Young Marin musicians performed for an enthusiastic full house Thursday night in the second IJ Lobby Lounge Live show at Marin Center’s Showcase Theater.
Hosted by IJ entertainment writer Paul Liberatore, the concert capped the second season of the IJ’s Lobby Lounge video concert series for Marin middle and high school students.
“Our intent with Lobby Lounge has been to put a spotlight on Marin’s talented young musicians by posting their music online and showcasing them in the paper,” said IJ Editor Robert Sterling. “But these live shows have added a whole new dimension to our efforts. It’s truly gratifying to see these remarkable kids recognized on the big stage. It was a great evening.”
The show is an award-winning partnership between the Marin Independent Journal and Marin County’s Department of Cultural and Visitor Services.
“I sat in the audience last night, closed my eyes and was completely transported to a symphony hall, a street corner in Trinidad, a busker in Covent Garden, a dinner club on Long Island,” said Gabriella Calicchio, cultural and visitor services director. “Our young people never cease to inspire and amaze me.”
In the spotlight were student musicians from Marin Academy, West Marin School, Redwood and Sir Francis Drake high schools, San Jose Middle School, Marin Academy, Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM), Davidson Middle School and San Domenico School.
The show opened with a pair of classical pieces by 16-year-old violin soloist Jacob Hershman, a Marin Academy student who is a member of the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra and the San Domenico School Virtuoso Program.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Herzog, a singer-songwriter from Redwood High, sang three of her original songs, including the catchy “Please Forgive Me,” accompanied by her uncle, Craig Herzog, on acoustic guitar.
Point Reyes Station sent us West Marin Kids Who Rock, a band of eighth-graders from West Marin School. Their set included “Nitty Gritty,” a song they learned from the band Southern Culture on the Skids. After Southern Culture posted the Kids’ Lobby Lounge video of their song on their Facebook page, it got more than 8,200 views on YouTube.
Free Wifi, a seven-piece combo from San Jose Middle School in Novato, wowed the crowd with their sophisticated jazz, including Snarky Puppy’s “Lingus.” Why do they call themselves Free Wifi? “Because everybody loves free Wi-Fi,” they announced from the stage.
Flute and string ensembles from Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM), founded in 2008 by musician and educator Jane Kramer to bring free music instruction to young people from San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood, performed three crowd-pleasing numbers, including a chamber piece by Haydn and a flute quartet rendition of the “Looney Tunes” cartoon theme.
The Advanced Vocal Ensemble (AVE) from San Domenico School performed an Aboriginal song coupled…