A brass ensemble located in the second-story windows of the Music Academy of the West’s main house on Wednesday evening, August 5, serenaded the organization’s assembled supporters and five golden shovels. After brief remarks by board Chair Marge Cafarelli and MAW president Scott Reed, Marilyn Horne stepped to the microphone to acknowledge the honor of having this beautiful building at the crest of the school’s Miraflores campus named for her. A group of five, including Horne, Reed, Cafarelli, and donors Shirley and Seymour Lehrer, then stepped forward to dig, breaking symbolic ground on not only the renovation of the main house into the Marilyn Horne Main House but also on the Academy’s Finale Capital Campaign.
Envisioned as the concluding stage in an ambitious development process that has now spanned more than a decade, the Finale Campaign aims to draw to a conclusion in 2016, when new rehearsal studios will be built on the site of a disused practice building and new Steinway pianos are moved into those remodeled spaces. The total fundraising goal of the Finale campaign is $17.5 million, with $11.7 million already raised, and $5.8 million remaining. The Music Academy of the West has had a historic summer, capped by an unprecedented sold-out performance by the New York Philharmonic at the Santa Barbara Bowl.