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March 2017 Issue

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Los Angeles Lawyer's Philharmonic

Gary Greene, Conductor


Gary Greene.jpg

“LA’s Only Legal Orchestra, Chorus and Big Band” are looking for lawyers, judges, law students and legal staff who are talented musicians to join the ranks

 



By day, they are civil litigators, trial attorneys, deputy district attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, in-house counsel, sole practitioners, partners at large law firms, Superior Court judges, California Court of Appeal justices, paralegals, law students and the like.  But, by night, the concert stage is their “courtroom.” The members include conservatory graduates, professional musicians and some hobbyists who are dusting off instruments they played in their youth. Others are harmonizing using their voices that are more commonly heard in courtrooms than on the concert stage. Nevertheless, the music prevails.  In addition to practicing law and adjudicating, they perform music -- from the great classics to Broadway musicals and more – in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans.

“I want to bring the legal community together in harmony,” said Gary S. Greene, Esq., an attorney for more than 40 years who is the founder-conductor of the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, Legal Voices and his Big Band of Barristers. “Music is not only a universal language that expands our communication skills, it is also very relaxing in stressful times, and it reinvigorates us when we return to our day jobs.”

Greene, who specializes in business, real property and personal injury litigation, has his own law practice.  In addition to his legal career, he is a talented violinist and conductor, having served as concertmaster of the Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra for more than four decades.

“Several years ago, I started to meet lawyers and judges who played instruments and decided it was time to start an orchestra,” Greene said.

The Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic held its first rehearsal on January 19, 2009, with 30 legal musicians and with Maestro Greene on the podium. Two weeks later, they performed their debut concert. Since then, the orchestra has grown to 75 members and has performed more than 40 concerts. 

“We started to get dozens of requests from singing lawyers who wanted to join. So, I started a chorus,” Greene said.

On April 30, 2011, the 100-member Legal Voices held its first rehearsal. Three months later, on July 30, 2011, the chorus debuted with the LA Lawyers Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Consisting of more than 100 singers, Legal Voices gave a triumphant performance of the finale of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Ode to Joy. Since then, the chorus and orchestra have performed major works at Walt Disney Concert Hall including Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and countless Broadway, Disney and motion picture scores.

If two “legal” musical groups were not enough, Greene had a reason to create one more. 

The LA Lawyers Philharmonic was invited to perform at the Radio Television News Association’s Golden Mike Awards set for January 2012.  However, the 75-member orchestra could not fit in the Universal Hilton ballroom with the number of guests expected to attend.  So, Greene formed a smaller ensemble, an 18-piece big band on the order of the Glenn Miller Orchestra called Gary Greene, Esq., and His Big Band of Barristers.

In that same year, the big band participated in the American Bar Association’s “Battle of the Lawyer Bands.”  The band became a finalist in the national competition and was invited to perform in Chicago at the ABA convention.  The Barristers performed in the historic Stock Exchange Room at the Art Institute and played music from the Golden Era of the Big Bands, competing with bands from Orlando, Detroit and Chicago. Greene’s Big Band of Barristers was triumphant and took first place in a landslide victory.  The band has since been dubbed, “America’s #1 Legal Band.”  

The mission of these musical groups is to bring the legal community together in harmony, perform concerts, raise funds for organizations providing legal services for those who cannot afford such services as well as for other charities and civic organizations.  The umbrella organization, the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all members volunteer their time and talent.  They have performed benefits for the American Diabetes Association, City of Hope, Hollywood Remembers World AIDS Day, Magen David Adom, the Salvation Army, Shriners Hospital for Children, Ascencia (which raises funds for the homeless) and The Thalians, among others.

Do you play an instrument or sing?  The Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic, Legal Voices and Gary Greene, Esq., and His Big Band of Barristers are looking for advanced musicians and singers who are lawyers, judges, law students and legal staff.  They are auditioning all instruments and vocalists.  If you would like to try out for these ensembles, please email audition@LALawyersPhil.org.

“Join our orchestra, chorus or big band and help us bring the legal community together in harmony.  It’ll make the world a better place,” said Greene.

For more information, please visit www.LALawyersPhil.org

 

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