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13 Dec

American Youth Symphony visits Dancing Through Parkinson’s

December 13, 2021 @ 9:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Monday, December 13th @ 1:30 PM/Pacific
Location: Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue Venice, CA 90291
Suggested donation $15

It is our extreme pleasure to announce that Dancing Through Parkinson’s community will be visited by the American Youth Symphony. We will have beautiful live music for class, and the DTP Community is excited for this musical event!

Join us at the Electric Lodge on Monday, December 13th at 1:30pm/Pacific to celebrate music and the holidays with us.

All Dancing Through Parkinson’s classes are a suggested donation of $15, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Come and dance!

Musical Program

Tango: Por Una Cabeza (Gardel)
Yesterday (Beatles)
Air from Suite No 3 in D Major (Bach)
Meditation from Thais (Massenet)
Girl with the Flaxen Hair (debussy)
Pachelbel Canon

Featured AYS Artists

Gallia Kastner is a twenty-four year old violinist currently studying with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, California. She commenced her private violin study at five and a half with Betty Haag-Kuhnke and at age 9, she studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago.

Gallia has been the concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony since 2016 and has won numerous local, national, and international competitions, both as a soloist and chamber musician. She is the winner of the Aspen Conducting Academy’s Violin Competition, performing Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2019, the winner of the Dorothy Delay Fellowship for the 2021 Aspen Music Festival, the Cooper International Violin Competition, the Blount Slawson National Concerto Competition in Montgomery, Alabama, the Triennial Johansen International Competition in Washington DC, and most recently the American Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, which included a solo performance with the orchestra in the Fall of 2019. In addition, Gallia was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Scholarship and the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship from The Musicians Club of Women in Chicago.

An avid chamber musician, Gallia is a current member of the Zelter String Quartet. The Zelter String Quartet was recently awarded Gold Prize in the 2021 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition and was invited to the 2021 Aspen Music Festival String Quartet Intensive Seminar, working with the Pacifica, Escher, and American String Quartets. Kastner was a member of the Lumiére String Quartet that won first place at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and she was also the violinist of Trio Solaris, which collaborated with the Trey McIntyre Project at Jacob’s Pillow. Gallia’s broadcast performances include appearances on WFMT 98.7/Introductions, WTTW Channel 11, WGN Channel 9, and a Today Show appearance with Rachel Barton Pine.

Some of Gallia’s performances with orchestras include The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, The Colburn Orchestra, The American Youth Symphony, The Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra in Pennsylvania, The Montgomery Symphony, and many others. Other stage appearances include concerts in Chicago’s Millenium Park, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall and outdoor Pavilion, Lincoln Center, Kloster Schontal and Schwabish Hall Kultursiftung in Germany. She has participated in master classes with Augustin Hadelich, Rachel Barton Pine, Vadim Gluzman, James Ehnes, Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, Ani Kavafian, Ben Beilman, Ilya Kaler, Milan Vitek, Ivry Gitlis, the Cavani Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, the Calder Quartet, the Calidore Quartet, the Dover Quartet, and the Ying Quartet. She has shared the stage with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Gil Shaham, Robert Chen, Jean-Yves Thibauldet, Clive Greensmith, Martin Beaver, Scott St. John, and many others.

Gallia Kastner performs on an 1843 Giovanni Francesco Pressenda Violin on generous loan from the Mandell Collection of Southern California.


Katie Liu – Born and raised in New Jersey, Katie Liu is a Master of Music Candidate at The Colburn School in the studio of Paul Coletti. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University ’20, concentrating in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with certificates in Computer Science and Musical Performance. She picked up the violin at age 5 and the viola in January of 2018 on a whim, instantly falling in love with the instrument.

In her early violin years, she studied with Duoming Ba of the New York Philharmonic, and is an alumna of The Juilliard School Pre-College Division ‘16, where she studied with Masao Kawasaki. She served as concertmaster of the Bravura Youth Orchestra and won numerous competitions, performing extensively and soloing with the Bravura Philharmonic, New Jersey Youth Orchestra, and the Summit Symphony. She was a prizewinner of the National YoungArts Foundation in 2015.

