While Southern California is rightly well-known as a place to hear some amazing songs, you sometimes have to know where to look (or, rather, listen).
For sure, our major venues boast the top acts and the top tunes, and intimate clubs feature chanteuses of tremendous talent. But drive through a certain corner of Santa Clarita on most any morning, with your windows rolled down, and you're bound to hear a voluminous ditty so unusual and ancient you'll need to follow it to its source.
That source is the Gibbon Conservation Center, the 40-year-old preserve that's home to several small apes, apes that "sing" in multi-voiced, hoot-happy, full-throated song (and all present join in, making the chorus quite loud and incredibly lively).
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It's a daily song that continues thanks to the many volunteers and supporters of the center, a place that's known for its dedication to preservation issues both regionally and far beyond Southern California.
To support the gibbons' songs, in the long-range sense, join the Light a Lantern for Gibbons! fundraiser in Venice on Saturday, Oct. 1. It's at the Lantern House, and as Venice is a bit of a drive from Santa Clarita, and the gibbons rather like keeping close to home, there won't be any small ape sightings at the event.
"...they would make a terrible guest," say the organizers with obvious cheekiness, and we imagine that's true. Of course, we people might make terrible guests at gibbon-hosted parties, so it surely all evens out in the end.
But you can hobnob with humans who adore small apes and want to help the center continue to care for their singing, swinging residents, residents that are hugely smart and comical and endearing and fascinated by the visitors strolling by on weekend mornings.
Tickets for the fundraiser run from $25 to $100, and drinks and small noshes are included. You'll also learn more about what we can do to help these endangered animals, and the Gibbon Conservation Center's work.
If you can't make the Venice soiree, you probably can make it out to the center on a weekend morning, when public tours are offered.
Your $15 adult admission also lends love to the small apes and the people who work to help them thrive (and work to give gibbons beyond Southern California a voice as loud and as memorable as a gibbon's morning song).