Sebastien Najand Composer for League of Legends

Alumnus Sebastien Najand is full-time composer for Riot Games (a video game company which produces League of Legends). As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours.

Sebastien traveled to Seoul for the League of Legends world finals where a project he worked on with Imagine Dragons was performed. He composed the music for live orchestra for parts of the competition.

A Better Nectar

The Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Jonathan Talberg, recorded music for a new multi sensory installation, “A Better Nectar” by Jessica Rath, based on the co-evolutionary communication between flowering plants and their pollinators. The exhibit is open January 27 – April 12, 2015.

In A Better Nectar, Jessica Rath creates an immersive rhythmic experience, using sculpture, light, and sound to consider how bumblebees learn and remember multisensory floral signals to find better nectar. Visitors are provided with a human-scaled experience of a bee’s intimate sensorial journey from its underground nest to an audibly and visually pulsating world, based on the Rath’s research and discussions with the scientists at Leonard Bee Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The exhibition’s highlight, “Resonant Nest,” is a responsive acoustic sculpture taking the form of a human-scaled bumblebee nest. Human voice interpretations of bee communication emanate from the sculpture, designed in collaboration with Ian Schneller of Specimen Products, Chicago. The score, created by Los Angeles-based composer Robert Hoehn, shifts with live changes in weather, season, and time, as well as to the viewer’s presence in the gallery.

John Barcellona runs 25th Fundraising Marathon

On Sunday, February 1, 2015, Dr. John Barcellona will be running the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach on behalf of the University Wind Quintet Scholarship for the 25th year. These contributions have helped raise funds for The Bob Cole Conservatory’s finest woodwind and horn performers, the University Wind Quintet. This year’s quintet members are: Vanessa Fourla—flute, a graduate student from Greece; Spencer Klass—oboe, a sophomore from Agoura Hills, CA; Sarra Hey—clarinet, a graduate student from Los Angeles, CA; Sarah Kreuger—horn, a sophomore from Irvine, CA and Brian Tuley—bassoon, a senior from Manhattan Beach, CA.

KCAL 9 News recently caught up with Dr. Barcellona to discuss the marathon and fundraiser:

Dr. Barcellona asks to pledge your support by making a donation for each mile that he completes (26.2 if he finishes).  After the race, he’ll let you know how he did and you can donate at that time; or simply mail a donation or pledge now, payable to CSULB 49er Foundation.

We are grateful for your continued support, as this event is a major funding source of scholarships for members of the University Wind Quintet.  Anyone who pledges or donates will receive two complimentary tickets to the University Wind Quintet performance, Tuesday, April 28 at 8:00pm in the Daniel Recital Hall.

For further information about making a donation, please contact Dr. John Barcellona at john.barcellona@csulb.edu

Whiplash Nominated for Best Picture

Little did we know that when Jazz Studies was contacted by a Hollywood casting agency in the summer of 2013 to hire extras for a feature film about college jazz bands that “Whiplash” would go on to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture.

Drew Ninmer, Jason Fabus, Taylor Smith, Patrick Lenertz, and Gary Soland appeared and are credited as members of the conservatory jazz orchestra in the film, which focuses on a drummer in as he struggles to impress a merciless teacher. “Whiplash” received a total of five Oscar nominations; J.K. Simmons, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the teacher, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Mike Miley one of 10 Best Rock Drummers in the World

Alumnus Mike Miley (Rival Sons) was named one of the “10 best rock drummers in the world right now” by musicradar.com 2014. They mention,”The Californian rockers dropped their fifth studio album, Great Western Valkryie, which took just five weeks to record in Nashville but earned them a five-star review in Rhythm for its sweet kit sounds and Mike Miley’s unquestionably huge groove.”

Leeav Sofer Profiled in the LA Times

Alumnus Leeav Sofer, co-director of Colburn Wesley Project singers was profiled in the LA Times. The choir is comprised of homeless men and women living on skid row.

Leeav and Linda Evans have been working with the choir through the Colburn School, “There’s something there that no other choir has, which is the fact they want it so much more,” Leeav said of the choir. The choir gave its first performance at the City Club on the 51st floor of a downtown skyscraper wearing black evening-wear donated by a film financier.

Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 

Darren Loney’s Gahr HS Band Wins State Championship

Alumnus Darren Loney led his Gahr High School Band to the Division 4 State Championship  After advancing to the California State Grand Championships they took home the Grand Champion Trophy, Gold Medal. Gahr senior flutist Sayra Rosales received the Outstanding Soloist Award. Over half the band – 53 students – were freshmen or first-year members of the group. This is only the second year since Gahr High School has restarted its competitive marching program.