David Arrivée conducted the Kern County Honor Orchestra at the annual “It’s a Grand Night for Music” concert in Bakersfield on Jan. 29. The musical extravaganza included performances by an honor orchestra, choir and wind band, and culminated in a collaborative performance by all groups. The two days of intensive rehearsal were an excellent chance for Arrivée to work with the best high school orchestral musicians from Bakersfield and its surrounding area. He had met many of them before through working with the Stockdale High School Symphony Orchestra, of which alumnus Scott Dirkse (Music, ’05) is associate director. The group made a guest appearance at the Cal Poly Symphony’s Winter Concert on March 16, 2018. Arrivée adjudicated the CMEA (California Music Education Association) Central Solo Ensemble Festival from March 19-20.
Meredith Brammeier’s composition, “Turning” for mixed chorus and piano, was premiered by the Cuesta North County Chorus at the Atascadero Lake Pavilion on Dec. 1. The revised version of her composition “Gloria” for double choir, organ, and brass quintet was premiered on Dec. 15 by the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale in the Performing Arts Center. She was also the soprano soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” at that concert. From March 12-13 Brammeier attended the Turn Up Multimedia Festival for Equality at the University of Arizona in Tucson where her composition, “Sonata for Horn and Piano,” was performed for the final concert.
Suzanne Duffy has been performing a diverse concert season. In September she was called in at the start of concert week to cover principal flute for the San Luis Obispo Symphony’s opening season performance. As principal flute for Opera San Luis Obispo, she was featured in a video promotion for the group’s October production of “The Magic Flute” in the Performing Arts Center. In November, she brought Suzanne Snizek, associate professor of music at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, to campus for a lecture-recital on suppressed music, with a particular focus on composers from the periods of World War I and World War II. In December, Duffy was a featured faculty performer with the Cal Poly Symphony in Howard Hanson’s “Serenade for Solo Flute, Harp and Strings,” with harp instructor Marcia Dickstein. On Feb. 10, as principal flute for the Symphony of the Vines chamber orchestra, Duffy performed a two flute and piano recital at Cass Winery in Paso Robles. She continues her longtime performance association with Opera Santa Barbara in its 25th anniversary season as second flute/piccolo. For the “Eugene Onegin” production on March 1 and 3, she covered as principal flute. On March 24, she’ll be a soloist for its final concert of the season at the historic Mission San Miguel on Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C Major, K. 299, with Los Angeles-based harpist Catherine Litaker. In June, Duffy will rejoin with longtime Duo Solaré partner, classical guitarist James Bishop-Edwards, for a Central Coast region recital tour, with performances at Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay, a house concert in Santa Barbara and a concert for the Ventura Guitar Society in Camarillo.
Mark Miller had a busy month of March performances. He played bass trombone with Opera Santa Barbara for its production of “Eugene Onegin” on March 1 and 3. The following week he played tenor trombone and euphonium for Westridge Preparatory School’s run of “Urinetown.” Additionally, trombone students Kent Giese and Davis Zamboanga performed a joint junior recital on March 8. Several of Miller’s students also played for the Jessica Valeri master class on March 9.
Paul Rinzler was an adjudicator March 15-16 for the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival, one of the largest public school jazz festivals in California. The festival invites high school and middle school jazz bands, combos and vocal jazz choirs to perform, receive critiques and scored ratings from adjudicators, and attend various educational clinics. When Rinzler taught jazz studies at UC Santa Cruz, he was on the board of directors of the festival and helped produce the event. In April, Rinzler will travel to Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, to deliver a talk at the second Jazz and Philosophy Intermodal Conference. The first conference, in Winslow, Arizona, was inspired by Rinzler’s 2008 book, “The Contradictions of Jazz.” Topics for the conference include the humanistic values of jazz, the fusion of Buddhism and jazz by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, the neuroscience of jazz improvisation, the ontology of jazz and jazz and French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Rinzler’s talk will discuss how sex is represented in jazz.