Monday, October 20, 2014

LA Opera Talk Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas

Sunday, November 16, 2:00 p.m.

A steamboat passage through the fabled rainforest becomes a mystical voyage of discovery, each passenger harboring secret hopes of what the trip will bring. Among them, a famous prima donna hopes to recapture the great love of her life. Reality and fantasy intertwine as the dangerous splendors of the Amazon test the travelers’ preconceptions of their hopes and dreams. The Los Angeles Opera Production of Florencia en el Amazonas features the sensational Chilean soprano Verónica Villarroel as Florencia, along with soprano Lisette Oropesa. A ravishingly beautiful score by the late Daniel Catán, the beloved composer of Il Postino, shimmers with passionate melodies and sumptuous orchestrations reminiscent of Puccini and Debussy. Inspired by the writings of Gabriel García Márquez, Florencia en el Amazonas paints an intoxicating portrait of the transformative nature of love.

LA Opera Community Educator STEVE KOHN will present a free audio-visual presentation on this dazzling opera on Sunday, November 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community Room. Steve fondly recalls his first opera when he was a college freshman: Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, and it was “love at first hear.” His enthusiasm and devotion to Los Angeles Opera has been growing for over fifteen years: he is a charter subscriber and a member of the Board of the Opera League as well as being a Community Educator. Steve is a retired professional from the sports marketing world who chooses to spend his leisure time enlightening one and all about this beautiful art form.

Opera is not just magnificent music, dance and theater with astounding sets on a beautiful stage. An opera can sweep you away to foreign lands, take you back in time, dazzle you with pageantry and bring history to life. It is literature, social studies, cultural diversity, multiple languages and most of all, it is exciting! Come explore the world of opera through LA Opera’s education programs. Opera has something for everyone. The program is free and open to all opera aficionados and first timers. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Helping Hands for Hand-Held Devices

Monday, November 3, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 8, 2:00 pm

Electronically savvy students from San Marino High School will be available on Monday night, November 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again on Saturday afternoon, November 8 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Crowell Public Library’s Thornton Room to help people figure out how to use their hand-held devices. People can sign up for either of the free sessions. Many people have iPods, Androids, tablets, iPhones, and other gadgets these days, but can’t figure out all of the features. The teen volunteers are familiar with many of the concepts behind these devices, so even if they haven’t used a particular device, they may be able to help a person figure out what to do. The Los Angeles Times covered a previous session earlier this year and posted a story about it at
If you are frustrated with online and telephone support options, come to Crowell Library and work with a living, breathing techie that will help you “bond” with your device. There’s nothing like one-on-one assistance to help solve problems and tackle sticky widgets. Crowell Library thanks Alice Computerworks, a store offering computer sales and services in San Marino, for providing light refreshments to fuel the young volunteers and provide a friendly environment for those attending.
To reserve your spot for this program and spend time getting a better understanding of your device, please call 626-300-0777, extension 579 as soon as possible. There are a limited number of teen volunteers, so slots will fill quickly.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Friends of Crowell Public Library Meet the Authors Series: Susan Rosvall: Silence is Broken

Wednesday November 5th 7:00 p.m.

The Friends of Crowell Public Library’s Meet the Authors series continues with Susan Rosvall, whose first novel, Silence is Broken, is about a naïve young private on a howitzer crew at Phu Loi base camp, Vietnam circa 1966. There he encounters an illiterate Klansman from rural Alabama who launches a series of increasingly homicidal attacks against him. The Private gains respect among the men when he confronts his nemesis and emerges a true hero during an attack where he saves the lives of eighty men. Swirling with local color and hard facts, the novel reveals a compelling story of survival, growth, and heroism, grounded in the history of the times. Silence is Broken is about self-reliance and personal courage, the metamorphic qualities of war and the healing power of empathy. At the broadest and most universal level, it’s about informed citizenship and the just use of deadly force. Learn some fascinating insights into this amazing story direct from the author on Wednesday November 5th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Barth Community Room.

Since 1998, Susan Rosvall has taught English Composition at California State University, Los Angeles. Over the past several years, she has developed a theme-based course on just war theory. Recently, she has traveled to Vietnam and the Southern United States, where she researched the Vietnam Conflict and the American Civil Rights Movement, respectively. Ms. Rosvall received a B.A. in English from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.S. in Education from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. in TESOL (linguistics) from California State University, Los Angeles. She is the mother of three and resides in San Marino with her husband.

This event is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. With wonderful Friends like these, the authors keep coming at Crowell Public Library!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

LA Opera Talk Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas Sunday, October 26, 2:00 p.m.

In baroque composer Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, an intimately scaled tragedy, a queen falls prey to the machinations of a formidable enemy, losing her heart to a man who abruptly abandons her. It is England’s oldest opera (yes, in English!) and a classic tragedy based on Virgil’s Aeneid. Dido and Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works and it was also his first opera, and his only all-sung dramatic work. The music has been long renowned for its splendid beauty. LA Opera Community Educator SEAN MUHLSTEIN will present the background on this stunning work in the Barth Community Room, Sunday, October 26th at 2:00 p.m. Sean is also a board member of the Opera League of Los Angeles and is eager to share his expertise with one and all.

