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The Bakersfield Jazz Festival was a Success

14 Jun

The 27 annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival kicked off today at The California State University Bakersfield at 7:00 PM. The Friday line-up consisted of three jazz musicians

Robin Bramlett, Billy Vera Big Band, and Roy Ayers. On Saturday, the line up featured Kern County Jazz Band, Colorblind, Rob Hutchinson, Clayton Cameron, Lao Tizer, Avance, Euge Groove.  “My favorite part of the program was the enjoyment that was had by the individuals that participated, the audience members being able to come to this and see this performance without having to go out of town, seeing it right here at home” said Suzanne Botha.

Avance performs for the audience at the CSUB Jazz Festival.

Avance performs for the audience at the CSUB Jazz Festival.

” Favorite Part of the program was the side stage and Roy Ayers. My favorite part about the side stage was that he put a lot of funk music, a lot of old oldies and I really love oldies it’s like my favorite thing in the world and Roy Ayers just because there is a lot of history in that band. Like the drummer playing with Michael Jackson and then playing with Roy Ayers. You know, that’s pretty cool. Like who gets to play with Michael Jackson? No one…”- says Natosha Ramirez.

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Provencio Talks Living Harmony and Plans for the Upcomming School Year

14 Jun

I had a chance to catch up with Elizabeth Provencio, member of the a cappella-singing group Living Harmony. Here is what she had to say:

 

 

The CSUB Singers Go to Washington DC

12 Jun

The California State University Bakersfield Singers went on Choir Tour to Washington DC, our nations capital.

 

 

 

Peggy Sears’ Last Opera Scenes

10 Jun

Fernando Miranda
Inverted Pyramid Essay
Peggy Sears’ Gala

The Last ‘Evening of Opera’ and Zarzuela Scenes under the direction of Peggy Sears

On Friday, April 26 the California State University, Bakersfield Opera Theatre presented “An Evening of Opera and Zarzuela Scenes” at the Doré Theatre. However, there was something different about the annual show. These are the last opera scenes that Peggy Sears has directed and are the culmination of the 22 years of teaching here at CSUB.

Prior to the show, a gala was held in honor of Sears’ 22-year career at CSUB. Students that have long graduated and now have careers of their own came back to celebrate Sears and to thank her for everything she taught them. Some of her current students expressed their gratitude in testimonials.

Ashten Smith, Vocal Performance student, thanked Sears for restoring her confidence in herself and for pushing her beyond what she thought she could do, after being told at her previous college that she “had no business” singing.

A guest at the gala provided some comedic relief by asking her “not even in shower”. This made the student chuckle and smile and responded with smile “not even in the show”, answering the audience member’s inquiry in the affirmative.

Robert Hamilton, 24,said that he felt that Peggy hated him at first because she would not compliment him. He said that almost everyone told him that he was good when he was in high school.

He was going through what is known as “the big fish” syndrome. He learned everything he could learn and could be taught by his high school instructors with the given materials.

Sears also shared that “Help, Help, the Globolinks!” resonated with her. In the opera scene, Earth becomes invaded by aliens known as Globolinks. If an individual gets touched by a Globolink, they become infected and become an alien themselves. The only way to successfully ward off the Globolinks is by playing music. “I love the Globolinks,” says Sears, “because it reminds me of that music is an essential part of the human experience.”

Some of her colleagues shared stories and memories as well. Jim Scully, music professor, says that he “…was a student of Peggy’s from 1991-1994. I have been here for the past 12 years and she’s the reason opera has become important at this university. It has been her vision to make this happen.”

One of Sears’ students, Elizabeth Provencio, 22, a single-subject teaching credential student, shared what she thought was the most important lesson she learned from Sears as well as her fondest memory.

“I have learned the importance of ‘prepared-ness” said Provencio. She said th at her fondest memory of Sears is “ her quote-abilty. She is not afraid to say something hilarious or unexpected if she feels that it will add to the learning experience.”

Dr. Soo-Yeon Park Chang will be taking over Sears’ classes beginning in the fall quarter of 2013.

CSUB Breaks Ground for a New Art Department Building

1 May

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, as Celebrate CSUB got underway, President Horace Mitchell, President at California State University, Bakersfield, Provost Dr. Soraya Coley, Dean of  School of Arts & Humanities, Richard Collins, and Art Department Chair, Joyce Kohl, as well as many individuals that were a part of making this project come to fruition came out to the ground breaking ceremony for the new Art department building this to be built behind the Music Department building.

Richard Collins begins the Art building ground breaking ceremony  by welcoming guests.

Richard Collins begins the Art building ground breaking ceremony by welcoming guests.

Dr. Joyce Kohl speaks at the ceremony. Kohl is the current Art Department Chair at CSUB.

Dr. Joyce Kohl speaks at the ceremony. Kohl is the current Art Department Chair at CSUB.

Art Department Chair, Joyce Kohl, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Richard Collins, Provost, Dr, Soraya Coley, President Mitchell, as well as alumni and current students from the Art department take their places as the ground breaking takes place.

Art Department Chair, Joyce Kohl, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Richard Collins, Provost, Dr, Soraya Coley, President Mitchell, as well as alumni and current students from the Art department take their places as the ground breaking takes place.

