News

Elementary Bands End-of-Year Concert Impressive

On May 23rd in the El Segundo Performing Arts Center, those in the audience were amazed at the progress the Elementary Bands displayed under the direction of Edie Rice and Heather Ukrisna.

The individual students when playing their solos and duets were poised and it was a delight to see their smiling faces.

Many of the young musicians will be participating in the South Bay Music Symposium in July.

Jack Bartholomew, Jarrett Sorbello, Zachary Cumming, and Zane Brock perform in a trombone quartet

Braden Jones performs a trumpet solo

Local El Segundo Music Teacher Nominated for Grammy Music Educators Award

After receiving 2,800 initial nominations to receive the 2019 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, one of El Segundo’s own Elementary Music teachers has been chosen as a quarter finalist. Proud, excited and honored, Heather Breene-Ukrisna is among the remaining group of 188 teachers from 177 cities. Finalists will receive Cash Honorariums, with generous support and resources provided by Ford Motor Company Fund.

In 2013, Heather Breene moved from New York City to Los Angeles where she started teaching elementary general music and band with LAUSD. She became the co-director of the elementary band programs in the El Segundo Unified School District, as well as the flute teaching artist for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. She now calls the El Segundo Unified School District her full-time home where she is the music teacher at Richmond Street School and the Kindergarten Music Teacher at Center Street School. Heather also works with the South Bay Music Association in their after-school music programs and Summer Symposium. Heather Breene is now Heather Ukrisna after her marriage in 2017.

Recently seen conducting her Elementary Bands at their concert on Wednesday, May 23rd the audience was amazed at the musical talents and poise her young students displayed during their outstanding performance. El Segundo wishes Heather the best of luck and appreciates her commitment and participation in our town.

Edie Rice introducing the Advanced Elementary Band



Heather Ukrisna with students from the Beginning Elementary Band

El Segundo Music Stars Concert Huge Success

Elementary Band and Seaside Strings Play

At the El Segundo Performing Arts Center the enthusiasm was high as parents, relatives, friends and neighbors attended a wonderful performance by many of the young musicians in our schools. On Thursday evening, January 25th at 7 PM the sponsorship of the Elementary Band by the South Bay Music Association and the Seaside Strings by the ED Foundation proved to be greatly appreciated evidenced by the smiles and cheers of the audience, many seeing their children playing their instruments on stage for the first time.

The lack of state funding of music instruction in schools requires outside sources to raise the funds for the teachers and expenses needed to keep the music playing. Edie Rice and Heather Ukrisna were so proud of their Band Students as were Makena Clark and Kerri Epps teachers of the wonderful musical Strings Orchestra.

Both non-profit organizations, the ED Foundation and the South Bay Music Association depend on donations to continue their efforts often with after-school programs. It has been well-known and proven by statistics that students who play instruments are high achievers in school and have a greater love of learning.

Elementary Bands at Holiday Parade

Holiday Parade Down Main St El Segundo

The El Segundo Elementary Bands participated in the Annual El Segundo Holiday Parade down Main Street on Sunday, December 10th. The students' performed "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" for the judges booth and "Go Big Blue" to pump up the attendants spirits!