Stairway of the Stars, a two-day concert series that spotlights the talents of the the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s elementary, middle and high school music students, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 10th, and Friday March 11th, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica.

The concert series is a 56-year-old tradition of the school district.

Featured performers include the All-District Honor Orchestra, High School Jazz Ensemble, middle and high school orchestras, and middle and high school bands.

Musical selections to be performed include a Bach Brandenburg Concerto, Van der Roost’s Nemu-Susato, and Children of Sanchez. The event’s finale will include 1,000 performers on stage.

This year’s guest conductor is Stephen Tucker, director of orchestras at the University of California, Irvine.

Tucker is a pianist, conductor and composer.

His formal training includes a Bachelor of Music in conducting from Atlantic Union College, and master’s and doctorate degrees in conducting from the University of California, Los Angeles.

He also has a diploma in orchestra conducting from the Vienna Conservatory in Austria.

Tucker has been a guest conductor for choruses, opera, musical theater and wind ensembles nationally and internationally.

His performances can be heard on recordings and films with such orchestras as the Slovak Radio Symphony and the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

At Stairway of the Stars, service awards will be presented to Steve Cole and Debra Cole.

Steve and Debra Cole are parents who have been actively involved in Malibu public school music programs for the past 12 years.

Their daughter is a trumpet player who graduated from Malibu High School in 2002, and their son is a drummer who will graduate from the high school this year.

Steve Cole is a physician, pianist and composer.

He has written many musical arrangements for Malibu High School students to play.

He has also served as an accompanist, substitute conductor, supporting instrumentalist or coach for concerts and musicals at the high school since 1995.

Debra Cole served on the board of the Malibu High School Arts Angels booster club for six years, with three of those years as president.

Since 1995, she has been the principal parent liaison to the Instrumental Music Department at the high school, helping teachers and staff organize and produce concerts, events, festivals and outings.

Stairway of the Stars tickets are $10 and go sale Friday, March 4th, at the district’s Professional Development and Learning Center, 2802 Fourth St., Santa Monica.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling (310) 450-8338 ext. 79538.

Information, (310) 450-8338 ext. 338.

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