 

CSUB Provost, Dr. Soraya Coley, putting away her hard hat after the ceremony.

CSUB Provost, Dr. Soraya Coley, putting away her hard hat after the ceremony.

Artist rendition of how the Art Department Building will look after it is built

Artist rendition of how the Art Department Building will look after it is built

 

 

 

 

A Busy Weekend for the Visual Performing Arts at California State University, Bakersfield

29 Apr

A lot happened this weekend in the Visual Performing Arts Community at CSU-Bakersfield. For Peggy Sears, it was the culmination her 22-year career  as Voice instructor  here at CSUB.  There was a gala held in her honor at the Albertsons room inside the theater. And of course after the gala, followed An Evening of Opera and Zarzuela Scenes. The next day, as Celebrate CSUB got underway, the ground breaking ceremony took place for the new Art Department that is going to be built behind the CSUB Music Department.

  • Before, the opera scenes began, there was a gala held in honor of Peggy Sears 22 year-long career at CSUB. Students gave testimonials about how she has helped them grow as musicians and how she “has pushed” them to do things that they though that they could not do. One student expressed how their previous college experience was not what she had hoped for because of negative remarks and how Sears helped and pushed her to new heights.

    Sears takes time to pose for a picture with Elizabeth Provencio, a CSUB Alumna and one of Sears' former students.

    Sears takes time to pose for a picture with Elizabeth Provencio, a CSUB Alumna and one of Sears’ former students.

  • CSUB Opera Theatre held “An Evening of Opera and Zarzuela Scenes” at the Dore Thetre. The evening open with a scene from The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart. and closed with scenes from Help, Help, the Globolinks by Gian Carlo Menotti. The play itself is about an alien invasion that can only be fought off by the power of music. Madame Euterpova, music teacher, portrayed by Elizabeth Provencio, lead the other teachers and students into battle against the Globolinks by giving everyone an instrument and motivating everyone to keep playing. The scene ends with eerie music that indicates that the Globolinks have gone away in retreat.

    Madame Euterpova (Elizabeth Provencio) taking time after her victory over the Globolinks to pose for the camera.

    Madame Euterpova (Elizabeth Provencio) after her victory over the Globolinks.

  • On April 27, 2013, during Celebrate CSUB, there was a ground breaking ceremony held behind the Music department building, where the new Art department building will be built. The Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Richard Collins opened by giving a brief history of how this project got started and how it hit many road blocks, many if not all financial. He as well as president Horace Mitchell, expressed their gratitude to the people who had something with making this construction happen.Art department ground breaking Ceremony

    NOTE: As a matter of full disclosure, I received lessons from Professor Peggy Sears in the winter quarter of 2010 to prepare for the ACDA Western Division Collegiate Honor Choir .

Runner Dance Marathon- Live Blog Edition Part 1

24 Apr

Today, I wanted to write about the Opera Scenes that are going to happen on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Dore Theater at California State University, Bakersfield. However, that is not going to happen until next Friday, and time travel has yet to be invented. Even if it did exist, it might not be student budget- friendly. So a live blog of the Runner Dance Marathon was the logical and student budget-friendly alternative.

While participants write notes of support to children currently hospitalized, other participants take advantage of other activities available.

While participants write notes of support to children currently hospitalized, other participants take advantage of other activities available.

The Runner DM started 7:00 PM  in the Student Union Building. The Runner DM is being held with the help of CSUB, CSUB Student Union, Panda Express, and CSUB Associated Students Incorporated.

Carmen Nilon, Manager of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, explains that “…dance marathons are programs of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and they happen at universities, large and small.” says Nilon. Nilons also says that, “…there are 178 hospitals that are member hospitals of the Children’s Miracle Network. Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is the only CMN hospital in Kern County.”

100 per cent of the proceeds go the the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center. It is comprised of the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatric department, and the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The proceeds raised at dance marathon events go towards the purchase of live-saving medical equipment.

Last year vein viewers were purchased. This kind of equipment is necessary because the veins of a child are  a lot smaller compared to an adults, which makes it much more difficult  to find. “Our goal is not to have to send our kids to Los Angeles or Madera.” says Nilon with exclamation.

Caryl Schweitzer, Director of Development at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, says, “last year, CSUB Dance Marathon raised $5,000 in its first year, which is more than the larger schools are raising in their second year.”

I spoke to Rosie Gonzalez, Mother of Michael, who is a year and a  half old. “I work in the emergency room myself,” says Gonzalez.

She told me about when Michael was three months old, he was admitted for 15 days with sepsis, which meant that he had bacteria everywhere already. He was kept on Gentamiacin, a  high-level anti-biotic. Along with this medication, she was also told that Michael would loose his hearing, as is often the case with people who have this kind of antibiotic given to them. At the end of the 15 days his hearing was checked and it came out normal, “… and we were able to take him home.”

“Because of the equipment available here [ at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital], he was able to stay at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and not shipped out of town for medical care” says Gonzalez.

Part Two coming soon

Note: As a matter of full disclosure, I was a participant of the CSUB Dance Marathon.