Music supporter, neighborhood champion Toby Horn

| July 28, 2022 | 0 Comments


Toby Horn is touched and amazed that she was selected to be a “Woman of Larchmont,” because she doesn’t think she’s especially remarkable. “My life is just my life,” she explains.

Of course, that’s only partially true; Horn gives more than she admits. From her involvement in the Los Angeles Conservancy to bringing music to hospital patients and the community to her volunteer efforts at the Ebell of Los Angeles, she is the embodiment of a giving spirit. Even her choice of dining spots shows her priorities. Not a fan of expensive, rarified places to eat, she and her husband Harold Tomin can often be found with red sauce spaghetti plates at Andre’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria at the Town & Country Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue. She values their tasty, well-priced food and enjoys that the patrons represent “a cross-section of the entire city.”

Raised on Rimpau Boulevard., she and her husband live in a Paul Williams-designed home in Miracle Mile North, noteworthy for its designation as the Howard-Nagin Residence, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #436. When she was a child, her family was friends with the home’s owners, Lou and Ida Nagin. When she visited that home, she was smitten, deciding that she would live there when she grew up. Years later, when she heard that Ida planned to put the house on the market, she and her husband made good on her childhood dream and purchased the architecturally significant home, meticulously restoring it.

Horn’s concern with preservation is also evident as a former board member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and her involvement on the House, Theatre & Grounds committee of The Ebell of Los Angeles, which is tasked with preserving and restoring the historic women’s club.

Her other involvement at The Ebell is through its social services committee, which provides support beyond Ebell’s financial grants to organizations helping women and children. Specifically, she often cooks for the monthly dinners the committee makes and serves to the women and families at Alexandria House.

Horn is very concerned with local issues and regularly attends planning hearings and community meetings. Her letters to the editor are frequently published in The Los Angeles Times.
Although she resides in historic Miracle Mile North, Horn shops at the Larchmont Farmers’ Market and avails herself of various services on the Boulevard.

After a short-lived marriage when she was young, Horn went on to enjoy, as she describes it, a “wonderful life on her own,” until she happened to meet Harold Tomin when both were at a restaurant bar waiting for their respective tables. After seven years of (as she says) “keeping company,” they married in 1985.

She was a hospital administrator at County USC Medical Center for 30 years, which she loved so much she went back to volunteer there after she retired. She served on the center’s CARES fundraising board, a hospital charitable arm dedicated to providing funds for patients in need of help beyond medical treatment. Approximately 35,000 patients have thus far received food and clothing.

Horn also joined the hospital’s arts council to acquire art “to make the place more human.” Extrapolating from that, Horn started a music program to bring inspiring, excellent music to patients and hospital workers. “We recruit capable musicians,” she explains, “and place them in lobbies, in wards, in chemotherapy and out in the courtyard,” at least until COVID-19 restrictions temporarily curtailed the inclusion of visiting musicians around the facilities. Many musicians have come from the Thornton School at USC, but others have also volunteered, including the Chorale from the Ebell. “Music heals,” asserts Horn. “We want to attract people to ‘the hospital with the heart.’”

In keeping with her belief in the importance of music and her desire to help support musicians, Horn joined Groupmuse, a cooperative of like-minded music lovers willing to host and/or attend intimate concerts in people’s living rooms or backyards. She and her husband have hosted so often they are designated “superhosts.”

The pleasure Horn derives from hosting musical events in her home is compounded by the fact that Groupmuse provides paid opportunities for musicians beyond the normal concert venues. Things have been especially tough for musicians through the pandemic, Horn acknowledges, so this one — of many programs she supports — hits all the right notes.

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Category: People

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