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Songs of Celebration, Hope and Life May 25, 2013 7pm Encino, CA

Location: California, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Voicing: Mixed

Special recognition will be given to San Fernando Valley hometown heroes who have given their lives for others.  From fallen first responders to living non-profit advocates, the ceremony, "Songs of Celebration, Hope and Life", is a tribute to those whose lives have made a significant impact on others.  Award-winning Valley Harmony Singers will be joined on Saturday, May 25 at First Presbyterian Church in Encino by performing arts groups from throughout the Valley. Congressman Brad Sherman and Supervisor Zev Yarovslasky will present the honorees with certificates of recognition.

The event will start at 7 pm with a Color Guard from Crescenta Valley High School. Performing groups include Valley Beth Shalom, Vocal Percussion Radio from Cal State University, Northridge; Barbershop Harmony Society quartets Oddly Enuf, Usual Suspects, and Four Octaves; and Sweet Adelines quartets Invitation and Sirens, International Region 11 Quartet Champions of 2009 & 2010.  

Members of the military will be honored in song with the singing of an Armed Forces Medley. A grand finale will be performed with a mass choir consisting of all the performing groups and members from the First Presbyterian Church, Encino, choir.  

Working with several organizations, nominations came from throughout the Valley. "Choosing whom to honor was actually very easy," says Tim Salaver, Event Producer and VP, Chapter Development.  "The organizations nominated by the community are providing services and resources to the community that bring a better quality of life to the San Fernando Valley.  When you're saving and transforming lives that makes you a hero."  The organizations being honored are Dr. Lois Lee, Founder and President, of Children of the Night; MIa St. John, Founder and President, Mia St. John Foundation, Donna Deutchman, CEO, Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys; and Denise Badreau, President; Rabbi Yosef Cunin, Executive Director; and Susan Blauner, Director of Operations, of Saving Lives Drug and Alcohol Coalition.

The Valley Harmony Singers moved to Encino in February 2013 to accentuate its connection to the community.  Formerly known as the Valleyaires, the chorus has been a performing arts icon in the Valley since 1959.  "We are proud to honor these heroes who have gone far above and beyond their duties." says Bruce Poehlman, VHS President. "The fallen and living first responders and military heroes have not only given us our lives, but hope for the future of our community."

The fallen heroes to be recognized are from the Los Angeles Police, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Los Angeles Fire Department.  In addition, we will be honoring military from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and 9/11.  The chorus will also be honoring member John Wright, a British and French WWII veteran who received the Purple Heart; member Frank Wilken, a WWII POW and Veteran, and Patty Taylor, a Vietnam War MASH Nurse who is a member of Operation Mend at UCLA. In addition, the event will be honoring community leaders and advocates, David Hernandez who has spent over 20 years serving the San Fernando community, and Steve Martinez, a former gang member who has advocated peace in the community after being shot by a gang member.

Congressman Brad Sherman and Supervisor Zev Yarovslavsky are presenting the Hometown Heroes with Certificates of Recognition.  Hometown Heroes nominations came from throughout San Fernando Valley.  The recognition has been overwhelming to the honorees.  The community is asked to attend to support these heroes and their dedication to increasing the quality of life for everyone.

Tickets can be purchased at  For more information, please contact the Valley Harmony Singers at 818-994-7464. To learn more about the individuals and organizations being honored, go to the

The Fallen Hometown Heroes being honored are as follows:  

LA County Sheriff’s Department-Deputy Brandan Garrett Hinkle, Deputy Hagop Jake Kuredjian, Deputy David William March, Deputy David Alan Powell, Deputy Stephen Douglas Sorensen,Deputy Michael Richard Arruda, Deputy James Phillip Tutino, Deputy Jerry Ortiz, Deputy Pierre Walter Bain, Deputy Maria Cecilia Rosa, Deputy David Stan Piquette, Deputy Raul V. Gama, Deputy Juan A. Escalante, Deputy Randy Jay Hamson, Deputy Charlene M. Rottler.

Los Angeles Police Department-Officer III Louis Villalobos Jr., Officer II Robert Joe Mata, Officer George A. Rose Jr., Detective I Abiel Barron, Officer Ricardo Lizarraga, Officer II Landon Michael Dorris, Officer III+I Randal Simmons, Officer III Spree Desha, Officer Robert J. Cottle Jr., Officer Joshua Cullins.

9/11 American Airlines Flight 11-David Angell, Pasadena; Lynn Angell, Pasadena; Berry Berenson, Los Angeles; Carolyn Beug, Los Angeles; Edmund Glazer, Los Angeles; Jude Larson, Los Angeles; Natalie Larson, Los Angeles; Daniel John Lee, Los Angeles; Thomas Pecorelli, Los Angeles; 9/11 American Airlines Flight 77-Ruben Ornedo, Los Angeles; 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175-Daniel Brandhorst, Los Angeles; David Brandhorst, Los Angeles; Ronald Gamboa, Los Angeles; 9/11 World Trade Center-Stephen Carey, Chatsworth.  

Afghanistan and Iraq Wars-Army Sgt. David Jimenez Almazan, Van Nuys; Army  Sgt. Evan Asa Ashcraft, West Hills; Marine Lance Cpl. Eric A. Ayon, Arleta; Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Trevor Britton-Mihalo, Simi Valley; Army Private Jair De Jesus Garcia, Porter Ranch; Army Sgt. Ian T.D. Gelig, Stevenson Ranch; Army Sgt. Felix G. Gonzalez-Iraheta, Sun Valley; Army Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr., Alhambra; Army Sgt. David Joseph Hart, Pacoima; Army Sgt. Angel De Jesus Lucio Ramirez, Pacoima; Army  Sgt. Giann Carlo Joya Mendoza, North Hollywood; Army CW2 Christopher G. Nason, Los Angeles; Army SSG. Brian Cody Prosser, Panorama; Army Spc. Rel Allen IV Ravago, Glendale; Army Capt. Kafele H. Sims, Los Angeles; Army Spc. Nicholas Paul Steinbacher, Glendale; Army Reserve Spc. Carla Jane Stewart, Glendale; Army Staff Sgt. Du Hai Tran, Reseda; Marine Cpl. Julio Vargas, Sylmar.

Los Angeles County Fire Department-Captain David Bailey, Captain Daniel Elkins, Firefighter Crystal Golden-Jefferson, Captain Tedmund D. “Ted” Hall, Fire Captain Carrie Henger-Neff and K-9 Partner Sprocket, Firefighter Specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones

Los Angeles Fire Department-Firefighter William C. Stace; Captain John C. Walters; Captain Robert Egizi; Captain James L. Ott; Captain Raymond L. Peterman; Firefighter Jaime L. Foster; Firefighter Kelly R. Hoss; Captain Robert E. Aker; Firefighter Jimmie Hill; Captain Henry J. Graf; Captain John R. Gregory; Inspector Daniel S. Shannon; Firefighter Mark S. Samet; Fireboat Pilot Paul D. Zuliani; Apparatus Operator Bret H. Harris; Captain Lane A. Kemper; Firefighter Juan Ojeda; Engineer Harry R. Correll; Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien; Captain Thomas F. Dowling; Firefighter James A. Just; Firefighter William A. Dunn; Captain John E. Lawrence; Firefighter Glenn Allen; Inspector Jerald L. Coates; Captain David Bailey; Captain Daniel Elkins; Firefighter Crystal Golden-Jefferson; Captain Tedmund D. Hall; Captain Carrie Henger-Neff; Firefight Specialist Arnaldo Quinones

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