05 Nov Space Shuttle Ceremony Artistic Program Greeted by Rave Reviews
LOS ANGELES—Following its tour-de-force performances at the Space Shuttle Endeavour arrival ceremony, held in Los Angeles on September 21, the Open Music Society Foundation (OMSF) received enthusiastic acclaim for its role in the historic event.
The artistic program of the ceremony drew praise from celebrities, elected officials, the leadership of the California Science Center, and event sponsors, who witnessed the homecoming of the spacecraft up-close at Los Angeles International Airport.
In her opening remarks, Mistress of Ceremonies Nichelle Nichols, a singer and actress famed for her role as Uhura in the Star Trek series, asked for a big round of applause for the Open Music Fest Orchestra, artistic director and conductor Aram Gharabekian, the Open Music Fest Dancers, and tenor Steve Amerson.
As the Open Music Fest Dancers presented a flash-mob performance, led by Aida Amirkhanian, during the ceremony, audience members who grooved to the beat included actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, star of the movie Fame. Later in the event, following an impassioned performance of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” synchronized to the touch-down and taxiing in of Endeavour, a tearful June Lockhart (Lost in Space, Lassie) approached Gharabekian to congratulate him for “by far the best rendition of the Fanfare” she had ever experienced.
In the eight months leading up to Endeavour’s arrival ceremony, the OMSF collaborated with the City of Los Angeles and the California Science Center to design an original, integrated artistic program.
“The City of Los Angeles, the Mayor’s office, Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s office, and the California Science Center were instrumental in the success of the program, and we sincerely thank them for their support,” said executive producer and OMSF COO Alina Koutnouyan.
On September 21, after enjoying the resulting performances, several officials, including California Science Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rudolph and Food and Event Services vice-president Christina Sion, gave the OMSF rave reviews for its meticulous planning and execution of the program. Conveying her gratitude to the artistic and production team, Sion echoed the impression of other guests when she said she could not imagine the ceremony without the seamlessly integrated dance and music performances.
Aileen Adams, deputy mayor of Los Angeles, also expressed gratitude to the OMSF, for rendering an extraordinary public service and carrying out a remarkable artistic program. Adams stated that the dance and music presentations were programmed perfectly and accentuated a rare moment in L.A. history, the homecoming of Endeavour.