Opera is not just magnificent music, dance and theater with astounding sets on a beautiful stage. An opera can sweep you away to foreign lands, take you back in time, dazzle you with pageantry and bring history to life. It is literature, social studies, cultural diversity, multiple languages and most of all, it is exciting! Come explore the world of opera through LA Opera’s education programs. Opera has something for everyone.

The program is free and open to all opera aficionados and first timers. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meditation for Memory & Brain Functioning

Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m.

In this workshop, a meditation technique from the Kundalini Yoga tradition called Kirtan Kriya will be explored. Practicing this technique just twelve minutes a day has been shown to not only improve health and well-being: studies suggest that it can also lead to a reduction in cellular aging (1) and that it increases brain activity in areas central to memory and improves cognition and well-being in patients with memory loss (2). This meditation technique increases activity in areas of the brain which are central to memory and which are the first to decrease in function when a person develops Alzheimer's disease. The studies also suggest that it could be "possible, therefore, that if everyone did Kirtan Kriya...on a regular basis, the number of people who develop Alzheimer's would diminish." (3)

This technique can be done seated in a chair, lying down, or seated on a mat or cushion. No prior meditation or yoga experience or any level of flexibility or fitness is needed. Attendees will do a few gentle stretches, discuss the technique and its origins, and then practice together. Yogi tea will be offered after practice.

This workshop will last an hour and thirty minutes and will be facilitated by CECILIA REARDON, Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, who is certified by the Kundalini Research Institute. Participants will be seated in chairs, but if they wish to sit on mats on the floor, they are welcome to and should bring their own mat or cushion.

You won't want to miss this free workshop at Crowell Library Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer

with author Mark Knowles
Sunday October 12th 2:00 p.m.

Choreographer Alex Romero created Jailhouse Rock, the iconic Elvis Presley production number, but never received screen credit for his contribution. MARK KNOWLES, who traced the history of tap dancing in his acclaimed book, Tap Roots, has written a lively book on Romero which he will discuss at Crowell Library on October 12 at 2:00 p.m. Known for his inventive style and creative use of props, Alex Romero was instrumental in bringing rock and roll to the screen. Knowles’ biography includes first-person accounts of Romero’s collaborations with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and others.

The son of a Mexican general, Romero escaped the Mexican Revolution, joined his family's vaudeville dance act and became a dancer in Hollywood. Part of Jack Cole's exclusive Columbia dance troupe, he was eventually hired as a staff assistant at MGM, where he worked on Take Me Out to the Ballgame, American in Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and On the Town, among many others. When Romero transitioned into full-time choreography, he created the dances for numerous films, including Love Me or Leave Me, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Tom Thumb, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and additional movies for Elvis.

Mark Knowles has directed and/or choreographed over 300 productions nationally and internationally, from Buenos Aires to Broadway, as well as innumerable film and television productions. Locally, he has taught dance at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, La Salle High School, Occidental College and UC Irvine. Mr. Knowles is the author of four books, The Tap Dance Dictionary, Tap Roots: The Early History of Tap Dancing,(winner of the American Library Association’s Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Text), and The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Brass Quartet in concert

Thursday, October 9th, 7:00 p.m.

Come to Crowell Library for a night of fabulous music from the Brass Quartet led by San Marino Music Center instructor, Kory McMaster. The program will feature both classical and modern works, from Bach to Holst and even film scores such as "How to Train Your Dragon." The San Marino Brass Quartet consists of Kory McMaster and Michelle Lane on trumpets, Nolan Markey on French horn, and Julius Lopez on trombone. The concert will delight audience members of all ages. The concert is sponsored by the San Marino Music Center and the Friends of Crowell Public Library. No reservations are necessary, but seating is limited for this very popular series.

Kory McMaster is a freelance musician, film composer, and orchestrator. He graduated with a B.M. in Music Composition from Azusa Pacific University where he studied with renowned trumpet instructor Robert Slack. Kory currently works as an orchestrator at Sparks and Shadows under television composer Bear McCreary working on shows such as The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, and Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Kory is incredibly passionate about teaching, striving to provide his students with the same opportunities that his instructors provided for him.

Michelle Lane (trumpet) has toured much of the US and currently plays in the house band for the late night talk show “Noches Con Plantanito.” Michelle has performed at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, and the Grove and Americana in Los Angeles. She also studied with Robert Slack at Azusa Pacific University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial trumpet performance and was offered a full scholarship from Azusa Pacific to pursue a Master’s Degree. Michelle also teaches master classes at various high schools.

Nolan Markey (French horn) began studying piano at the age of five, but was absolutely terrible at it and decided to pursue trumpet instead. Later he added French horn to his musical palette and has been playing ever since. Nolan is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Music Composition at California State University, Northridge and frequently works as a copyist and composer. For the last several years, he has served as the staff brass instructor at Pete Knight High School in Palmdale, California.
Julius Lopez began playing trombone in ninth grade. He was a nursing student at Cal State Fullerton, but was coaxed by Robert Slack to attend Citrus College and pursue music. He eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Azusa Pacific University. As a trombonist Julius has performed throughout the United States. He has played at venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Catalina Jazz Club, Newport Jazz Festival, and has backed up artists such as Rob Reiner, Sammy Nestico, Marc Shaiman, Scott Whitfield, and Dale Kristien.

You won’t want to miss this evening of free music at Crowell Library. Light refreshments will be served.