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Herb Alpert Music Center

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Welcome to the Herb Alpert Music Center

The Herb Alpert Music Center at Los Angeles City College offers a streamlined curriculum to create a transfer-ready, work-ready, and enriched student community through the Associate in Arts (AA-T) Transfer degree that guarantees transfer to four-year CSU institutions, the Associate of Arts (AA) degree in Music, skill-building certificates, and general music education. Our dedicated and experienced faculty teach distinct and creative courses in theory, musicianship, appreciation, history, technology, performance, and techniques for students at all levels.

The Herb Alpert Music Scholarship provides two years of tuition-free study at LACC for all music majors seeking the Music Associate of Arts degree, Music Associate in Arts Transfer degree, and Certificates of Achievement in music. The scholarship is available for qualified in-state, non-resident, and international students.

The Herb Alpert Music Academy (Applied Music Program) is designed for students seeking to transfer to four-year institutions to complete a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music degree. Music Academy students receive private lessons to prepare them for auditions and performances. Admission into the Music Academy requires a completed application that includes a video audition. Students accepted into the program must be a full-time music major for two years, enroll in required music courses, and fulfill all the expectations required of an Herb Alpert Music Scholarship student.

Through established transfer agreements, Herb Alpert Music Academy students who complete the required courses have a streamlined pathway to the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and are provided priority consideration for transfer to the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. 

These programs are thanks in large part to generous donations from the Herb Alpert Foundation. Learn more about their work here.

Bryan Stage, piano; Rogelio Justo, flute
My Dahl, My Love (Bryan Stage)
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

LACC Chamber Chorale
Exultate Deo (Alessandro Scarlatti)
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

Benjamin Dabiri, piano
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

Aliya Hashemi
“Try It Again” (Aliya Hashemi)
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

Diego Serna, guitar; Enrique Duarte, bass; Samuel Archer, drums
Stompin’ at the Savoy
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

LACC Salsa Band feat. Cassandra Salas
“Vivir Mi Vida”
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

LACC Gospel Ensemble
“Hallelujah, You’re Worthy”
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

Ilcias Ruiz, sax; Ben Dabiri, piano; Michael Isacs, guitar; Enrique Duarte, bass; Amin Malekpour, drums
“Scrapple from the Apple”
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

LACC Studio Jazz Band
“Quiet Riot”
Los Angeles City College - Herb Alpert Music Center

Herb Alpert Music Center Performances Featured at the
LACCD Virtual Recongnition Ceremony | June 9th 2020

O say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

Todo aquel
Que piense que la vida es desigual
Tiene que saber que no es así
Que la vida es una hermosura
Hay que vivirla

Todo aquel
Que piense que está solo y que está mal
Tiene que saber que no es así
Que en la vida no hay nadie solo
Siempre hay alguien

Ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando
Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es una carnaval
Y las penas se van cantando

Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando
Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Y las penas se van cantado

Todo aquel
Que piense que la vida siempre es cruel
Tiene que saber que no es así
Que tan solo hay momentos malos
Y todo pasa

Todo aquel
Que piense que esto nunca va cambiar
Tiene que saber que no es así
Que al mal tiempo, buena cara
Y todo cambia

Ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando
Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es una carnaval
Y las penas se van cantando

Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando
Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Y las penas se van cantado

es para reír
(No hay que llorar) para gozar
(Carnaval) para disfrutar
(Hay que vivir cantando)
(Carnaval) la vida es un carnaval
(No hay que llorar) todos podemos cantar
(Carnaval) ay señores
(Hay que vivir cantando)
(Carnaval) todo aquel que piense
(No hay que llorar) que la vida es cruel
(Carnaval) nunca estará solo
(Hay que vivir cantando) Dios está con él

Para aquellos que se quejan tanto (bua)
Para aquellos que solo critican (bua)
Para aquellos que usan las armas (bua)
Para aquellos que nos contaminen (bua)
Para aquellos que hacen la guerra (bua)
Para aquellos que viven pecando (bua)
Para aquellos que nos maltratan (bua)
Para aquellos que nos contagian (bua)

Herb Alpert Foundation Donates $10.1 Million to LACC: Music Majors Receive Tuition-Free Studies

Trumpeter Herb Alpert, known for his unique brand of Latin-tinged jazz pop, and for being a co-founder of A&M Records, a label that released key albums by artists from Cat Stevens to Janet Jackson, is now making his mark on education.
Read the article on

About Our Department


Los Angeles Junior College was established in 1929. The first Associate of Arts degrees were conferred in 1931. That same year, Leslie P. Clausen joined the music faculty. He remained in the department for the next 41 years. Clausen organized a weekly concert series which continues to this day as our Music 152. Clausen was a member of the famed Crescendo Club which provided opportunities for LACC students and brought Clausen into contact with

such luminaries as Edgar Varese, Aaron Copland, and Arnold Schoenberg.


