Iconic singer-songwriter Paul Anka will be the headliner of the first major show at the Arcadia Unified School District’s new $25 million, 1,200-seat, 40,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Representatives are seeking to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for naming rights of everything from an elevator to patios at $1,000 – $250,000; sponsored plaques and bricks, and tickets ranging in price from $100 – $2,500 to cover costs of operating and maintaining the new PAC.
The formal Oct. 27 fundraiser, “An Evening with Anka,” takes place a week after the official grand opening ceremony on Oct. 18 and three days of student showcase performances open to the public Oct. 18-21 (see schedule below).
“An Evening with Anka” is presented by the Arcadia school district and the Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, established to support the Performing Arts Center. Monies generated from ticket sales for the event are donations to Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation and will benefit the Performing Arts Center, art education and art programming for the community.
Ticket order/donations to “An Evening With Anka” can be purchased online at the Performing Arts Center. To order by mail or in person, the address is 234 Campus Drive, Arcadia 91107- Attn: Rachel Abeyta, AUSD Superintendent office. For more information, or to purchase tickets by phone, please call (626) 821-1781.
With a legendary career that spans more than four decades, Paul Anka is considered one of the world’s most prolific and beloved singer/songwriters of any generation. Named Billboard Magazine’s 21st most successful artist to date, Anka’s long list of chart-topping hits include the “My Way,” “Diana,”“(You’re) Having My Baby,” “You Are My Destiny” and “The Tonight Show Theme,” among many others.
“We are so proud to officially open the doors to The Performing Arts Center in such a spectacular way,” said AUSD Superintendent Joel Shawn of the opening night festivities that honors the vast significance of the arts. “This will undoubtedly be a history-making moment for the district, the students, attendees and community as a whole. Having Paul Anka perform on our stage is such an honor and the opportunity to share the experience firsthand with some of our students who will accompany him during a portion of the concert, is beyond exciting and inspirational.”
Located on the Arcadia High School campus, the Performing Arts Center was designed to benefit Arcadia students and the San Gabriel Valley as a whole. The modern glass and brick architectural center serves as an inclusive hub for all of the performing arts.
Among its many distinctions, the Performing Arts Center boasts a performance stage that accommodates 200 musicians, variable acoustics and orchestral shells and professional lighting and sound systems. There is also an additional Black Box theater with a separate control room and flexible seating that can host 125 guests. The sound attenuated orchestra room contains instrument storage, practice rooms and a music library.
A professional dance studio with sprung wood floors is also housed in the Performing Arts Center as are comfortable dressing rooms, scene prop and costume storage space, back of the house stage crafts areas and a concessions booth. The superstructure is further adorned with a dramatic internal courtyard, lobby and outdoor pavilion areas.
“Our students are talented and work hard, and they deserve to perform in a facility that reflects their level of musicianship,” continued Pin Chen, who has served as Orchestra Director at AHS for the past three years along with veteran Orchestra Director Thomas J. Forbes, who is in his 33rd year of teaching music in the Arcadia Unified School District. Over the years at Arcadia High School, we have been blessed to have fantastic students and they have been rewarded with a facility that we all can enjoy and be proud of everyday.”
“In the past we would have to rent other facilities and take buses to our concerts and performances. Having a facility like this on campus allows us to do more collaborative performances with the entire Performing Arts Department,” added Forbes, a product of the Arcadia School system and longtime employee of AUSD. “It is always a thrill to perform with the Dance, Choral or Drama Departments on the same program. It will also be possible to do exchange concerts with other high schools and colleges.”
Rick England, Choral Director and former Orchestra Director echoes “This is my 19th year in AUSD as a Music Teacher and we have always had to travel to other locations and rent facilities from other high schools. It is very exciting to have The Performing Arts Center here. We are looking forward to hosting regional concerts and choral competitions.”
The schedule of opening weekend activities Oct. 18-20:
Oct 18 – 4:30 p.m.: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
6:30 p.m.: AHS Student Showcase
Oct. 19 – 6:30 p.m.: First Avenue, Baldwin Stocker, Holly Avenue Elementary Schools Student Showcase
Oct. 20 – 2:30 p.m.: Dana Middle School, and Camino Grove and Longley Way Elementary Schools Student Showcase.
6:30 p.m.: Foothills Middle School, and Highland Oaks and Hugo Reid Student Showcase
– By Scott Hettrick