Dennis Frayne wins grant

As part of a special project sponsored by the CSULB COTA Student Council, Dennis Frayne, together with COTA SC leadership team, has awarded a grant from ASI to put on a student-run one-act opera, involving multiple COTA departments (music, theater, dance, art, design, film). The multi-night event will take place in late April 2013. The goal of the project is to encourage collaboration among the arts colleges, as well as a completely student-produced production.

Britten Centennial Collaboration

A first-time ever collaboration between BCCM, the Thornton School of Music, the Colburn Orchestra, the LA Children’s Choirs, and CSUF will be conducted by maestro James Conlon at Disney Hall in November 2013. The combined ensembles will perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Mr. Conlon is currently engaged in a three-year project to mark the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten culminating in 2013. A long-time devotee of Britten’s music, the project includes six different Britten operas, as well as symphonic and choral works performed in the U.S. and Europe.  Mr. Conlon is music director of Los Angeles Opera (since 2006), the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (since 2005).

He has conducted more than 260 performances at the Metropolitan Opera since his debut in 1976. He has also appeared at Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro del Opera di Roma. In the course of his career, he has conducted more than ninety operas and several hundred symphonic and choral works.

Cello Ensemble plays for Long Beach Auxiliary of the LA Phil

The Cello Ensemble, under the direction of David Garrett, performed for the Long Beach Auxiliary of the LA Philharmonic on Dec 4.

Linda Parsons, Program Chair, wrote to say, “I have had so many wonderful and affirming comments from those in attendance. Please let your students know again how much we appreciated their performance – it was beautiful.”

Winter Festival Concert 2012

The Best of Winter Fest consisted of three fabulous concerts performed by all of the choral groups in the Bob Cole Conservatory. Pictured are Christine Guter conducting all of the ensembles in a rousing rendition of “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

Alumnus Tyler Alessi works with Composer Ricky Ian Gordon

Tyler Alessi, BM Vocal Performance 2010, took part in Opera Fusion, Cincinnati, a workshop between Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. They workshopped  Ricky Ian Gordon’s 2002 Opera Morning Star. The composer (pictured with Tyler) worked directly with the vocalists, and is currently revising the work.

Anthony Moreno featured in school paper

The Daily 49er published an article about baritone Anthony Moreno’s success in the recent MET auditions. Dr. Jonathan Talberg, Director of Choral/Vocal/Opera was quoted, “I’ve been at CSULB for 13 years, and in those 13 years, we’ve had six people get to [Moreno’s] level in the Met competitions,” Talberg said. “I expect the trajectory of his career to be long and successful.”

Alumnus Ian Brekke founding director of Vocal Jazz at Marina High

Alumnus Eric Graham (BM choral education)  is Head of Choral Activities at Marina High in Huntington Beach. He and Alumnus Ian Brekke (MM vocal jazz) started a vocal jazz program; Ian is the founding director of the ensemble. Ian wrote to say, “Among all the fun things I get to do musically this is one of the most rewarding.”

Alumnus Mike Miley voted best Modern Rock/Indie/Punk drummer of all time

Alumnus Mike Miley (Rival Sons) has been voted the best Modern Rock/Indie/Punk drummer of all time in the Drummer’s World Cup. He now advances to a final group of 16 drummers including John Bonham and Buddy Rich. As Mike said, “when it rains, it pours.” Rival Sons won the “breakthrough artist” award from Classic Rock Magazine, and were on the cover with the caption, “Band of the Year? Hottest Band in Rock?”