Beyond the bar: The LA Lawyers Philharmonic gets ready for showtime

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Gary S. Greene has been a lawyer for 35 years.  But on the side, he’s immersed in what he really loves: Music.

A few years ago, he sent out an email to some lawyer friends, and asked them to jam.

“Within a few weeks I had a hundred responses,” he said.  From there, the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic was born.

It’s comprised of lawyers of all stripes: those in private practice, litigators, transactional attorneys, even judges.

Gary Greene was surprised to learn that many of them had studied music at some of the finest music schools in the country.  He says they have something else in common besides law:

The LA Lawyers Phil rehearses each Monday night for a couple hours with Greene at the helm.

This week they’re getting ready for a gala concert this Sunday at the Shrine.

Having the chance to practice together and perform on occasion to cope with the stresses of daily life are just two of the goals of the LA Lawyers Philharmonic.

But something else is motivating Maestro Greene: the other “Phil” he conducts, the Junior Philharmonic.  His uncle started it 75 years ago, and it continues today as an outlet for teenagers who might not otherwise have a place to play.

“One should not think of music as a frill or extracurricular,” says Greene.  “Music forms a basis for our education, forms a foundation for our society, and when that’s gone we lose a lot more than the idea of losing some musicians.”

Beyond the Bar: KCRW Meets the LA Lawyers Philharmonic by KCRW