Have Art

The Orange County High School of the Arts pulls out the stops to raise money and keep its nationally recognized program going.

March 16, 2000|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: The 10th annual Hearts for the Arts Gala 2000, a black-tie dinner and song-and-dance salute to Hollywood movies starring students, alumni and staff of the Orange County High School of the Arts. Held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, the gala was staged by the OCHSA foundation and raised funds for the school's nationally recognized arts programs.

Fame: Members of the school's performing arts departments entertained a crowd of 450 with a "Hooray for Hollywood" revue that showcased their singing, dancing and musical talent.

Highlights ranged from the dance department's campy spoof of an Esther Williams water ballet to the spooky strains of the music from "Psycho," performed by the school's chamber orchestra. "When you see these kids perform, it's like watching professionals," said Karen Elliott, event co-chairwoman. "I'm so captivated by their talent."

Star maker: Established in 1987, OCHSA provides free training in visual and performing arts to nearly 500 students from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.

Located at Los Alamitos High School, OCHSA will move to a new campus in Santa Ana in September that can accommodate 1,100 students, including seventh- and eighth-graders.

OCHSA is sponsored by the Santa Ana Unified School District. In 1998, it was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of eight exemplary high school arts programs in the nation.

Quote: "Since the late 1980s, schools across the country have eliminated arts programs," said Ralph Opacic, president and executive director of OCHSA. "We can develop their talents to their full potential."

Faces: Shari Esayian, event co-chairwoman; Robert Iger, foundation board chairman, and his wife, Christine Diemer Iger; Jeff Warner, show producer; Sherry Opacic; Walkie and Janet Ray; John and Sandy Daniels; Jack and Belle Lindquist; Jake and Kate St. Clair; Lew and Margaret Webb; and Rick Stentz.

Bottom line: The gala netted about $100,000 for the school's operating expenses.

What's ahead: OCHSA will hold an open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at its new campus, 1010 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Information: (562) 596-1435 or (714) 536-8597.

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