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Santa Clarita Symphony To Perform Free Concert


Has dinner and a movie gotten a little too pricey these days? 

How about a movie and a concert, free and family friendly. That’s exactly what you will get on Tonight, February 23, at 7 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center. A six-piece ensemble comprised of members of our own Santa Clarita Symphony will perform live to Mary Pickford’s silent film, “Daddy Long Legs.”

“We are thrilled to have been able to partner with College of the Canyons and the Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education (MPI) to bring this fantastic family event to the community,” said Symphony Marketing Director John Dow. “Audiences will be able to experience how movies were viewed 90 years ago.”

Dow noted that there is more music, than traditional orchestral concerts. Many symphonic concerts contain about 70 to 75 minutes worth of music after stops, breaks, and intermission. At Tuesday’s event, there will be 87 minutes of continuous music because the musicians are performing live to a film. The music, composed by Maria Newman, will be directed by guest conductor Hugh Munro Neely.

Mary Pickford produced and starred in the 1919 film as Judy Abbott, an orphan whose college education is paid for by an anonymous trustee she knows only as “Daddy-Long-Legs.” The comic gem was one of Pickford’s greatest successes upon its original release.

“This event is a terrific opportunity for families, including children, to see wonderful and very accessible examples of two very special art forms: the classic art of silent film and contemporary classical music,” said guest conductor Hugh Munro Neely. ” Seen and heard together, they form an unforgettable experience. The Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education is especially proud to partner on this project with our composer-in-residence, Maria Newman”

Mary Pickford (1892-1979), known as “America’s Sweetheart,” was one of the first super-stars of early films. Her movies, both comedy and drama, were loved by legions of fans, and by the age of 23 she was generally acknowledged to be the most famous woman in the world. A film actress from 1909, she began producing her own pictures in 1919, with “Daddy-Long-Legs.”

Shortly thereafter she became one of the four original founders of United Artists, along with her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks. She and Fairbanks were also founding members of the Academy. One of the most popular stars throughout the silent film era, she earned an Academy Award for “Coquette” (1928), her first talking picture. The following year Pickford and Fairbanks appeared together in the first sound film based on Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew” (1929). Mary Pickford retired from screen work in 1933 after her fourth “talkie.” She continued to produce films until 1948, and thereafter devoted most of her time to charity. Her most beloved films include: “Tess of the Storm Country” (1914), “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” (1917), “Pollyanna” (1920), “My Best Girl” (1927), and of course, “Daddy-Long-Legs.”

Admission to the movie is free. No tickets are required and seating is first-come, first-serve. The  Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center is located at  26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia CA  91355. For more information visit


Santa Clarita Symphony To Perform Free Concert

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