Guest Blogger Hal Lifson on Fred Pinto: The Music Man Who Can

Fred Pinto. Music Teacher at El Rodeo Elementary School in Beverly Hills

Fred Pinto. Music Teacher at El Rodeo Elementary School in Beverly Hills

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a brilliant music teacher at El Rodeo School who’s direct from Broadway in New York City. Mr. Fred Pinto has made his mark in just a few short years as music teacher and producer of lavish stage musicals such as “Hairspray” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

As Mr. Pinto points out,”many of these kids have never been on stage before.” It’s hard to believe since the kids look like polished professionals. Most importantly, the kids are having fun. “With all the adversity in the world today, we need musical theatre more than ever. People say the art form is dying. Not true. Musical theatre is my passion and I share that with my students.”

Pinto perform

“Everyone rose to the occasion,” Pinto told me. “There’s so much talent on the way up at El Rodeo!” I reminded him my First Grader Sofia has her heart set on playing Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl.”

Mr. Pinto rules nothing out. “Everything is adaptable,” he laughed. I suggested a revised kids’ version of the 1960s tribal musical “Hair” with lyric changes like “The Age of Aquariums.”

Bye Bye Birdie

Anything’s possible with Mr. Pinto at the helm. With music in general disappearing from most public schools budgets and musical theatre in particular an endangered species, El Rodeo School is fortunate to have Mr. Pinto on board.

BH Mom Jodi Galen has a child in the cast, “Mr. Pinto is so loved by all the families at El Rodeo for bringing such joy through music to all our lives.”

When I was a boy, my Aunt and Uncle (from Beverly Hills) took me to see my first movie “The Music Man.”  I never forgot how star Robert Preston motivated the kids with no experience to join and participate in a marching band.

Mr. Pinto is a real life Harold Hill, only he really knows his stuff. Pinto graduated from the prestigous Purchase College for Music in New York and went on to produce National touring companies of “West Side Story” and “42nd Street.”

Peter Garland, owner of Porta Via Bistro in BH, told me, “Mr. Pinto is the real deal. He can get a table at my restaurant any time without waiting!”

Clearly, Mr. Pinto is the Music Man…who can.

Read more about Fred Pinto in Liz’s Smith’s column!


Hal Lifson is a Beverly Hills resident, pop culture historian and publicist. Follow him @HalLifson and visit his web site





Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 3 comments. Add yours

  1. 8th June 2013 | MAMACITA says: Reply
    I can't wait to see one of Mr. Pintos musicals. I know that it will be a special treat. I will probably be whistling one of those lovely melodies all day long.
  2. 5th June 2013 | Jim bennett says: Reply
    As usual Baseman you add music to my day. Is sad about lack of support in schools :(
    • 5th June 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      You'll have to get over the hill to catch one of the student performances!

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