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Special Events and Faculty Recitals

CollegiansCal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band Concert

Saturday, August 27, 2016
7:30 p.m., Madonna Inn Ballroom

The Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band will celebrate its “almost golden” 49-year reunion with a performance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in the Madonna Inn Ballroom in San Luis Obispo.

The ensemble of 20 musicians will recreate the swinging sounds of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Les Brown and other big bands of the 1940s through the ’60s. “Fans of big band jazz and swing — listeners and dancers alike — are going to love it,” said Bob Alberti, a local trombonist in the alumni band.

Cal Poly music major and bassist Troy Hanson — a winner of the 2015-16 Cal Poly Collegians’ Jazz Scholarship — will join in the performance.

The Collegians — predecessor to today's acclaimed Cal Poly University Jazz Bands — was founded in 1937 by then Music Department Head Harold P. Davidson. The alumni band members are Cal Poly graduates from the late ’40s to the early ’60s who travel to San Luis Obispo for the reunion concert from throughout California, Arizona, Oregon, Massachusetts and Québec, Canada.

The alumni band has performed at a variety of local venues on the Central Coast over the years. The Madonna Inn Ballroom has been the site of the band’s homecoming since 1999, following a personal invitation from the late Alex Madonna.

Admission to the performance is free; voluntary contributions to Cal Poly’s Collegians Jazz Scholarship are welcome.

The Cal Poly Collegians draw a full house every year, and seating is guaranteed only for those who make a reservation and dine in the Steak House. Non-diners who wish to dance or listen are accommodated on a first-come basis. To make dinner reservations at the Madonna Inn Steak House, call 805-543-3000. For more information about the Madonna Inn and the Steak House, visit the Madonna Inn website.

For more information about the Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band, including historic photos, visit the group’s website.

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John AstaireJohn Astaire Percussion Recital

Friday, Nov. 4, 2016
7:30 p.m., Pavilion, Performing Arts Center

Faculty member John Astaire will perform a dynamic recital with works by modern composers such as Iannis Xenakis and Louis Andriessen. The night will also include the rarely performed and massively intense “Towards the Precipice” by Poul Ruders, a specialty piece of Astaire’s. His solo performances are known for the agility and athleticism he brings to the music.

Tickets ($14 general, $9 students)



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W. Terrence SpillerW. Terrence Spiller Piano Recital

Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
7:30 p.m., Spanos Theatre

Concert pianist and Music Department Chair W. Terrence Spiller will perform a pair of traditional Austrian masterworks: Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, K. 311, and Schubert’s “Impromptus,” Op. 90. The program also explores romantic and impressionistic color, with Gottschalk’s “Souvenir of Puerto Rico,” Debussy’s “Images,” Book I, and Balakirev’s notorious “Islamey.”

Tickets ($14 general, $9 students)



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Bach WeekBach Week

Tuesday, Jan. 17–Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017








Thomas Davies and David ArrivéeInside Bach Week

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218
Join Bach Week directors Thomas Davies and David Arrivée for an in-depth look at the week's repertoire, in the context of J.S. Bach's life and — in the case of this year's cantata — as it functioned in the religious context of the Lutheran church year. Musical examples and a nice bit of German included.




David Wilson and Paul HaleMaster Class with David Wilson and Paul Hale

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, 11:10 a.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218
Violinist David Wilson and cellist Paul Hale will coach Cal Poly students in repertoire from the Baroque era, with a focus on historically informed performance.





Paul MiklowitzAkademie: Bach and the Enlightenment

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218
The new Akademie lecture series begins with an exploration of Bach's life and music in the context of the Enlightenment. Musical discussion will focus on Bach's "Musical Offering," part of which will be performed on Friday's Chamber Concert. Paul Miklowitz from Cal Poly's Philosophy Department and David Arrivée will host this inaugural session.





Mensa Sonora CaliforniaChamber Concert: Bach and the Court of Frederick the Great

Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. 8 p.m., Mission SLO
Hear a portion of Bach's "Musical Offering," inspired by his visit to the court of King Frederick II of Prussia, and works by composers active at this court. Performed by Mensa Sonora California on period instruments:

  • David Wilson, violin
  • Lars Johannesson, baroque flute
  • Paul Hale, cello
  • Charles Sherman, harpsichord

Tickets ($20 premium general and students, $15 general, $10 students)*

*Special! Discounted pricing for both Mission concerts ($35 premium public and students, $25 general public, $15 students)






Bach in the MissionBach in the Mission VII

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, 8 p.m., Mission SLO
Cal Poly's Early Music Ensemble, members of the Cal Poly Symphony and faculty join with professional guest artists to perform the music of the greatest of the Baroque masters, Johann Sebastian Bach:

  • Motet: "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied"
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
  • Cantata: "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (source of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring")

Tickets ($20 premium general and students, $15 general, $10 students)*

*Special! Discounted pricing for both Mission concerts ($35 premium public and students, $25 general public, $15 students)


Bach at TrinityBach at Trinity (Santa Barbara)

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, 3:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara (1500 State Street )
An encore performance of the Bach in the Mission concert at historic Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara.

Tickets ($20 premium general and students, $15 general, $10 students)


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W. Terrence SpillerW. Terrence Spiller: Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle

Friday, May 12, 2017
7:30 p.m., Pavilion

Spiller continues his exploration of Beethoven’s sonatas in a program of four works, opening with Beethoven’s first piano sonata, Op. 2 No. 1 in F Minor. The first half concludes with the monumental Sonata in A Major, Op. 101. The second half begins with the famous “Sonata Pathétique” (Op. 13) and ends with the joyous Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31 No.3.

Tickets ($14 general, $9 students)



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