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Trojan Marching Band to salute the city with songs

‘I Love LA’ concert springs into action Sunday at Bovard

by Brett Padelford
Artist Robert Jensen art
Robert Jensen is the band's official artist.

It “looks like another perfect day” Sunday when the USC Concert Band presents “I Love L.A.,” its annual spring concert, at Bovard Auditorium.

Beginning the afternoon with the 1983 Randy Newman hit that gives the concert its name, the 70-piece ensemble — a spring offshoot of the USC Trojan Marching Band — will perform a two-hour program dedicated to the City of Angels.

“We’re saluting the great city of Los Angeles and the Trojan Marching Band’s relationship with it,” said Director Arthur Bartner, in his 44th year with the band. “We’ve played for the Olympics, the reopening of City Hall, the Democratic National Convention and we’re even the Los Angeles Lakers’ band. I always got the first call from Mayor Tom Bradley when there was a big event — and he’s a Bruin!”

Accompanying the music onstage will be projected images curated by painter Robert Jensen, the band’s official artist. His works will accompany the Concert Band’s performance of the “1812 Overture,” the popular Tchaikovsky work the band has performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic every summer since the 1980s.

The concert will also feature special guest artists. Alto saxophone and clarinet player Bob Sheppard — a part-time faculty member at the USC Thornton School of Music — will accompany the band on the jazz classic “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Matthew Miles and Alyssa Wills, two USC Thornton School of Music vocalists, will perform the roles of the Phantom and Christine on selections from The Phantom of the Opera, one of the most successful musicals in Los Angeles history.

As always, the Trojan Marching Band will close the show with a traditional set of fight songs and popular hits. Tickets starting at $15 for the 3 p.m. event will be available at the door.

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