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Annual Student Concert Set for Week's End

The 63rd Annual "Stairway of the Stars" concert will feature 26 bands, orchestras and choirs. Chandra Narain will receive the 2012 Stairway Honor Award.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will present the 63rd Annual Stairway of the Stars concert at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The event is designed to highlight music students within the district, as well as teachers and the music curriculum. 

This year's show will feature 26 bands, orchestras, and choirs. About 1,000 student performers will be involved in the event, and serving as guest conductor for the event will be Tom Cole. 

Tom Cole has acted as a music educator since 1975 before retiring from Rancho Bernardo High School in June of 2010. He has had groups perform at several events across the world during his time as a conductor, including at the World Youth Music Festival in Geneva, Switzerland in 1985, a cultural and musical exchange in Japan in 1989, and the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1984, 1988, 1994, and 2001.

In 1988, Cole received the Honorary Life Time Achievement Award from the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, and in 2007, Cole was honored with the California Band Directors Association Lifetime Achievement award.

In addition to the concert, Chandra Narain will receive the 2012 Stairway Honor Award for her enormous contribution to the advancement of music and arts education in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district.

Her services spans 23 years, namely in support of the district’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. She currently works in Education Services as an administrative assistant specializing in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. 

Ensembles at this year's version of the annual concert will include the all-district elementary honor orchestra, choir, and band; the high school jazz ensemble; and middle and high school orchestras, choirs, and bands.

Musical selections will include renditions of “Shenandoah,” “Symphonic Dances, Mvt. 5, Belly Dance,” “Capriccio Espagnal,” and “Sing, Sang, Sung.”

Elementary honor groups, along with middle school and high school bands, and the jazz band, will perform Thursday and Friday evening. 

Middle school and high school choirs will perform Friday night, and middle school and high school orchestras will perform on Thursday night. 

Ticket sales to the general public begin 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Civic Center Box Office, and again at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15.

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