Katie made her solo viola debut in 2019 with the Princeton University Orchestra as a winner of the Princeton University Concerto Competition and toured with Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand in his Beethoven Safari tour in August 2019. In her time at Princeton, she performed with both the Richardson Chamber Players and the New York Piano Society as a guest artist and has held principal positions on both instruments in the Princeton University Orchestra. She studied with Eric Wyrick on both violin and viola, and was an active member of Opus, the campus chamber group. Aside from her musical pursuits, Katie has also had summer working experiences in asset management, and wrote her senior thesis on the intersection of classical music recognition techniques, machine learning, and neural networks.

She is currently the Principal Violist of the American Youth Symphony for its upcoming seasons, and previously attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar in December of 2020. In the summer of 2021, Katie will attend the Gstaad Menuhin Festival String Academy and work in FinTech consulting.


Alison Mills, 21, began playing the violin at the age of three, and has demonstrated a passion for the instrument throughout her life. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, her past teachers include Julie Coleman of the Oregon Symphony and retired Oregon Symphony violinist Kathryn Gray. Ali was a violinist with the Portland Youth Philharmonic for 5 years, serving as concertmaster for the orchestra’s 2017-2018 season. In summer 2017, Ali attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, MA. There, she performed in several orchestral and chamber concerts, as well as playing in masterclasses with renowned artists.

Currently, Ali studies violin performance at the Biola University Conservatory of Music under Myroslava Khomik. During her years of undergraduate studies, she plans to continue pursuing violin performance, as well as playing professionally around the area and teaching private lessons. Her summers have included working full-time as a teacher, and in the summer of 2021, she attended the National Orchestral Institute + Festival held in Washington, D.C. Her future plans include attending graduate school for violin performance, and continuing to pursue a career as an orchestral violinist.


Alexander Mansour is a composer, pianist, and cellist from Los Angeles California. His music is fascinated with the lyricism of romantic expression, dramatic juxtaposition of disparate harmonies, and dynamic narrative structures.

As a composer, Alex is passionate about writing for both the concert hall and the screen. He is currently writing a new orchestral work, Spark, to be premiered by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in spring of 2021. Alex is also composing a string quartet, Memory Lane, for reading by the Aizuri Quartet. His chamber music has been performed at the Bowdoin and Atlantic Music Festivals. He was invited to premier a new commission at the Yale School of Music (2020) for the Norfolk New Music Festival. A recent orchestral work Fantasy Noir was premiered by USC’s Thornton Symphony in February 2020, and was recently announced as a finalist for the American Prize. A prior orchestral work Across the Sea was commissioned and performed by the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra in 2018. Alex currently serves as inaugural creative/composer fellow with the American Youth Symphony.

His music for media has been featured on NBC Broadcasts and Netflix original content. Most recently, he scored a documentary for director Robert Weide, VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME – distributed this fall 2021 by IFC Films. He also scored an AFI Feature Documentary selection, “Hesburgh”, which just finished its theatrical distribution. He is currently scoring a second feature with director Patrick Creadon. Over the years, he has been recognized four times as an ASCAP Finalist in the Morton Gould Young Composer Competition and the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. Alex just graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music with a Masters in Music Composition, where he studied with Professor Donald Crockett. He previously studied with John Liberatore at the University of Notre Dame, where he double majored in cello performance and film studies.

As a pianist, Alex arranged and played for Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas album, performing with him at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2018. He attended the 2019 BANFF International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, a program helmed by Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey and was the pianist of the USC Jazz Honors Combo 2019-2020. As a cellist, Alex serves as principal of American Youth Symphony, and has joined the New York String Orchestra Seminar for their Christmas concerts at Carnegie Hall. He has also appeared on NPR’s “From the Top”. He has studied with Katinka Kleijn (CSO) and during an exchange in London, Richard Lester (Royal College of Music).

Alex would like to thank his teachers and especially his family for their love and support. He is very proud to be able to share his music with others, and is very appreciative of everyone who has helped him learn and progress through his studies.


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Date: December 13, 2021 @ 9:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Time: 9:30 pm - 10:30 pm