Cordelia Rachbach of Glassell Park to play at Walt Disney Concert Hall. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Youth Orchestra

Young Violinist from NELA Excels

2019 Arts & Culture Editions Featured Front Page May More News

By Taylor A. Boomsma

Ten-year old violinist Cordelia Rachbach, of Glassell Park, is on her way to Walt Disney Concert Hall, where she will perform on June 19 in the intermediate ensemble of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO).

The concert will be the third major performance this year for Cordelia and the 120 other members of LAYO, who have performed recently at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena and at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.

It has been a spring season that has brought with it enormous good fortune for the orchestra. In March, LAYO announced it had received a $500,000 gift from the Harry and Anna Borun Foundation, the largest donation in the history of the orchestra. In recognition of the gift, LAYO renamed the intermediate ensemble the Ruth Borun Concert Orchestra; Ruth Borun, the daughter-in-law of Harry and Anna Borun, was one of the original donors to LAYO in 2000 and a supporter until her death in 2018 at age 92.

“Ruth is the unsung hero of Los Angeles Youth Orchestra,” said Russell Steinberg, founder and artistic director of LAYO. “It was Ruth who taught me that our orchestra has a higher purpose than instilling a passion for classical music – that providing access to an affordable, quality music program is the perfect antidote to the coarsening of society.”

Young musicians like Cordelia will benefit from the Borun gift for years to come. Tuition at the orchestra, $575 a semester, covers only about one-third of the orchestra’s costs; grants and donations make up the rest. The Borun gift will help pay for rehearsal space at the Encino Community Center, professional music coaches, performances and tours.

The making of a young violinist

For Cordelia, music has always been a part of everyday life. Her parents play rock music as a hobby, with her father, Josh Rachbach, writing songs and playing guitar and her mother, Lisa Pace, playing drums and bass guitar.

“Cordelia always thought of music as part of her,” said Pace. By age 5, when she wanted to choose her own instrument, the violin emerged as a natural fit. She likes the challenge of the violin and the meditative feel while playing the classical pieces, said Pace, adding, “It suits her personality.”

In 2018, Cordelia auditioned for LAYO on the recommendation of her violin teacher. She performed a segment from Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter,” and a portion of the Intermezzo from Gustav Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite. In the time she has been at LAYO “she has blossomed into a completely different caliber musician,” said Pace.

For this year’s spring concerts, Cordelia mastered the violin for the first movement of Haydn’s late Symphony 99, two dances from Isaac Albienz’s Suite Espanola and Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, a tune better known as the theme song to the old television show, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

The upcoming concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall is part of the West Coast Youth Orchestra Festival, which brings together four outstanding youth orchestras from across North America to perform for one another and the community in a world class venue. Tickets are free and can be reserved by emailing

Two Ways to Have Some Summer Fun with Music

The family that plays together….
At the Eagle Rock Music Studio, family members and friends can create their own classes for the same low price as the school’s other classes ($62.50 per person for 5 sessions). Minimum of 3 people per class. Semi-private lessons can be arranged for two people. To learn more about creating your own class or to see the full range of the studio’s affordable classes for kids through adults of all levels, visit or email / Eagle Rock Music Studio / 4870 Eagle Rock Blvd. / 323-309-8467

Songwriting for kids
The Songwriting School of Los Angeles is organizing a course called “Words & Music: Major Songwriting for Minors” for children ages 7 to 9 and 10 to 12. A free two-hour introductory course is being offered on Thursday, May 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Classes, planned for summer and fall, will include 12 hours of instruction. Summer tuition, $249 ($299 after May 27.) Fall tuition, $299. For details and to register for the free class, visit: or call 818-848-7664. / 4001 W. Magnolia Blvd. / Burbank