The department has always had a reputation for developing young composers. This concert program from 1938 includes original works by the 19-year-old Leon Kirchner who later taught at the Juilliard School and Harvard University and won a Pulitzer prize, and the 18-year-old Korean-American Earl Kim who taught at Princeton and Harvard.


In 1946 LACC became the first college in the nation to offer a degree in jazz. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, many renowned jazz musicians studied at LACC including double bassist and band leader Charlie Mingus,

[Music] trumpeter Chet Baker,

multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy,


Lenny Niehaus who has collaborated with Clint Eastwood on most of his films,

and pianist Bob Florence.



The studio jazz band was formed in 1946. Since then it has been under the direction of Bob McDonald, Robert Wilkinson, Woody James, Don Simpson, Laszlo Cser, and Laurie Stunts. The band is currently directed by Barbara Laronga.


Jerry Goldsmith started his music studies at USC, but dropped out to pursue what he called a more practical music program at LACC. He of course went on to score hundreds of films, and win an Oscar.


“And the winner is Jerry Goldsmith for The Omen”


Another composer who attended LACC in the 1950s was John Williams, who since then has received 22 Grammy Awards, and 49 Academy Award nominations, and has written some of the most memorable music in movie history.


This concert program from 1949 included a young Marni Nixon who went on to fame as the voice behind Deborah Carr in The King And I, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, and Natalie Wood in West Side Story.


Other famous alumni include Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller,


singer and Grammy recipient Diane Reeves,


composer Lamont Young,


folk singer Odetta,


Charles Bernstein,


and electronic music DJ and producer DJ Irene.


Another important LACC alumnus is David Alpert shown here with brother Herb and LACC

Professor Dom Disarro. His David A. Albert Music Scholarship has been supporting incoming LACC music students for decades. In 1980 the music building officially became Clausen Hall

honoring the remarkable career of Leslie P Clausen, who served as department chair for the

final 26 years of his teaching career.


The last 10 years have seen remarkable changes in the music department, including a collaboration with Presidential Citizens Medal recipient Margaret Martin and the Harmony Project, an award-winning program that provides music lessons for at-risk youth.


A significant increase in donations to the foundation allowing the department to modernize and

the grow: The addition of three full-time faculty members in 2006. New talented adjunct faculty members. The approval of an Associate of Arts degree for Transfer, which guarantees students entry into a Cal State school. The awarding of hundreds of vocational certificates which prepare students for entry into the music industry. The tripling in size of the Applied Music Program thanks to a generous grant from the Herb Albert Foundation and the creation of the LACC

Music Academy.


These changes have contributed to a significant increase in student transfers to all the Cal States and UCs, and schools such as USC, Mount Saint Mary's College, Azusa Pacific, and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Students have also transferred to out-of-state schools including the New England Conservatory in Boston, Columbia University in New York, and the

Royal College of Music in London.


And now in 2015 the opening of the modernized Clausen Hall music building, library and listening room, two electronic music labs, over 30 practice rooms, new instruments, recording

studio, and of course the spectacular 190 seat Recital Hall. The Los Angeles City College Music

Department: a tradition of excellence for over 80 years.


Ambitious. Unique. Exciting. Talented. Resilient. Focused. Hard-working.


Since being here, I have gained a sense of belonging, and I just feel like my life has a purpose

that never has before.


Having the music department staff, faculty, students help me grow, inspire me.


Being here as a teacher has really helped me to grow as a musician and grow as an artist as



I want them to find their passion for music and passion for life. They go hand in hand.


I really do feel like these classes and LACC is preparing me for the music industry and for my direction.


Committed. Caring. Challenging. Generous. Brilliant. Inspiring. Supportive.


It's a diverse department not only ethnically, but also professionally. We boast people

that are members of the LA Philharmonic, we have people that have performed at Carnegie Hall.


My professors inspire me just because of who they are. I mean they're so talented, but they're very humble and it's hard to come across very talented people that are humble.


I like to keep the standards really high, but also try to make it as fun as possible, and I challenge myself to try to find new ways to teach things so that it's new for me and it's new for them, and we all kind of learn together.


Anyone who comes to the LACC Music Department not only will feel loved no matter where

they have come from, but they will walk away with passion, and I say that over and over again

but without emotions you really can't be in music.


So I'm very excited about the direction of the department in the in the spring and in the next fall, it's going to be a lot of exciting things happening with our new facilities, our new studio space, so it's a very exciting time for us here.


 Department Info

The Herb Alpert Music Center office is closed while courses remain online. For general inquiries, please contact our staff at
Thank you!

Christine Park
Department Chair

Caroline Reyes
Instructional Assistant

Sam Plotkin
Instructional Assistant

Stu Suarez
Sound Engineer

 Upcoming Events

The Herb Alpert Music Center is closed to students and the public until further notice.

Any information about upcoming online events will be posted here.

 Related Links

Los Angeles City College | 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029


Phone: 323.953.4000


Emergency: 323.953.2911