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From the Top Showcases Talent at Mondavi

October 4, 2012

From the Top"From The Top" is a decade-old nonprofit in Boston whose productions you may know through the weekly NPR program hosted by Christopher O’Riley. The focus is on young musical talent, for ages from 8 to 18. But this is far more than a showcase. "From the Top" is really a cultural relay station focusing on, among other things, getting musicians to be agents of change in local communities.

Now one of the programs is going to be taped on Thursday, Oct. 25 (rehearsal is the night prior), at Jackson Hall on the UC Davis campus. The sponsor is the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis. Featured performers include flutist Annie Wu (15) from Pleasanton and Phoebe Pan (14) from Irvine. Other performers have yet to be announced. For tickets and more information, go to or call 866-754-2787.

If you are a young musician, or you know one, this is an event well worth attending, if only as a way to inspire budding talent. Highly recommended. Incidentally, Davis is the Winesburg, Ohio of California, sweet, low and hot; a college town but slow moving, not oppressive. And plenty of restaurants.

Mark MacNamara, a writer and journalist based in Asheville, North Carolina, has written for such publications as NautilusSalonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Vanity Fair. From time to time, his pieces in San Francisco Classical Voice also appear in  Noteworthy examples include a piece about Philip Glass’s dream to build a cultural center on the Pacific Coast; a profile of sound composer Pamela Z and an essay on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. MacNamara recently won several awards in the 2018 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented by the San Francisco Press Club.  His website is