From a little town in California” to Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium

From a little town in California” to Hollywood Bowl and Dodger StadiumBruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts from his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review. From a “Tiny, Teeny-Weeny, Little Town in California” to the Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium

On October 3, 2021 in Dodger Stadium, the National Anthem will be performed by Anne Akiko Meyers. She won’t sing it. She will play it on the Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin. “The Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin is older than the United States of America – 273 years old to be exact. It recently became the most expensive violin in the world, selling for an estimated $16 million. It’s new owner anonymously donated the historic instrument to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, on loan for the rest of her life.” (NPR March 7, 2014)

Before receiving the Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin (now 280 years old), Anne Meyers toured with the 1730 Royal Spanish Stradivarius and the Molitar, a 1697 Stradivarius. In her recording of Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, she plays both parts, one part on the Molitar and one part on the Royal Spanish. (Wikipedia)

Like LA Laker Kurt Rambis, Ann Akiko Meyers did not graduate from Burroughs, but like Kurt she attended grade school locally. Her father, Dr. Richard Meyers, was president of Cerro Coso Community College from 1975 to 1978. The Meyers lived next door to Howard and Barbara Auld on Mamie Street. When I would go into my parent’s backyard, I would be greeted by their Tosa (Japanese Mastiff) dog’s enormous paws and head on top of the block wall, looking for a friendly scratch. A very large, yet very a sweet dog.

In the fall of 1972, the Indian Wells Valley School District was overcrowded resulting in four first grade classes conducted on double sessions. Located on the James Monroe campus, a morning and an afternoon class sharing the same room. By January of 1973, the district converted the libraries at Faller and Las Flores into team teaching classrooms, two teachers and sixty students. Soon thereafter, these classes became team teaching and first and second grade combination classes. I was thinking that Anne attended first and second grade at Las Flores with teachers Maria Morris and Kathy Silva, but I wasn’t sure. Erica Freeman Legg (BHS 1988) came to my rescue, confirming that both she and Anne were classmates for two years. Had Anne remained in Ridgecrest to graduate from Burroughs, she would have been in the class of 1988. Erica and her family attended Anne’s concert at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena a few years ago.

“Meyer’s parents met in Tokyo, where her father, a music major, taught English. She started taking violin lessons at the age four in a ‘tiny, teeny-weeny, little town in California (Ridgecrest). Her mother was tremendously influential in introducing the Suzuki Method…to the music teachers in the area. Meyers’ first violin teacher, Shirley Helmick, taught her to read notes instead of learning solely by memorization. I was very fortunate to read music from day one. At 14 she and her mother and her sister moved to New York so she could begin taking lessons at the Juilliard Pre-College Division with the preeminent Dorothy DeLay. Anne made her first recording at age 18 through Abbey Road studios in London.” (Anne’s website)

On a blind date in New York, Anne met Jason Subotky. Jason earned a degree in piano from the University of Southern California (USC), yet was working as a financier with Yacktman Asset Management. Anne and Jason have two daughters, Natalie and Andie. They reside in the Pacific Palisades community of Riviera.” (Excerpted from Austin Woman, May 1, 2015)

Anne was the top-selling classical instrumentalist of 2014 on Billboard’s traditional classical charts. She recently commissioned a concerto from Arturo Marquez, a composer who utilizes the styles and idioms of his native Mexico. Together, they have created a new concerto for violin and orchestra called “Fandango.” Marquez grew up with the sounds of mariachi. His father was a violinist with a mariachi ensemble. Featuring Anne Meyers, the concerto was premiered at the Hollywood Bowl on August 24, 2021. (Kristopher Gee, Spectrum News 1)

“In Marquez’s concerto, he allows Meyers to revel in her virtuosity. He writes melodies that sound old and worth keeping. Dance rhythms do what they’re supposed to, making feet tap and nerves tingle. The orchestra is well used. If the score lacks originality, it never, in its nearly 35 minutes, lets the listener down. That may translate into a dance-driven concerto having legs.” (Mark Swed, Classical Music Critic, Los Angeles Times)

Anne appeared on the Johnny Carson Show on July 22, 1981 at age eleven, leading the Angels Ensemble of California. (Google it!)

I plan to be in Dodger Stadium on October third. Twenty years ago, the Burroughs baseball team was in Dodger Stadium in the state finals. That anniversary story is in the making, yet a few weeks away.

Courtesy photo: Anne Meyers toured with the 1730 Royal Spanish Stradivarius and the Molitar, a 1697 Stradivarius (now 280 years old).

Story First Published: 2021-09-10