Tedmon Tran at the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology
Tedmon Tran, a cellist double majoring in electrical engineering and music, was in Vietnam July 28-Aug. 19. He was awarded an international travel scholarship from the Luis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to investigate applications of music information retrieval (MIR) and the related area of music emotion recognition in Vietnamese music. In particular, Tran examined the music of singer-songwriter Trịnh Công Sơn and the context in which his songs are performed today. Tran met with advisor Margaret Bodemer of the History Department in Hà Nội before returning to the U.S. to continue research in the Vietnamese American communities in Westminster, California. He hopes his findings will contribute to the exploration of nontraditional research methods, such as MIR in musicology, as well as encourage discussion of the ethics of technology and the increased emphasis on interdisciplinary study. The trip was partially funded by the College of Liberal Arts.
Brian Mendez shot and edited two short videos as part of a project to serve Cal Poly Athletics and SLO Transit. One shows the Mustang Spirit Team — Mustang Band and Cheer and Dance Teams — making their way via SLO Transit to the big game. The other is a demonstration video showing the finer points of riding the bus. The movies are silent, since audio is not played on the buses, and can be viewed online.
Music majors Marianna Pallas, horn, and Davis Zamboanga, trombone, were among 53 college brass players from the British Isles, continental Europe, and the U.S. who were chosen to participate in the Dublin Brass Week June 24-27, hosted at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The intense schedule of lessons and classes included performances each night at various venues. This was the fourth year students from Cal Poly were chosen for the program. The most influential part of the week for Pallas was participating in master classes, in particular for Katy Woolley, principal horn of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. For Davis, a highlight was his performance of the audition excerpt from Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony since he said he focused on playing the music, rather than playing the notes.
In June and July, Zamboanga and Kent Giese were instructors for United Spirit Association Drum Major Camps. They taught spinning, conducting and leadership in a fun and engaging way. Both students are drum majors for the Mustang Band, and Zamboanga is serving as CEO this year. They said their experience in band and the department’s conducting classes provided the skills they needed for the camps. Giese taught at the University of Puget Sound, Washington; Zamboanga taught at UC Irvine; and they both taught at UC Santa Cruz and Sacramento State.
Zamboanga also audited the inaugural Impulse New Music Festival at the UC Santa Barbara, Aug. 5-17. Participants composed, played and recorded new music. Brandon J. Rolle (Music, Political Science, ’10), was the artistic director and head of composition. The experience inspired Zamboanga to pursue a graduate degree in composition.
The Shanks brothers — Timothy, Joseph and Titus — made a clean sweep of the 2019 Billy Watson Memorial Scholarship Award. Timothy, violin, and Joseph, viola, received $1,000; and Titus received $2,500. Joseph graduated in spring and is attending San Diego State University.
Grant Smith played organ for the Sept. 7 Heart of the Arts fundraising gala for the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center. He was asked to play “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and he made his own arrangement. The attendees loved hearing a piece they knew, and even sang along.