Occidental-Caltech Symphony Concert benefits Union Station Foundation.

On Saturday, April 1, 2006, over 450 guests gathered at All Saints Church in Pasadena to experience “A Celebration for Union Station” presented by the Occidental-Caltech Symphony. It was an exciting and enjoyable evening of music to benefit the expanding programs and services for homeless women at Union Station Foundation. Under the direction of Allen Robert Gross and featuring internationally-acclaimed Israeli pianist Rina Dokshitsky, the concert raised over $20,000 to support expanding services for homeless women at Union Station.

This was the first community benefit concert by the Occidental-Caltech Symphony. Coinciding with Caltech’s annual “Make a Difference” Day and Occidental College’s commitment to community service, these wonderful young people gave the gift of music by donating their energies to Union Station, ensuring that proceeds from the event will provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and hope for those seeking permanent escape from life on the streets. “The orchestra was thrilled to be able to do this concert”, said Maestro Gross. “The players felt that they were doing something special and important for the community, and really enjoyed playing for a new audience.” The concert has even inspired one of his Occidental students to plan a similar event with his band in his home in the East Bay. For more information please contact Kandy Nunn at (626) 240-4559 or visit our website at www.unionstationhs.org.

Background: Union Station Foundation is a community-based, non-denominational, non-profit social service agency serving Pasadena and the West San Gabriel Valley. Our mission is to provide homeless and poor men, women and families with the means to transform their lives so they can become productive, stable and self-supporting. We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual and strive to provide the highest quality of services based on a foundation of respect for all people. To accomplish our mission, we operate a 36-bed adult shelter, a 50-bed family shelter, a 14-unit transitional housing facility for families, an intake and assessment center, and a career development program. Our professional staff, along with over 500 community volunteers, provides a wide array of supportive services to residents and clients. We serve more than 155,000 meals each year to the homeless and hungry. All programs and services are provided free of charge.

Rina Dokshitsky is an award-winning pianist of extraordinary stature. Since her international debut with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 13, she has been mesmerizing audiences in Asia, Europe and the United States with her artistry. She has performed with every major orchestra in Israel, and her solo recital engagements have included performances in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. In chamber music, she has collaborated with the most distinguished artists of our time, and is frequently invited to perform at the world’s leading chamber music festivals. Her recent appearance with the Santa Monica Symphony was greeted with thunderous ovations.

In existence for more than 30 years, the Occidental-Caltech Symphony brings together the extraordinarily gifted students from Occidental College and the California Institute of Technology who share a passion for making music on the highest level. The musical richness of our community is further enhanced in this orchestra by staff members from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other community musicians. The orchestra has premiered compositions by local composers as well as bringing vibrancy and dedicated intensity to the standard orchestra repertoire. Its performances on the Occidental and Caltech campuses attract a loyal and enthusiastic following.

Celebration for Union Station Benefit Committee: Shirley Cohen, Karen Gross (chair), Patricia Kirkish, Barbara Madden, Gerry Puhara, Carol Selkin, Betsey W. Tyler.

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