Special Events

Special Events and Faculty Recitals


Get a 20% discount when purchasing to four or more Music Department events sold through the Cal Poly Ticket Office. Cal Poly faculty and staff receive 20% discount for any Music Department event sold through the ticket office.

Anne Hege and Julie HerndonAnne Hege and Julie Herndon Electronic Music Concert

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024
7:30 p.m., Cal Poly Davidson Music Center, Room 218

Guest artist Anne Hege and Music Department faculty member Julie Herndon will present an electronic music concert.

Hege, in her “Divining Wisdom Part II,” will weave together works for her analog live-looping recorder with compositions for live voice, electronics and video. Herndon will perform a selection from new works for extended keyboard instruments augmented with electronics.

Hege’s tape machine, which she constructed in 2009, is a portable instrument with three hacked cassette players — one recording tape head and two playback points running a handmade tape loop. “It’s basically an analog, live-looping machine from which the listener, by sound alone, can identify the process and the technology,” said Hege. “There are no hidden effects, but rather, the instrument is completely transparent supporting active listening and collaboration with the instrument as a muse.” 

The works will be juxtaposed with pieces from her New Prosthetics project from 2006-20, in which live vocal processing and electronics extend and expand the power of the voice in an augmentation of the human body. The set explores the creation of balance between these very different worlds.

Herndon will perform a selection from her “Electronic Etudes,” a collection that seamlessly integrates acoustic keyboard instruments and live electronics, ranging from the intricate world of recording and audio effects to the realms of analog and digital synthesis. “These pieces for extended keyboard instruments explore the body’s relationship to the piano, the keyboard, the synthesizer and other forms of tempered technology,” she said. Each piece explores the nature of touch and gesture relating to the piano and its performance practice. 

Hege and Herndon met in 2015 through the Mills College community in Oakland, California. They have been collaborating ever since, including choral concerts with the Peninsula Women's Chorus and shows at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. 

Born in Oakland, Hege began her musical studies singing with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir and the Oakland Youth Chorus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music (with honors) from Wesleyan University country in Connecticut and a master’s in music composition in Oakland from Mills College. In 2014, she completed her doctorate in music composition at Princeton University, where she studied embodied cognition theory and musical meaning.

She has composed for film, installation art, and dance and concert settings. Since 2008, Hege has composed musical scores for choreographer Carrie Ahern. The New York Times praised her score for Ahern’s dance installation “SeNSATE,” as “convincing” and “strangely environmental.” Influenced by Hege’s deep-listening practice, her latest compositions range between ritual, music and theater with some homemade instruments thrown in for good measure.

Herndon began serving as the Music Department’s director of the music technology program in 2022. She taught composition and electronic music production techniques at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. She holds a doctorate in musical arts from Stanford, a master’s in music composition from Mills College and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

A composer, performer and sound artist, she explores the body’s relationship to sound. Her compositions and installations have been presented at the MATA Festival: National Sawdust in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico, Music Biennale Zagreb in Croatia, Sogar Theater in Zurich and by Forest Collective in Australia. Recent collaborations include the Decoder Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente and Kukuruz Quartet.

Free admission, parking enforced

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Chamber Music Workshop with Steven Copes and Caitlin Lynch

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
11:10 a.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218

Steven Copes, violin, is concertmaster of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Caitlin Lynch, viola, has performed with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman to Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. She is violist of the Aeolus String Quartet and the Grammy-nominated conductorless chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. Co-presented with Festival Mozaic.

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Piano Master Class with John Novacek

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
7-9 p.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218

The master class will be with students from both on off campus. John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. He has presented more than  30 concerti with dozens of orchestras. He begins his current season with an appointment to the Piano and Collaborative Piano faculty of The Mannes School of Music at The New School’s College of Performing Arts. Co-presented with Festival Mozaic. 

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John Salmon and Janet JoichiJohn Salmon and Janet Joichi Piano Recital: Bach, Brubeck and Beyond

Thursday, March 7, 2024
11:10 a.m., Davidson Music Center, Room 218

John Salmon, a music professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Cal Poly Music Department faculty member Janet Joichi will give a free piano recital.

Titled “Bach, Brubeck and Beyond,” the program will feature piano duet versions of works by J.S. Bach and Dave Brubeck, plus some of Salmon’s own and compositions.

The program will open with Bach’s Prelude in C Major from “The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I,” plus three of Bach’s “Inventions,” once with a Baroque arrangement, then again with a jazz arrangement, all by Salmon. The program also features “Take Five” and Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a La Turk” along with other well-known tunes by Brubeck and three original compositions for duo pianos by Salmon.  

Salmon has distinguished himself on four continents as both a classical and jazz artist. His performances have been broadcast on many radio stations in the U.S., including National Public Radio, WNYC in New York, WFMT in Chicago, and KUSC in Los Angeles; and on the national radio stations of more than a dozen countries.

He has recorded four compact discs of Dave Brubeck’s classical piano music on the Phoenix, Naxos and Albany labels. Brubeck dedicated two compositions to Salmon: “The Salmon Strikes” and “Bach Again.” Salmon’s CD of piano pieces by Nikolai Kapustin is also on the Naxos label, and a CD of his own jazz compositions, “Salmon Is a Jumpin’,” was released by Albany Records.

He is also active as a guest performer for festivals and music conferences, as a guest lecturer and author.

Joichi teaches applied piano at Cal Poly and brings a diverse background in piano performance, music theory and cognition, and psychology into her teaching. She holds a doctorate in music from Northwestern University in music theory and cognition, a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Northwestern University where she received the piano program honor award. Joichi has performed in venues throughout Chicago including Preston Bradley Hall and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and as a guest performer at a variety of colleges.

Free admission, parking enforced

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

Friday, May 10, 2024
7:30 p.m., Pavilion, Performing Arts Center

Pianist and Cal Poly Professor Emeritus W. Terrence Spiller will conclude his survey of Beethoven piano sonatas in this eighth and final recital. The program will open with the early, buoyant "Sonata in E-flat Major," Op. 7; followed by the compact and less-frequently heard sonatas Op. 27, No. 1; and Op. 54. He will conclude the recital and cycle with the triumphant masterpiece Op. 53, "The Waldstein."

Tickets ($20 general, $10 students)

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