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Alum Mario Alberto Silva Rides Wave of Success into Film, Awards and More
MISSION LOCAL -- Silva’s journey as a musician began with the piano. In the ‘90s he and his family moved out of the besieged Mission for a bigger place in Pleasant Hill, and he made friends with other school musicians and learned to play the instrument. When he attended College Park High School he decided to switch from the clarinet and saxophone to the trumpet after hearing a bandmate play it. He felt drawn to it. Good call: Six months later he became the school band’s lead trumpet player.

Although he transferred to Chico State after a brief stint at Diablo Valley College, San Francisco and the Mission kept calling him back. Living with his grandmother, Silva played weekend gigs and attended classes at San Francisco State where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and jazz performance. He toured worldwide, as a side man for solo performers and with bands like San Francisco-based Rupa and the April Fishes.
mus  alumni  regional 
yesterday by sfstatelca
Alum Howard Wiley Leads Funk, Soul-Infused Band Extra Nappy
BERKELEYSIDE -- He earned a coveted spot in the Berkeley High Jazz Band as a freshman, but ended up dropping out of the ensemble after one semester. Looking for a bigger challenge, Wiley convinced Dee Spencer to let him join the San Francisco State big band. After a few years he ended up leading the combo and competing at a collegiate level.

“At first I got my ass handed to me playing at SF State, just like I did in Faye Carol’s living room with John Turk, but it helped me get better,” Wiley says. “I was always chasing that thing.”
mus  alumni  regional 
27 days ago by sfstatelca
Brother of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Attended SF State
HEAVY -- Fletcher, who like his sister went to Berkeley Prep in Tampa, graduated from Wake Forest University in 1997 with a degree in psychology and a minor in religion. Fletcher Nielsen, 42, also studied jazz performance, focusing on piano, at San Francisco State University.
mus  alumni  national  metrics 
4 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Student Quartet, The Silhouette Era, Serves Garage Rock on Silver Platter
THE DELI (SAN FRANCISCO) -- San Francisco four-piece The Silhouette Era serves garage rock on a silver platter. Their surfy summer anthem for punks, “Waste Me,” combines fun, gritty, guitar-driven rock with a notable level of musicianship (two out of four members study music composition at San Francisco State.) Their music is reckless yet clean, rowdy but with a purpose and perfect for streaming all summer long. The rest of their self-titled EP will be out on June 22, and they will be celebrating with a show at the East Village Coffee Lounge in their hometown of Monterey the next day.
mus  student  regional 
6 weeks ago by sfstatelca
SF State Celebrates Class of 2018 at 117th Commencement
SF STATE NEWS -- Speakers at San Francisco State University’s 117th Commencement urged the class of 2018 to put their passion into action and tackle the big issues facing the world today.

“I call on each of you to actively care about a cause, commit to a cure, devote your time, your talent and your treasure in good conscience and with courage,” the evening’s featured speaker, humanitarian, physician and alumna Ramona Tascoe, M.D., told a crowd of approximately 33,000 graduates and guests at AT&T Park. “Because our nation cannot survive on passive citizenship.”

San Francisco State conferred more than 8,400 undergraduate and graduate degrees to its latest graduating class, and around 4,700 new graduates were in attendance at the Commencement ceremony.

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate degrees conferred during the ceremony, honorary degrees were presented to two other SF State alumni: Grammy-winning conductor and music director Kent Nagano (M.A., ’76), who’s worked with orchestras around the world, and Randy Hayes (M.A., ’83), the Rainforest Action Network founder who’s been called “an environmental pit bull” by The Wall Street Journal.
ls  mus  alumni  hotshots  campus 
7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
SF State to Honor three Alumni, 8,500 Grads at 117th Commencement
SF STATE NEWS -- Physician and humanitarian Ramona Tascoe (B.A., ’70), environmental activist Randall Hayes (M.A., ’83) and Grammy award-winning musician and conductor Kent Nagano (M.A., ’76) will be honored at San Francisco State University’s 117th Commencement ceremony on May 24 at AT&T Park.

Tascoe is the featured Commencement speaker, while Hayes and Nagano will receive honorary doctorates.

Ramona Tascoe earned a special triple major in political science, sociology and psychology. As a result of her fearless commitment to her ideals, she became an essential part of the University’s enduring legacy. In 1967, Tascoe took part in campus protests that grew into the historic student strike of 1968, which led to the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies.

After studying sociology and music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Kent George Nagano came to SF State and earned a master’s degree in Music. After graduating, he landed his first conducting job as an assistant conductor with the Opera Company of Boston. He eventually returned to Berkeley to become the music director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra — a position he would hold for the next 30 years.
plsi  mus  alumni  hotshots  campus 
9 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Alum Lance Ohnmeiss Is Artistic Director of Northern Appalachian Wind Symphony
WILLIAMSPORT SUN-GAZETTE (PENNSYLVANIA) -- Ohnmeiss has been committed to music and academic study of scores and conducting styles for a very long time. Following his 2010 graduation from San Francisco State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music education, he conducted ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area.

During his time at the University, he served as the student conductor of the wind ensemble, was the founder of the SFSU Gator Band, and was a regular guest conductor for the Daly City Community Band.

