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Bruin Tracks: Good Vibrations


By Shanon Levine

Published Apr 1, 2011 8:00 AM


Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis

Whether it's "Good Vibrations" or "Kokomo," almost everyone in America has hummed a Beach Boys tune at some point — and that's what makes this year's Spring Sing an especially exciting event.

Since its inception in 1988, the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, presented each year at Spring Sing, has gone to legends including Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and Julie Andrews. This year, the audience will get to see Brian Wilson in person when he accepts the award honoring his legendary contribution to music. The award is particularly meaningful since he recently released the album Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.

Wilson, who grew up just 30 minutes south of UCLA, has been a creative musical force for more than 50 years and is responsible for creating some of the most well-known songs in history. When he was barely out of his teens, he led his family band the Beach Boys to success in the 1960s. His incomparable rhythms and harmonies have led the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to call him "one of the undisputed geniuses in popular music." With the release of the Beach Boys records on CD and several solo projects, Wilson's timeless music continues to resonate with generations of listeners.

Wilson counts among his admirers other great musicians, including some fellow Gershwin Award recipients. The 2006 winner, Burt Bacharach, once said, "Brian Wilson is one of the greatest innovators of my decade or any decade." In 2001, Wilson was honored with an "All-Star Tribute" at Radio City Music Hall with an assembly comprising greats such as Sir Elton John, Billy Joel and Paul Simon.

Spring Sing 2011 May 20 at 8 p.m. Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA. For tickets, click on the UCLA Central Ticket Office website.

Organized by the Student Alumni Association, Spring Sing is an annual UCLA tradition featuring sketch comedy, dancing and musical performances from a variety of genres. This year, the highly anticipated event takes place on May 20, when the Los Angeles Tennis Center will be transformed into a concert venue and showcase for up-and-coming talent. Before they became chart-toppers, Maroon 5 members and Sara Bareilles '03 graced past Spring Sing stages.

"UCLA is known around the world for its excellence in academics, in sports and in the arts. Spring Sing is when we celebrate all three of these things, and even more at once," says senior Kelsey Balance, this year's director. With incredible student talent and the presence of the one-and-only Brian Wilson, this year's show will truly be an unforgettable UCLA moment.