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Los Angeles Times editor returns home to bring the arts to Alhambra students

  • Los Angeles Times Editor Steve Padilla shows Garfield Elementary School students a six-foot recorder that he plays as part of California's Turnaround Arts program. Photo by Liezel Gutierrez.

  • Padilla plays another recorder for students as part of a Sept. 18 Turnaround Arts event to promote the arts in California schools. Photo by Liezel Gutierrez.

  • Padilla spoke to students about the importance of moving on from mistakes, in music and in life. Photo by Liezel Gutierrez.

  • Padilla delighted students with his advice and music demonstrations. Photo by Liezel Gutierrez.


Alhambra , CA United States

Before becoming the Column One editor at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Padilla started a newspaper as a student at Ramona Elementary School in Alhambra.

Padilla is also an amateur musician who started out playing french horn at the all-city orchestra, which rehearsed at Garfield Elementary School. He brought his music experience full circle at Garfield in mid-September, demonstrating recorders of various sizes and pitches for the delighted students.

Padilla’s visit was part of the Turnaround Arts: California program, which connects school districts with artists, institutions, event spaces and other entities to interest students in the arts.

In between his demonstrations, Padilla offered wisdom that doubled for those who want to take up music and for life in general. “All musicians make mistakes,” he said. He illustrated this with an anecdote of a musician who flubbed a note during a difficult passage of the operetta “Die Fledermaus,” but then came back to finish the piece beautifully.

“When you make a mistake, you want to dwell on it. You know, ‘Can’t believe I did that.’ ‘Oh my God, did my mom hear?'” he said, before concluding, “Just go past it.”

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