Newman performs at parent fundraiser

Chronicle Staff

By David Gobel

Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist Randy Newman (Erik ’88, John ’96, Patrick ’10 and Alice ’11), performed at the annual Harvard-Westlake Parent Association’s Annual Event Saturday, April 19.

The event, named “You Got a Friend in Me” after one of Newman’s 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 [Newman’s] brilliant musical performance,” said the event chair Namhee Han Gilhuly (Emma ’10 and Ty ’13).

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 Newman’s favorite albums, and an upper school parking space.

“We are still counting the receipts and don’t 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 d’oeurves 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,” “Monster’s Inc.” and “Toy Story.”