Written by Milton Anderson, Founder and Director. With notes from Bill Brawley, Artistic Director

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2 Written by Milton Anderson, Founder and Director With notes from Bill Brawley, Artistic Director This is a 50th Golden Anniversary History Celebration. I could have made it all look golden and written about only positive events, but I think the reader would like to know some of the actual happenings and how we made it through difficult times. So here is 50 wonderful years growing up with thousands of talented young people who were all different and all wonderful.

3 Written in the 60 s or early 70 s The Young Americans, are a group of young people ages 15 through 21, who are students of all colors and beliefs. They are also talented singers and dancers. In the beginning, they all came from the Los Angeles High Schools, but gradually from all over the United States. I was a teacher at Birmingham High School in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California. I wanted to put together a young singing group that would move to the music they sang. A group that looked like the kids I taught each day in my classes. The Vietnam War and the pressures of the time had created a weird phenomenon called The generation gap. People over 30 had no idea what the youth of the country were like. I kept telling my friends, just go park outside your local high school and see what kind of kids walk out! No one did. They just bought what the media was preaching black jackets, marijuana, misfits, every-one against authority. So when The Young Americans hit the scene they had a lot going for them. Although they were the norm, to the viewing public, they were different. 1. An image that was refreshing. 2. A talented group of young people who entertained. We created an entire new wave of enthusiasm in High Schools and Colleges the world over. Although we never liked the title, we were the world s first Show Choir. As that movement grew in many high schools, it became more like a puppet show, with movements that were stiff and dictated, not the normal release of energy of the average teen-ager. It was like the choirs were puppets controlled by something or someone behind the scenes.

4 50 years ( ) Written Today! The Young Americans have always portrayed youth AS THEY ARE. That image is not someone s made up version or some theatrical fictional invention. We are real. It is difficult to argue with reality. I know this is how I began writing this history but it s worth repeating. In the beginning, during the 60 s we reflected the picture of the average teen-ager contrary to the distorted media picture of the time. Although we reflected the average young person, the Beatles were changing hair styles, Hair was reflecting anti-war thinking, and there was nothing wrong with wearing Black Leather Jackets. Youth will always have a way of changing styles and trends. All of that is veneer. The inner reflection of the person s true self is always confused with veneer covering. A person is Right or Left, Religious or Agnostic, Lawyer or Street Cleaner, Soprano or Bass, tall or short. We are all just humans with different veneer. The Young Americans have always tried to honor the real person and to reflect a sense of goodness that is inside of each of us. We do this by not trying or inventing. We have always done this by just being ourselves. And that is what has kept us alive and well for 50 years and will help us through the next 50. That is what has matured us and makes us grow. It has never been Milton Anderson s outstanding thinking, his inventing, or remolding. The strength has always been the sense of Good that is in each of the young people with whom I have been honored to work. I hope you all have fun at the 75th Celebration and at the 100th. I can t make those celebrations, but, God willing, I ll be looking in. Bill could be there! (Treat the old man nice!) I have been so blessed to be with you for 50 years. I personally, thank you Lord Jesus. Love, Milt AH

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7 Front: Mark Walberg, Jill Sparks, Buddy Epson and friend; Middle: Evan Guyer, Julie Dyck, Cathy Woo, Keith Hendon, Kye Brackett; Back: Todd Forst, Steve Burke, Tom Johnson, Angela Grissan, Kim Baxter, Greg Smith, John Glaudini, Jeff Viola at Tibbie s Dinner Theatre. Above: Steven Anderson, sound man at the Dinner Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. He has since had a distinguished career in sound production in Hollywood. 47

8 The pictures on this page and the next page are all of a cast that toured throughout Japan. Fuji TV sponsored that full country tour. They built a second group of smaller sets to fit smaller theaters. Bottom Right: The microphone tables again. Notice the names on the shirts. 92

9 97 Early Outreach

10 The Future from Bill Milt asked me to write some wishes for our future... Well, it s a big world out there, even though it gets smaller by the day. There are places that we haven t been to yet Africa, South America, India, Inner-City Schools in LA, small towns in Idaho and the White House... so many places that we could help and give to... and in turn we could learn and grow. There s a lot to do and let s get to it. Just as it was 50 years ago... Where there is a need We ll be there. Let s welcome the next 50 years with the love and passion that the YAs have given simply by making it work. Thanks everybody. You All Made It Work. 132

11 ...to our alumni: When you left us in your early 20 s, you left so much of all the good stuff that is you. We thank you for leaving behind your......respect for the people all around you...desire to grow strong...goodwill for all people...beauty of your personality...talent for us to live up to and enjoy...caring for others...love of life We hope all that you left behind follows you through all your life. We wish you well and may God be with you all. P.S. Come be a part of us still. If you have free time we need volunteer help. Call or our Office Manager. She ll find a place for you doing things you love. The Young Americans 1128 Olympic Drive Corona, California tel: YA fax: youngamericans.org

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