Maria Shafer Finalist in International Jazz Vocal Competition

Maria Shafer is one of only two Americans among 20 international vocal finalists in a jazz competition in Latvia. The Riga Jazz Stage 2014 takes place April 2-6 in Riga, Latvia, the European Capital of Culture for 2014. The judges are Raimonds Pauls (Latvian composer), Magnus Palmquist (artistic director of Stockholm Jazz Festival), China Moses (American jazz singer) among many others.

James Yoshizawa in Jonathan Rowden Group

Alumnus James Yoshizawa drums for the Jonathan Rowden Group, a modern jazz quartet that just got signed to Orenda Records. They just recorded our debut album at the famous Sunset Sound studios and will be touring in late May to Portland, Seattle, and the Bay Area with a final stop at the Blue Whale in LA for a CD release concert.

Photo by Eron Rauch

Marina Harris Wins George London-Leonie Rysanek Award

Alumna Marina Harris won the George London-Leonie Rysanek Award in New York last weekend. The George London Foundation holds one of the oldest vocal competitions in the United States and Canada, offering among the most substantial awards to outstanding North American opera singers.
In 2014 there were 5 top awards of $10,000 each.  Former George London winners include Renee Fleming, Shigemi Matsumoto, Eric Owens, and Dawn Upshaw.

Alumni and Faculty back Arturo Sandoval Benefit

Arturo Sandoval performed a benefit concert at he at the Alex Theatre in Glendale on Feb 15.

The powerhouse trumpet section for the Arturo Sandoval Big Band included alumni Wayne Bergeron and Gary Gopar, adjunct instructor Dan Fornero, and Gary Grant and Jeff Bunnell.

All proceeds from the show were donated to the Glendale Educational Foundation and Glendale Arts — two organizations that promote the arts and music education among local students.

Axel Clarke as Ringo in Beatles Tribute Band

Alumnus Axel Clarke is currently touring with a Beatles Tribute Band (yes, Axel is Ringo) in a Beatles vs Stones throw down.

In April, the band, Abbey Road, begin touring “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles.” They’ll play Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City UT, as well as other stops in AZ, UT, ID MT, OR, and WA

Alicia Doyle Hosts Winter Meeting of AMS Pacific Southwest Chapter

Alicia Doyle (musicology): as the Pacific Southwest Chapter president of the American Musicological Society, Alicia Doyle hosted the winter chapter meeting on February 15 at UC Santa Barbara.  The meeting was attended by scholars from CSULB, UCSB, USC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, University of La Verne, Occidental College, UC Riverside, Westmont College,  CSU Northridge, UC San Diego, University of Oregon, University of Texas, and NYU.  Of the eight papers selected for presentation, two were the work of current CSULB musicology students and a third was presented by a CSULB musicology alum.

Ron Mitchell in Chicago

Alumnus Ron Mitchell will be singing with Bella Voce at the Harris Theater in April.

Bella Voce performs classic a cappella repertoire, early music of the Americas, and contemporary music from all over the world. In 2004 Bella Voce received the prestigious Alice Parker ASCAP Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. The Harris Theater is in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

Alex Miller Readies Two Premieres

Lecturer Alex Miller’s composition Actions & Resonances was performed by pianist Vincent Craig on the Annie Gaul Concert Series in Wernersville, Pennsylvania in February. Miller also recently completed a new piano composition to be premiered by Vincent Craig later this year.

Run River North Profiled in Wall Street Journal

Run River North with BCCM violinist Jennifer North was profiled in the Wall Street Journal. Their first album was released in February and they played to a sold-out Troubador for their release party.
As is noted in the article, “The band devoted the past year to writing new songs, recording an album and building its fan base. This year, after touring across the U.S., the group will perform in several countries in Asia, where Warner Music Group will release its album.”
Photo credit: Winni Wintermeyer for The Wall Street Journal

Thor Steingraber to Head Valley Performing Arts Center

Thor Steingraber, director of the Fall Opera Scenes, was named the new Executive Director of the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge. Thor is a noted opera and theater director who earned his Bachelor’s degree in theater/drama from Indiana University and his Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.