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Holden Names Worby Woman of the Year

As part of the state Assembly’s annual celebration of women’s achievement and leadership, Assemblyman Chris Holden has recognized Rachael Worby as the 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.

Worby, a Pasadena resident, created Muse/ique in 2011, a performing arts nonprofit formed with the goal of bringing live music experiences to all, regardless of their sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity or social status. From a tiny, scrappy, startup, Muse/ique has become a multimillion dollar nonprofit based in Pasadena, with considerable influence on the performing arts throughout Southern California.

“I am thrilled to announce Rachael Worby as Woman of the Year for the 41st Assembly District,” said Holden. “Rachael is responsible for much of the artistic and theatrical preservation maintained across Southern California and has dedicated a great deal of her career to keeping young people engaged in the arts.”

For two years she held the prestigious post of assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic. Then, for 12 years she was the Music Director and Conductor of the Young People’s Concerts at Carnegie Hall. Worby was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Council on the Arts. She conducted and directed the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra for 17 years before becoming the music director of the Pasadena Pops for 10 years.

“Rachael does not see barriers, she sees opportunity. She holds music dear to her heart as a force that connects all of us and it has been a privilege to witness her share her gifts and passion while opening doors for other women, marginalized people and young Californians,” said Holden.

Worby became a pioneering member of the first wave of women on the conductor’s podium to achieve national and international renown. Worby’s success in the professional sphere only deepened her ambition to make the world of live music more inclusive. By partnering with more than 19 local nonprofits, Muse/ique gives Worby the platform to create lasting, meaningful relationships with people in the community that have often been overlooked. Inspired by her idol Leonard Bernstein, she interacts with her audience members throughout her shows to make each performance an inclusive learning experience. Worby is staunch in her belief that music belongs to the community.

“Our catch phrase is, ‘Music is oxygen for the imagination,’” Worby said. “By taking us outside the world of words and language, music brings us to a place where we can experience our emotions and our heart, and where we can free our souls.

“At Muse/ique, we believe that the arts build community and empathy and that access to the arts is a basic human right. That’s why unhoused families, kids needing foster care, seniors, women living on the brink, and the physically and economically struggling are all as welcome at Muse/ique as are our most distinguished donors.”

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