The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1959, and has since established itself as a major campus and community arts offering. The UC Davis Symphony has toured California, Canada, and Australia and French Polynesia.In June 2003 the orchestra traveled to France to participate in the Berlioz bicentenary over the course of a series of five concerts.It regularly serves as the pit orchestra for UCD Mainstage productions and appears at major campus events and ceremonies, including Fall Convocation and Commencements.The UC Davis Symphony is a principal resident ensemble at the
Samba School UC Davis will perform excerpts celebrating Parent and Family Weekend, which is a chance for alumni to rediscover UC Davis and for parents to get a glimpse at their child’s college experience. Families can spend time together at a host of scheduled events and enjoy the hospitality of the Aggie community.
Modeled after the famous baterias of Rio de Janeiro’s renowned samba schools, the UC Davis Samba School performs high-energy music of Brazil’s Carnaval for audiences throughout Northern California. The group was formed in 2004 and has since become a vibrant force in campus life, performing at festivals, fundraisers and community events across the region. A contingent of 25 drummers muscle through traditional material taken from Rio’s major samba schools as well as original music created by the group.
“I started on trombone when I was about ten and liked big band music early. I wanted to be a jazz musician. Charles Mingus inspired me to be a composer later on.”
David Sanford was also influenced by rhythm and blues/funk groups like Parliament, the Isley Brothers, and Sly and the Family Stone and, later, by orchestral and more mainstream popular music. After completing undergraduate music studies at the University of Northern Colorado, he earned a master’s degree in theory and composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and an MFA and PhD at Princeton University. Sanford has won many awards and honors, including a BMI Student Composer Award, a Koussevitzky Commission and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Recently, Sanford won the Samuel Barber Rome Prize Fellowship, allowing him to stay at the American Academy in Rome. One of the referees wrote: “David Sanford is the real thing, a composer in the American tradition of brash, open-eared exploration: no material is too exalted or too debased for him to transform into his living art.” Sanford’s works have been performed by the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Harlem Festival Orchestra, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the Empyrean Ensemble, and many others. Free, a Valente Lecture.
Michael Hernandez, soprano | Michael Mortarotti, alto
Diane Hunger, tenor | Thomas Giles, baritone
Stillabower: Vide Supra
Pelo: Seagrams Murals
Minchew: Constructions for Julie Mehretu
Derderian: I Want to Unfold
Since its inception in 2007, the ensemble has premiered dozens of dedicated twenty-first-century works and widely performed underrepresented masterpieces of the twentieth century. Using vintage instruments built to the specifications of the saxophone’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, Mana’s impassioned performances offer a vivid reimagining of the saxophone’s nineteenth-century heritage—a refined aesthetic characterized by intrinsic warmth, dynamic range of character, and absolute versatility.
In 2009, the group became the first saxophone quartet in history to receive the coveted Grand Prize of the Coleman International Chamber Competition, garnering national attention and activity on the national chamber music circuit.
Named after Chanticleer’s founder, Louis A. Botto, the LAB Choir is a mixed honor choir for singers ages 14–20. The purpose of the group is to promote a high level of small ensemble training for the area’s top young singers and to provide community service through free performances.
Free, no tickets necessary (a Shinkoskey Noon Concert)
This presentation links the island of Java with metropolitan London and rural South Africa. It invokes visions of a so-called “global nineteenth century” in order to present a critical archeology of modern concepts of “sound” and of the “wired worlds” that so characterize global built environments today. Colored by its grounding in music studies, the paper theorizes the ways in which land might be actively emplaced through the active use of musical instruments.
The focus, in other words, is on geographies of empire, and nineteenth-century musical instruments conceived to achieve that space, or to “annihilate distance,” particularly in the work of Charles Wheatstone, music-instrument inventor and Chair of “Experimental Philosophy” at King’s College London. In Wheatstone’s work, sound itself was reconfigured as an enigmatic force for propagation: a way of collapsing space – extolled as an annihilator, or (more benignly) as a political force for cross-cultural communication and understanding. In the sixth of his popular 1835 “Lectures on Sound,” for example, Wheatstone laid before his audience a free-reed talking machine or vowel synthesizer, a Chinese sheng, Chladni figures, and an oversized Javanese gendèr, which Sir Thomas Raffles, “Father of Singapore” and former Lieutenant-General of Java, had recently brought back from the East. Another reed instrument on the table was the prototype “multi-tongued” “Wheatstone concertina,” later versions of which would be advertised as the sound of “British Dominions and Colonies.” They were taken to the Antarctic by Shackleton, Central Africa by Livingstone, and were instruments of choice for colonial missionaries. The paper draws connections between Wheatstone’s experiments on sound conductance, his telegraphic/telephonic fantasies, popular science, the birth of comparative philology, and the liberal-humanitarian search for a truly global instrument – one tuned to the so-called “scale of nature” and capable of “speaking” a universal musical language.
James Davies’s book, Romantic Anatomies of Performance, was published by the University of California Press in 2014. This monograph addresses immersive modes of music making in the European nineteenth century, exploring music’s role in the political cultivation of bodies. It describes a historical phase wherein, in the words of one reviewer, “new norms about music’s relation to the body emerged and began to organize new relations of social power.” His current research extends from the book’s focus on “personal voice” (which works to denaturalize liberal certainties about “creativity” and “expression”) to larger questions of materiality writ large. Sound Knowledge: Music and Science in London is a book co-edited with Ellen Lockhart for the University of Chicago Press. Davies’s chapter in this volume moves in the direction of a second book project, which addresses musical knowing and being in the “global nineteenth century.” The aim is to interpret the emergence of transcendental, globalist, or idealist aesthetics in Europe as a byproduct of the material contingencies of imperial expansion. This means documenting the social placement, not just of political anatomies, but of political geographies. The study explores how people engage in the active placement of land through the active use of musical instruments.