Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 22, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, April 22, 2017 

Walking Sierra Madre…The Social Side 

by Deanne Davis

“Laissez les bon temps rouler!”

And the good times did, indeed, ‘rouler’ last 
Thursday at Sierra Madre Elementary’s Spotlight 
Show. Gayle Bluemel invited me to share in the 
good times as the First Graders, about 100 strong of 
them, took us to New Orleans. Ms. Bluemel and her 
husband, Dan, laid down some very cool jazz, she 
on piano, he on bass guitar. The kids were filled with 
Mardi Gras spirit, draped with Mardi Gras beads, 
feathered headbands, straw boaters, some excellent 
white fedoras and assorted t-shirt costumes. 

 This was my second Sierra Madre Elementary 
“Road Trip USA” adventure, having been to 
Nashville with the Second Graders and their guest 
professional musician, Evan Marshall, a few weeks 
ago. I was wowed then and I was wowed again! 
The first graders were joined by guest artist jazz 
cornet-trombone-clarinet player, Corey Gemme. 
Corey is one of Gayle Bluemel’s former students, 
having been in her first 5th grade class ever at 
Washington Elementary in 1973. He is a product 
of several Pasadena schools, including Muir and 
PCC, going on to finish at Cal State LA. Corey is 
a member of about half a dozen groups, including 
The Wabash Wailers, Corey’s Dixiebop Quartet and 
– my favorite – Corey’s Rolling Figs Jazz Orchestra. 
Inspired by the Big Bands radio station his parents 
listened to, he picked up the trumpet at age ten and 
hasn’t stopped playing. He credits early influences 
like Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and all the 
great jazz legends, Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols, 
Harry James, Bunny Berrigan, Bix Beiderbecke, to 
name a few, for his love of jazz.

 Needless to say, when Corey joined the First 
Graders, it was fantastic. They sang “Choo Choo 
Ch’Boogie,” “Come on, lemme show you where it’s 
at....I said the name of the place is I Like It Like 
That!” and so many more. We had a dance break 
parade off the stage, down in front of the audience 
complete with tambourines, fringed umbrellas, 
maracas, triangles, gloves and scarves waving to the 
beat. I tell you, folks, you had to be there!

 The program wound up with “When the Saints 
Go Marching In” and, as we had been given a lesson 
on how to clap for Jazz music, which, in case you 
didn’t know, is on beats 2 and 4 as opposed to 1 
and 3, which is for Country, this went perfectly. 
Corey was more fun than you can imagine, playing 
a different instrument for each song and really 
enjoying the kids, the music, and the moment.

 Lynnanne Hanson Miller, the dance instructor 
for all the schools in the district, who gives classes 
and designs choreography for special events such 
as this, loves working at Sierra Madre Elementary 
as it’s an exceptional school, focusing on positive 
energy and the arts. Miss Emily, the music teacher, 
proved once again that she truly is a force of nature, 
by coaxing some really great singing out of these 
little guys and gals. Think about it: First Graders 
are seven years old! They sang and danced a whole 
lot of exciting music and their stage presence was 
incredible with all eyes on Miss Emily!

 I was delighted to see my friend, Lisa Dunn, one 
of the First Grade teachers, along with Mr. 

Griffiths, Ms. Keck, Mrs. Richey and Mrs. Spigai-
Perez. BUT...the best was yet to come, the Spotlight 
Awards. Principal Lewis called the names of about 
fifty students who were each presented with a 
certificate for achievement in things like: Kindness, 
Friendly Attitude, Cooperation, Increased Work 
Production, Polite-Well Mannered & Fair, Cheerful. 
Yes, there were also awards for math improvement 
and all those other things, but isn’t it wonderful, 
friends and neighbors, to see that kids are rewarded 
for being good citizens, too. 

 You can check out Corey Gemme’s website: where there is information on 
his Rolling Figs Jazz Orchestra CD – Gathering 
No Mold Since 2012 – entitled “Let’s Get Rolling!” 
Who remembers what station it was that played Big 
Band music back in the 1970s? KLAC? KMPC?

 One more thing...You just gotta get to the Sierra 
Madre Playhouse for “Belle of Amherst” before 
it closes on April 23rd. We went last Sunday and 
it was fantastic. Emily Dickinson, portrayed by 
Ferrell Marshall, will touch your heart, and make 
you laugh, too. You don’t want to miss 

My book page: Deanne Davis


“A Tablespoon of Love, A Tablespoon of Laughter” 
is now available at

Sunrise Books + Coffee at Pasadena First Church of 
the Nazarene –

just down the road on Sierra Madre Blvd.

