New ‘high-level’ South Bay concert band ensemble debuts this month in San Pedro

A new resident music ensemble will debut later this month — with plans to blow audiences away.

The newly formed, 50-member South Bay Wind Ensemble — the joint-product of the South Bay Music Association and maestro Steven Allen Fox — will give its first performance on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

The new group is also planning other seasonal concerts throughout the South Bay its debut.

“We wanted an ensemble that performs a high-level repertoire,” Fox, founder and conductor of the Golden State Pops Orchestra, said, “made up of professionals and semi-professionals and music teachers who don’t have time to play a lot anymore.”

What’s emerged is the “next level” of a wind ensemble or symphonic band, he said — think of your school’s more formal concert band on a higher level.

Highlighting the first performance will be “Symphony No. 8” by Davi Maslanka, who died in 2017 and was one of the foremost composers of wind bank music, Fox said.

“He’s right up there with the greats of symphony orchestra composers, he’s phenomenal,” Fox said, adding that most folks don’t know this music exists. “I was introduced to his music in college (at Illinois State University) and he came and worked with our ensemble.”

Fox, who founded the Pops orchestra in 2002 in San Pedro, is working with the composer’s son to hone the performance of the 42-minute piece, “making sure we’re presenting it” in the spirit in which it was written, he said.

Other pieces on the program include “Overture to Candide” by Leonard Bernstein, “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen, and “A Springtime Celebration” by Alfred Reed.

The band is led by Fox, who will act as music director, and Andres Cabrera, who will run operations.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. but VIP ticket holders can attend a 6 p.m. pre-concert lecture and a champaign reception afterward.

General admission is $25, and $15 for students. VIP seating is $40 .

Free tickets are being provided to area high schools, Fox said, to encourage music students to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at

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