By David Gobel
Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist Randy Newman (Erik â88, John â96, Patrick â10 and Alice â11), performed at the annual Harvard-Westlake Parent Associationâs Annual Event Saturday, April 19.
The event, named “You Got a Friend in Me” after one of Newmanâs songs, was held at the Bing Performing Arts Center at the Middle School.
“The whole evening was a success, from the wine tasting to the concert to the buffet dinner. The concert was sold out with 750 paying guests. We were thrilled with [Newmanâs] brilliant musical performance,” said the event chair Namhee Han Gilhuly (Emma â10 and Ty â13).
Seventeen student ambassadors helped with the event, selling opportunity tickets for a drawing before the concert and serving as ushers for parents entering the auditorium.
The concert also featured a live auction, including prizes such as Lakers tickets.
There was also a drawing, including items such as a MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch complete with some of Newmanâs favorite albums, and an upper school parking space.
“We are still counting the receipts and donât have the final [amount of money raised] yet,” Gilhuly said, “But equally as important, this event is also a community-building event. It was a time for parents, teachers, staff and alumni to get together and celebrate everything we love about the school.”
The event began at 6 p.m. with wine tasting, cocktails and hors dâoeurves on the Lower Lawn at the Middle School. Then, at 7:30, the main event commenced.
It included the live auction, the opportunity drawing and the Randy Newman concert.
“[Newman] mixed his own narrative, which included his personal experiences as a Harvard-Westlake parent, with his music,” Gilhuly said. “His music is filled with lots of social commentary about the world, our community and even Harvard-Westlake. [Newman] even explained how his parent orientation at Harvard-Westlake inspired one of his songs.”
Throughout his career as a songwriter and composer, Newman has been both critically and commercially successful.
One of his most commercially successful songs, “Short People”, reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Newman has also composed music for movies such as “Meet the Parents,” “The Natural” and “Awakenings.”
He has also scored Disney-Pixar films such as “Cars,” “Monsterâs Inc.” and “Toy Story.”