Kindle readers, give yourself the gift of: 

Noah & The Unicorns...A Fanciful Tale! It’s on on my book page!

Follow me on Twitter, too!


The Friends of the Sierra Madre Library are proud to 
announce that the Featured Artist for the 
55th Annual Sierra Madre Art Fair is Karen McLean-

 Karen McLean-McGaw, nationally acclaimed artist 
and Santa Barbara native, has been capturing the 
essence of California and European landscapes for the 
past 30 years with her vibrant and sensitive paintings. 

 Her small format paintings are executed “en plein 
air.” Larger compositions are created in her studio 
utilizing the small plein air paintings as studies 
recording her passion for the color and light of each 
unique landscape. 

 Karen is well known for her sensitive expressive 
watercolor and oil landscapes of California, Hawaii, 
Italy and France where she travels annually teaching 
workshops. She is frequently invited to jury shows and 
demonstrates her painting techniques. In addition 
to major corporate and private collections, her work 
has been featured on magazine covers and has won 
national awards. 

 “My approach to plein air painting is direct. I 
strive to convey the uniqueness of the landscape 
and the feeling of a fleeting moment in time. It may 
be the angle and subtle color of a shadow or the 
reflective mesmerizing qualities of water that grab 
my attention.” 

 Her “Estuary Reflections” watercolor painting will 
appear on all post cards, posters, flyers, and other 
promotional materials. 
This year’s Art Fair is being held in Memorial Park, 
222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd in Sierra Madre, on Saturday, 
May 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 7, 
from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Be sure to stop by Karen’s 
booth (#33) to admire and purchase her inspiring 

 All proceeds from this event help support the Sierra 
Madre Public Library. For more information please 
visit or call 626-



Sierra Madre, CA – April 18, 2017 - Today is the 
last day to submit your Mt Wilson Trail Race 
T-Shirt Design for the Kids Fun Run Training 
Days and Kids Fun Run!! 

 Kids’ Fun Run T-Shirt Design Contest 
Submission Deadline April 18th! Your own 
artwork can be specially featured on the 2017 Mount 
Wilson Trail Race Kids’ Fun Run T-Shirt! Youths 
in Kindergarten – 8th Grade are encouraged to 
submit their artwork for this contest. The winning 
entry will have their artwork displayed on the 
back of the Kids’ Fun Run T-shirt, be recognized 
at the Mount Wilson Trail Race and receive a 
t-shirt along with their design. Participation in 
the contest is absolutely free. Contest application 
and guidelines are available on the City’s Website,, on the Community 
Services Department page or at City Hall located 
at 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Applications are due 
by Tuesday, April 18th at 5:30 p.m. 

 MWTR Kids’ Fun Run Training Days April 29th 
and May 13th Join past MWTR Women’s Race 
Winners, Sharon Pevsner and Jill Liston, as they 
prepare you for the Kids’ Fun Run. Training Days 
will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017 & Saturday, 
May 13, 2017 from at 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 am at Sierra 
Vista Park – Westside, 611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 
Participation in the training days is free for all, 
and participants should bring running shoes and 
water. Learn basic running techniques, complete 
running drills, and take part in a question and 
answer session with the hosts. 

 Kids’ Fun Run May 27th Join the Sierra Madre 
Community Foundation for their 12th Annual 
2017 Mount Wilson Trail Race Kids’ Fun Run. 
This 12-year-old tradition is a free event for youth 
ages 3-12 yrs. The Kids’ Fun Run will begin at 7:45 
a.m. on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Youth will have 
the opportunity to run up and down Baldwin Ave. 
and finish under the same banner as Runners from 
MWTR. Youth 3-6 years of age will run a . mile 
course, while youth 7-12 will run the full mile. All 
participants must sign up and complete waivers 
with a parent or guardian beginning at 7:00 a.m. 
in Kersting Court. First 250 youth to sign up will 
receive a tshirt and a ribbon for their participation! 

For more information on any of the 2017 Mount 
Wilson Trail Race Youth Activities, please 
contact the Community Services Department at 
626.355.5278/ ext. 703 or 704. 

We’d like to hear from you! 

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