Musicians of the newly formed Civic Orchestra of Los Angeles at the group’s inaugural concert on April 28. Photo by Tom Pease/LA Times.

In Wednesday’s (5/8) Los Angeles Times, Tim Greiving writes, “In March, the American Youth Symphony—which was founded in 1957 and had served as an important training ground for musicians headed to some of the nation’s best orchestras—suddenly shuttered. Anthony Parnther, a conductor who was a longtime AYS donor, said he was mystified … He called April Williams, president of the Musicians at Play Foundation, where Parnther is artistic director. ‘I have had an increasing interest in working with musicians in this stage who are either in school or just out of school and looking to dedicate their career to music,’ Parnther said…. He and Musicians at Play speedily formed a new training orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Los Angeles, and scheduled an inaugural concert for April 28 … Thirty former AYS members joined a 70-piece orchestra composed of students from nine area colleges. They planned the concert as a one-off, but they secured funding for at least two more in the coming year…. ‘The thought of the second largest city in the country not having a pre-professional orchestra, to me, was baffling,’ Parnther said. ‘So I just wanted to jump into action.’ ”