Schreiner brings back”The Golden Years”

Kristy Cahoon

Over 30 years ago, young Gregory Schreiner sat at a piano in Illinois, tinkering away at the keys. Little did he know that what had begun, as a hobby started by his mother would end up his passion in life.

“Piano is good for your soul. Everything about it makes you feel wonderful. It’s so therapeutic,” said Schreiner.

When he moved to California in 1979, he began attending UCLA and eventually earned a masters degree in piano. Schreiner began his teaching career at Cerritos in 1989, and now feels like an old timer.

Schreiner’s show, “Hollywood Revisited: A Tribute in Costume and Song” had very unspectacular beginnings, but has been going strong for seven years and has been performed in cities all over the country.

When Schreiner moved to Los Angeles, he began attending Hollywood auctions and collecting various movie costumes from the “Golden Age” of film. Before he knew it, he had collected over 250 costumes. “I had all these costumes, and I thought, Why not put them in a show with music and dancing?” said Schreiner, “so that’s what I did.”

He had always been interested in older films, and throughout his life idolized Marilyn Monroe-hers was the first costume he purchased. He now has costumes from hundreds of actors, but doesn’t limit himself to strictly classic ones-he owns attire from actors like Annette Benning and from current movies such as “The Flintstones”. Some of his possessions are even on display in the History Museum in Hollywood.

“I think people today long for the old glamour of the 40’s and 50’s. Movies don’t even really have costume designers anymore; they just pull things off the rack. Nothing looks that special or unique. It was a completely different world, that’s why it’s so important to save.”

Every artist needs their muse, just as every musician needs their inspiration. For Schreiner, it was Arthur Rubenstein, the piano player who he considers the greatest of the 20th century.

Another inspiration for him would be Dr. Christine Lopez, the head of the music department at Cerritos. Schreiner and Lopez perform duets together frequently and are planning a show for February. “She is so supportive and encouraging to each faculty member. She encourages us every step of the way. It’s wonderful to have such a great person in the department,” said Schreiner.

He also has his own words of wisdom for those who are starting out in music, hoping to achieve something big: ” Develop a passion for it. Work hard and there’s no doubt that it will pay off. Work so hard that it looks easy.”

If you would like to purchase a CD with Schreiner’s music for $15, see him in the music department.