Bren Honors Concert is set to return

by TOM BERG

The annual Donald Bren Honors Concert, which debuted in 1982, is scheduled to return to Segerstrom Concert Hall on March 14 after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus.

“We’re excited about the news,” says Brad Van Patten, director of arts education for Irvine Unified School District. “The students have already begun preparations to make it a special evening for everyone.”

The concert showcases more than 650 of the best singers and musicians in the district. Led by world-class conductors, the fifth through 12th grade students perform musical arrangements usually reserved for older musicians.

“Irvine’s the gold standard,” Van Patten says of the district’s music program, which has earned the Best Communities for Music Education Award by the NAMM Foundation for nine consecutive years. “I’ve traveled to different parts of the country, and this program is phenomenal.”