Final Note: Valencia Mitchell

Life Member. Violin
3/4/1949 – 9/3/2023

Valencia began violin studies with Frank Frederick Ficus in Los Angeles at the age of 10. She attended Manual Arts High School and upon graduation enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, CA. At Mills she studied with Nathan Ruben and earned the Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She enrolled at the University of Southern California pursuing a degree in Library Science with an emphasis in music and was awarded the Master’s Degree in Music Literature from California State University, Long Beach. Valencia worked as a librarian for the County of Los Angeles and Cerritos College.

Valencia performed in a variety of musical settings including solo performance, chamber ensembles, orchestral and commercial music. She was a member of the Culver City, Peninsula, and Marina Del Rey Symphonies. She recorded with Chaka Kahn and appeared on the Grammys telecast with Vanessa Williams and Rihanna. Valencia was a consummate professional and proud Life Member of Local 47.

Val taught violin at the Watts-Willowbrook Conservatory and Angelica Center for Arts and Music where she was dedicated to expanding access to music instruction for under-served communities.

Travel, genealogical research, and sewing were hobbies Val enjoyed with great enthusiasm. With her husband Joseph and daughter Stephanie the family made a yearly sojourn to Death Valley to celebrate New Year’s Eve. She was passionate about finding her familial roots and was thrilled to discover a connection or link to her ancestors. At the start of the COVID pandemic Val bought a new Viking sewing machine to make personalized face coverings.

Valencia was loved and admired by scores of relatives, friends, colleagues, and strangers. She had a beautiful smile that reflected her ebullient personality and life affirming, positive attitude.