Dave Gerhart Gives Clinics, Performs as Soloist

Lecturer Dave Gerhart recently gave master classes at Minnesota State University and North Dakota University. He also performed Passageways by Baljinder Sekhon with RimShots! Percussion Ensemble, and judged the MacPhail Percussion Showcase.

Dr. Gerhart is shown here with Clovis North High School’s Percussion Ensemble with whom he also performed Passageways at the National Percussion Ensemble Festival in Indianapolis.

Bob Cole Students and Alumni at National Trumpet Competition

BCCM and CSULB at the National Trumpet Competition: 2013 BM graduate (trumpet and composition) Casey Martin (far left) and the UT Austin Trumpet Ensemble placed 2nd in the finals performing Casey’s own composition The Autonomy of Machines.

Current grad students Dillon Parker and Nick Wees and 2014 MM graduate (trumpet) Michael Sullivan (DMA student at James Madison University) played beautifully in the graduate solo division; 2008 graduate Joe Gray also performed in the opening concert.

Amanda Duncan Interviewed for Women In Pan

Alumnus Amanda Duncan was interviewed by “When Steel Talks” for their Women In Pan feature. The article goes into depth about Amanda’s experiences playing pan. She says, “In any subject or discipline, experiencing something is the best way to learn about it, as opposed to reading about it in a book or watching a video. I’ve known for a long time about the Trinidadian way of approaching music and Panorama, but I couldn’t fully absorb and deeply internalize what I knew to be true until I experienced it myself in the Silver Stars yard.

“I now feel like I’m slowly starting to “get it” on a deep internal level, and in my classroom I feel like I’m starting to teach this music with less of an “accent.” I will never know the steel pan, culturally-speaking, as deeply as Trinidadians because I am an American, of course, and wasn’t born into the culture from which the pan was cultivated. I will always “have an accent” when I play and when I teach. However, approaching music and Panorama through the Trinidadian lens, after having been to Trinidad and performed in Panorama myself, feels more intuitive than it did before. I’ve slowly started to absorb a bit of the “Trinidadian way” into my teaching language and foundation.”

Alumni get Rave Reviews for Anthracite Fields with LAMC

Alumni Beth Peregrine, Luc Kleiner, and Zanaida Robles performed with the LA Mater Chorale in they performance of “Anthracite Fields,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for composer Julia Wolfe, and some spirituals and Appalachian songs. In Mark Swed’s glorious review of the performance for the LA Times, he singled out Zanaida Robles, commenting, “Happily no one who heard the restrained rapture that Master Chorale soprano Zanaida Robles brought to “Wade in the Water” will forget it.”
Canada also recently made her debut conducting the Southeast Symphony Orchestra in concert with her own  San Gabriel Valley Choral Company in a performance of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast.

Photo credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu LA Times

Ryan Brown has several Premieres

Alumnus Ryan Brown’s work I Heard Bells from my Rotating House had its premiere performed by ZOFO duet in Berkeley. He also had Pipsqueak for solo piano, written for the Renee B. Fisher Piano Competition in New Haven premiered, and a large work performed by the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra and dance at Queens College.  The Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, a collection of musicians from the greater New York City area, collaborates anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. And his work “Bone,” commissioned by the Volti’s Choral Arts Competition, will be premiered May 16 and 17 at Z Space in San Francisco.

photo credit: Lenny Gonzalez

Amanda Duncan Interviewed by Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian interviewed alumna Amanda Duncan for an article called “The Joy of Pan.” Liam Teague, who has visited CSULB, organized several Americans to attend “Panorama,” a huge steel pan festival. Amanda performed with his PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra. She is quoted as saying, “I started playing steel pan in my first year in university in 2004, at California State University, Long Beach. “Performing on finals night was by far the greatest musical experience of my life. Sharing that stage with so many other people who love pan as much as I do was indescribable, and there is nothing at home in the US that comes close to that kind of performance.”

Leeav Sofer Featured in Jewish Journal

The Jewish Journal features alumnus Leeav Sofer in a profile on his work at Colburn School, Mostly Kosher, and the re-opened play at 24th Street Theatre: Man Covets Bird. In the article, Debbie Devine, Chair of the Colburn School drama department is quoted as saying the Leeav is “a life force with a tremendous amount of skills.” The feature also notes, “Following its televised performance as part of the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mostly Kosher bookings have exploded. The band is planning a tour to the Bay Area in June to headline the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival.”

Alexis Luther on Winning Team for Caltech’s Hacktech

Junior Alexis Luther (bass) wrote the sheet music for a live DJ music software application during “Hackteck.” Hacktech is Caltech’s premier interdisciplinary hackathon: for 36 hours, 500 awesome student hackers will combine computer science with engineering and science [and music!]  to build the most innovative and interdisciplinary creations of the future. Her team won Best Developer App.

Amy Gillick on Faculty of InterHarmony International Music Festival

Alumna Amy Gillick (bassoon) has joined the faculty at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso (Tuscany, Italy), starting this summer. The festival holds three sessions (two in Tuscany and one in Germany) and features many world class guest artists such as Alfred Brendel, Vadim Repin, Bruno Caninio, Jean-Bernard Pommier, and Misha Quint.

Nathan Stark Receives Rave Review from Hawaii Opera

Alumnus Nathan Stark received another terrific review, this one for his tole in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Hawaii Opera. “Nathan Stark made an auspicious role debut as an uncommonly fine Bottom. His stage demeanor was by turns pompous, genial, blustering, and endearing and he captured every bit of the part’s humor, especially when portraying the overwrought Pyramus. His well-schooled bass-baritone has a steely thrust, and its easy amplitude allowed it to ring out in the house. Mr. Stark’s authoritative impersonation made us love to be annoyed by this meddlesome tinker. His loose-limbed antics as the ass were the perfect partner to Tytania’s ‘gaga’ spoonin.” – James Sohre,

Elizabeth Queen to Sing in Hawaii

Alumna Elizabeth Queen was offered roles in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival this summer. She will sing Le Feu and La Pastorelle in Ravel’s “l’Enfant et les Sortileges.”

She has also been accepted to the Emerging Artists’s Program at OperaWorks. The Emerging Artist Program is for young singers who want to strengthen their performance skills, expand their stage experience, and learn how to market themselves.

Holly Bishop Guest the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

Cuatro Puntos with alumna Holly Bishop (bass) will be special guests at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany, in June. They have given several culture-bridging programs geared toward developing, war-torn, or isolated areas including projects in Afghanistan, Bolivia, and India. As part of their European tour of England, Germany, and The Netherlands (where they will visit an aspiring music program at a refugee camp), Cuatro Puntos will be giving a special concert and lecture at this international hub for the study and implementation of cultural diplomacy projects.