The Valley Line: Moscoso emcees L.A. Chamber Orchestra gala

The historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles was again the site for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) elegant annual fundraiser themed “All in L.A.”

Feted at the black-tie event was Jeffrey Kahane, LACO music director, and board member Ruth Eliel.

Kahane is recognized around the world for his mastery of diverse repertoire. He will be stepping down at the end of the season, concluding an unprecedented and extraordinary 20-year tenure at the orchestra’s artistic helm, the longest in LACO history.

Pat and Sandy Gage, who co-chaired LACO’s three most lucrative galas ever, headed the event for a fourth time.

Singer/songwriter/actor Samuel Moscoso, who has performed around the globe, including 19 times with the Boston Pops, served as master of ceremonies and auctioneer for the live auction. Proceeds from the event benefit LACO’s artistic and education activities.

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The evening began with silent auction opportunities of an incredible array of items. Cocktails were served before the guests were seated for a concert by LACO musicians that included concertmaster Margaret Batjer, assistant concertmaster Tereza Stanislav, Andrew Shulman, principal cello; Ray Ushikubo, piano/violin; Joanne Pearce Martin, piano and Gabriel Kahane. The latter, Jeffery Kahane’s son, is a singer/songwriter and keyboard musician whose major label debut, “The Ambassador,” a study of Los Angeles, was hailed by “Rolling Stone” as “one of the year’s very best albums.” For the gala, he performed a selection of his own works.

The concert portion of the evening also featured dancers from the Pennington Dance Group.

The guests were ushered into the hotel’s grand ballroom for dinner. The room’s enchanting balconies were used effectively in a surprise musical tribute to Los Angeles that featured music and dance numbers from the award-winning film “La La Land.” The two-featured numbers from that film were “City of Stars” and “Another Day of Sun.”

Following dinner, guests gathered in the hotel’s Emerald Room for sweet treats, jazz music, dancing, coffee and liquors. The bright neon sign featuring a red heart gave this portion of the evening the vibe of an old L.A. nightclub. It was a fun and glamorous conclusion to an evening filled with music and tributes to Los Angeles.


The Oakmont League of Glendale recently met at Oakmont Country Club for a luncheon that featured Stephen Ratliff, a makeup artist and hair stylist who talked about hair and fashion makeup trends for spring and summer.

Ratliff is the son of the league’s past president, Nina Ratliff, and her husband Larry, who were both at the meeting. Stephen Ratliff is a USC graduate in fine arts and owner of the South Pasadena hair salon, Ecco. Throughout his busy career he has been a makeup and hair stylist for many actresses and fashionable philanthropists.

A personable, handsome guy who has a witty sense of humor, not only did Stephen give a formal presentation about hair and makeup but he also visited each luncheon table to meet the guests where he invited questions about the upcoming season’s trends in hair style and makeup.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

Copyright © 2017, La Cañada Valley Sun

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The Valley Line: An animated night at the Orpheum

Venturing out of our Foothills and into the big city, I attended "LACO @ the Movies: An evening of Disney Silly Symphonies," held at the historic Orpheum Theatre movie palace on West Broadway in downtown L.A.

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