He went on to earn a master’s degree in conducting from Messiah College, Grantham, and for three years, Ohnmeiss served as the director of the Williamsport Imperial Teteques, the oldest masonic band in the United States, until it disbanded a few years ago.
mus  alumni  regional 
10 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Former Lecturer Josh Levine Wins Radcliffe Fellowship
CORVALLIS GAZETTE-TIMES (OREGON) -- A guitarist and composer, Levine attended Crescent Valley High School and Oregon State University, studied in Europe and holds a doctorate from University of California, San Diego. He has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, San Francisco State University, UCSD, Stanford and Harvard, and is a visiting faculty member at University of Iowa.
mus  faculty  regional 
10 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Student Isik Berfin to Perform Turkish Music at Sounds of California Concert
KOSU-FM (OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Isik Berfin, a 21-year-old student at San Francisco State University, learned how to sing traditional Zaza and Kurdish music from her mother. These songs tell the long history of oppression of minority groups in their native Turkey. Berfin says there's not enough attention to the plight of persecuted people around the world today.

"We're not just telling stories of the past, but we're also trying to spread what's going on right now," she says.

The traditional music is inspiring her to make her own, and to incorporate trap music into her style.
mus  student  undergraduate  regional 
11 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Retro Dance Band Royal Jelly Jive Formed at SF State
NAPA VALLEY REGISTER -- Royal Jelly Jive was an evolution from a previous band. “We went under the name ‘Sufis,’” Bjelde said. “We were sort of a boiling pot where rock and roll meets swing.

Many of the guys in the band met in the San Francisco State Music program.

“I was, meanwhile, in the next building over in the anthropology and arts departments. We got a residency, every fourth Wednesday at the Boom Boom Room in the city. When The Sufis dissolved, Royal Jelly came out of the ashes like a phoenix, like a funky phoenix.”
mus  alumni  regional 
12 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Alum Stan Gibb Leads Central Arizona Concert Band in 'Onomatopoeic March'
DAILY COURIER (PRESCOTT, ARIZONA) -- For the occasion, percussionist Stan Gibb has created the “Onomatopoeic March,” for percussion and band. To refresh your memory from high school English class, an “onomatopoeia” is the word that means a word coined to imitate a sound. Some examples are “meow,” “cuckoo” and “boom.”

Gibb came to Prescott after an outstanding career as a music educator in California and Oklahoma. He holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees from San Francisco State College and a Doctor of Musical Arts from North Texas State University.
mus  alumni  regional 
april 2018 by sfstatelca
Alum Pauline Oliveros Featured Among Female Musicians Who Deserve More Recognition
BBC -- Studying under Robert Erickson at San Francisco State College, she and her fellow students — including fellow electronic music pioneers Terry Riley and Morton Subotnick — founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center, a place to experiment with new methods of making electronic music such as tape loop and delay.

The art of listening — of paying attention — became the core of Oliveros’ work, explored through “sonic meditations” such as 1969’s “Teach Yourself to Fly,” composed during her professorship at the University of California San Diego. In 1981, tiring of the limitations of academia, she left UCSD to become a full-time composer. In 1988, what would become the Deep Listening Band (Oliveros, Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis) made its debut performance down a 14-foot deep, 2 million-gallon cistern in Fort Worden, Washington, that had a 45-second reverberation.
mus  alumni  hotshots  international  metrics 
march 2018 by sfstatelca
Alum Nedelle Torrisi's 'Rich Kid's World' Is Elusive Dream-Pop That Grapples with Disappointment
UPROXX -- Born to a pair of Sicilian musicians — who were also formerly a Jesuit priest and nun — Nedelle Torrisi’s jazz drummer father and classical pianist mother certainly had an impact on her upbringing. Growing up in the Bay Area, as a child, she dutifully studied classical violin and later pursued a degree in jazz voice at Berklee College of Music, before finishing up at San Francisco State University with an emphasis in jazz history.

And though she’s by no means a jazz musician herself now, those undertones linger in the warm, textured synthpop she’s made since, whether that be with her former band Cryptacize, working with Sufjan Stevens or Ariel Pink, or on her own as Nedelle Torrisi.
mus  alumni  national  metrics 
march 2018 by sfstatelca
Former Professor Alexander Jiménez: Unparalleled Passion for Music
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS -- Along with his doctoral studies at Florida State in the late ’90s, Jiménez also spent time as faculty at San Francisco State University. Under his reign, Florida State has maintained its status as one of the premier orchestral programs in the country.
mus  faculty  collegiate 
march 2018 by sfstatelca
Diversity in Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble Brings Students Closer to Home
GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- For many students, this Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble brings them closer to culture, different genres of music, friendships and overall a better college experience at SF State. The ensemble started in 1999 and has been delivering excellence throughout the years. The group has been lucky enough to work with such acts as Orquesta Aragon, Israel “Cachao” and Benny Velarde, all powerhouse names within the genre.

For Lizbet Cruz, a music education major, the group gives her a sense of her home life with her parents.

“It’s hard being away from home, especially not seeing my parents for a very long time so joining the Afro-Cuban Jazz ensemble makes me feel closer to my family in Southern California and Mexico.”
mus  student  undergraduate  faculty  campus 
february 2018 by sfstatelca
Alum Ben Keim is Piano Accompanist in 'Megabytes: The Musical'
BROADWAY WORLD (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Ben Keim has worked as a pianist in San Francisco for more than 20 years. He has been the accompanist for several other Bobrow productions, including “Are We Almost There?”, “Shopping! The Musical” and “Foodies! The Musical.” Originally from Cincinnati, Keim received a bachelor's degree in piano performance from San Francisco State University in 2003 and studied music therapy at Temple University.
mus  alumni  regional  wire 
february 2018 by sfstatelca

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