Pulse Percussion Wins WGI World Championship

Pulse Percussion Ensemble with Freshmen Trent Gronewold and Emmanuel Mora, and Junior Connie Truong won the WGI Percussion World Championship. Danielle Collins (MM Music Education) is co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of Pulse, alumnus Darren Loney is also on the Board, and alumnus Ian Grom is Percussion Front Ensemble Coordinator/Arranger.

POW, a new Pulse team, earned a spot in finals and finished 13th. The three-day World Championship event, held in Dayton Ohio this year, evaluated more than 200 percussion ensembles from over 40 states and 4 countries.

Patrick Olmos Takes Two at NASA

Alumnus Patrick Olmos performed with the SouthpawQuartet and took second place in the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference Quartet Competition. Patrick also participated in the UMKC Sax Ensemble performance of Corigliano’s Chiaroscuro arranged for two quartets tuned a quarter tone apart.

Earlier this year, the SouthpawQuartet won the West Central Division MTNA performance in chamber music.

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.

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.

Tom Kendall Hughes Wins Remix Contest

Tom Kendall Hughes won the Indaba Music “Do It” Remix Contest. He won $1,000 and an Official Spotify Release. Tom describes himself as a “Multi-instrumentalist/Beatsmith.”

Tom has been signed by Modstandard, a label dedicated to the blending of the hip hop and jazz culture, tying in elements of live and improvisational performance with the production and exploration of new technology. His music has been featured on the Long Beach Airport’s playlist, welcoming visitors to our city.

Joe Sanders Wins John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Alumnus Joe Sanders won the Grand Prize in the World category of the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. His song, “Kundiman,” was performed by Senior Kathleen Van Ruiten. “Kundiman” served as the music behind the credits of “The Last Arrow” a game produced by the Video Game Development Association at CSULB.

Joe scored “Zoe and the Price” which won Best Runner Up at the The 48 Hour Film Project. Filmmakers from all over the Los Angeles area competed to see who could make the best short film in only 48 hours. Joe started scoring at 5am and delivered everything at 4pm the same day.

Andy Konopak wins Musical Merit Scholarship

Junior Andy Konopak was awarded a $4,000 Musical Merit Scholarship from the Musical Merit Foundation where he was one of eleven finalists. He will use the prize money to finance his study at AIMS in Graz this summer.

The Musical Merit Foundation of Greater San Diego has held a yearly competition for instrumentalists and vocalists since 1946.

Ren Geisick wins Jazz Search West

Alumna Ren Geisick was one four winners in the the Jazz Search West competition at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Her prize is a professionally produced, engineered and recorded demo CD.

Jazz Search West is the Bay Area’s Annual Jazz Talent Search for solo instrumentalists and vocalists (15 and up). Four exciting events provide exposure to 16 artists each week during the month of March. 16 performers are selected to move on to the Semi-Finals at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and 8 finalists perform at the Grand Finale at Yoshi’s Oakland. 4 top winners are ultimately selected and awarded prizes designed to enhance their musical career such as a demo CD, recording studio time, full tuition to Jazz Camp West and performance opportunities.

Five Downbeat Awards for Jazz Studies

Please send a huge congratulations to our Jazz Studies Program for taking home five Downbeat Magazine awards this year.

For the second consecutive year, CJO (Concert Jazz Orchestra), was named Best Large Jazz Ensemble in the Graduate College category. Back-to-back for CJO and Jeff Jarvis!

Saxophonist Anibal Seminario won the Graduate College Outstanding Performance. Anibal is completing his MM this semester

Pacific Standard Time won for Graduate College Outstanding Performance. That makes six consecutive years that PST under Christine Guter has won either Outstanding Performance or Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

The Glynis Davies Latin Group, coached by Christine Guter, won Graduate College Outstanding Performances – Latin Group. Glynis is completing her MM this semester.

And finally, Christine Guter was Guest Director for Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble – Honors Ensemble Winner with the Iowa State Jazz Choir.

The breadth and depth and consistency of these awards over the last several years is extraordinary. Congratulations to Jeff, Christine, the entire jazz faculty, and of course, to the remarkable students in Jazz Studies.