Pictured (left to right) are Youth Center Executive Assistant Julie Rubin and Youth Center Community Relations Laurie Hanson with Nancy and Mario Iacoboni who graciously donated their Wurlitzer spinet piano to The Youth Center.
Courtesy photo

It all started with a donation of a flute and violin, progressing to a friendly neighbor-to-neighbor chat asking what to do with an old piano.

Knowing The Youth Center offers music lessons to all Los Alamitos Unified School District (LAUSD) elementary students, the President of the Seal Beach Philharmonic Committee Louise Dubos called them about donated instruments they had received. The Youth Center’s Executive Director Julie Rubin was contacted, and arranged to have the piano picked up, no small feat since it weighs in at 400 pounds.

Mario and Nancy Iacoboni’s grown children never took up playing the family Wurlitzer spinet piano, so they were looking to donate it to a family who was interested in a piano. By asking their neighbor Dubos if she knew of anyone, they discovered The Youth Center.

The Seal Beach Philharmonic Committee is now asking the community to join in on a musical instrument scavenger hunt to find no-longer-used instruments that individuals might have in their closet, attic or garage. The committee will refurbish, repair and donate these instruments to students in the LAUSD.

The Youth Center plans on donating the instruments to elementary school children in their music program who are on scholarships. The donated piano is now in the main room of The Youth Center available to After School Program children. They are now actively seeking a volunteer to provide piano instruction to the students.

“Music crosses all boundaries whether man-made or natural. It reaches into the soul of us all,” said Nancy Iacoboni. “We wanted to make sure that the piano would go to a good cause, and were especially interested in gifting it directly to an underprivileged school where it would be played by students or to an established charity which distributes musical instruments to those who would not otherwise be able to learn to play music.”

Her husband Mario added, “Music is everything to me. I am literally surrounded by music every day. It can be nourishing, soothing, thought provoking, and a means of transcendence from the mundane.” He said he and Nancy travel for music and see many local events as well.

“We are grateful and elated to have the support of the Seal Beach Philharmonic Committee and local community members like the Iacobonis,” said Rubin. “By partnering with them and others we hope to further music education for children throughout the community.”

The Orange County Philharmonic Society provides youth music education programs that reach 160,000 elementary, middle and high school students annually free of charge. These award–winning programs are made possible to LAUSD students through the members of the Seal Beach Philharmonic Committee. Members volunteer as docents at the music programs and hold fundraisers throughout the year to make these programs possible.

Their various music programs include Music Mobile which introduces 3rd graders to instruments of the orchestra. The Reimbursement Program provides needed funds to school music programs.

Students in the 5th grade are introduced to concerts at Segerstrom Concert Hall. Los Alamitos High School Orchestra students perform in the High School Orchestra Festival at Segerstrom Hall.

This is just one of the programs offered through the Orange County Philharmonic Society.

For more information about how you can donate musical instruments, please contact Virginia Fraser by calling 562-596-8591 or email at [email protected]. For more information about the Orange County Philharmonic Society, please visit online at www.philharmonicsociety.org.

If you are interested in volunteering to provide piano instruction to The Youth Center After School Program students, call 562-493-4043.