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In Between Classes and Concerts, Professor Todorov is Pilot, Award-Winning Photographer
SMITHSONIAN -- Jassen Todorov is a modern Renaissance man. Originally from Bulgaria, he travels around the world performing as a violinist, and for the past 15 years, has taught Music at San Francisco State University. In between classes and concerts, he is also a pilot and photographer. Whether for a quick weekend trip from the Bay Area or a cross-country haul, Todorov travels in his four-seater 1976 Piper Warrior plane every chance he gets, documenting the world below.

Speaking from San Francisco, Todorov shares how he combines his passions, what inspires his travels and what he has learned in his years of flying.

“Music has a lot to do with patterns, and structure and discipline. But then there’s also uniformity, colors and improvisation, too,” Todorov says. “When you look at a photo, you’re thinking about the same things. You are looking at colors, you’re looking at the mood, you’re looking at the patterns. You’re looking at the composition of course, the general feel.”
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3 hours ago by sfstatelca
Alums Jesse Adams, Lauren Bjelde Spread Soul Vibes in their Band Royal Jelly Jive
SONOMA INDEX-TRIBUNE -- Adams, from Petaluma, and Bjelde, from Modesto, met while stepping over each other’s cables on stage in San Francisco’s Boom Boom Room. They blended their common influences, added some horns and percussion, and jumped on board as a full-time band in 2014. They describe their sound as “San Francisco Soul.” Their mission statement is simply to “Spread the Jelly.”

The pair both attended San Francisco State University, and their friendship developed over performances with various acts throughout the area. “It’s pretty great to find someone who can create with you so meaningfully,” said Adams.
anth  mus  alumni  regional 
4 days ago by sfstatelca
Alum Clyde Pound Has Played Piano with Many Jazz Greats
PINE BLUFF COMMERCIAL -- Clyde Pound is a pianist whose experience includes musical director, contractor, arranger and pianist. He attended San Francisco State College as a Music major and has an extensive career of performing with some of the most notable music artists (Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, Flip Wilson, and more) in nightclubs throughout the country. While in Hawaii, Clyde contracted and provided bands for artists such as Jim Nabors, Rich Little, Diana Ross and Dianne Carroll.

When he retired to Hot Springs, Clyde joined the Jazz Society within the year and offered his expertise in the artistic production of the annual JazzFest. He is in his 11th year with the society and holds the position of entertainment chair for all events the society produces.
mus  alumni  regional 
6 days ago by sfstatelca
Professor Todorov's 'Wild Ride' in Flight over Mojave Desert
WASHINGTON POST -- “A wild ride”: That's how Jassen Todorov, a Music professor at San Francisco State University, described his flight over the Mojave Desert, during which he captured this image of some hundreds of thousands of cars Volkswagen reacquired after its historic emissions scandal. His photo was an honorable mention in the Washington Post’s annual travel photo contest.
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13 days ago by sfstatelca
Two-Quartet Concert at SF State's Morrison Chamber Music Center
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- The Telegraph and Alexander Quartet string ensembles team up this weekend for a free concert presented by the Morrison Artist Series. The program, which launches the Morrison’s ’18 – 19 season at San Francisco State University, features the quartets, both based in San Francisco, in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings. In addition, the Alexander Quartet will perform Mozart’s String Quartet No. 16 in E-flat Major and Penderecki’s Quartet No. 3, “Leaves of an Unwritten Diary.” If you go, pick up a copy of the Telegraph Quartet’s new CD. Titled “Into the Light,” it features works by Britten, Webern and Leon Kirchner.

Details: September 16, 3 p.m., McKenna Theatre, San Francisco State University; Free admission;
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15 days ago by sfstatelca
Professor Todorov Wins Honorable Mention in Washington Post Photo Contest
WASHINGTON POST -- To get the arial shot, Todorov leaned from an open window of his 1976 Piper Warrior and shot frames with a Nikon D810 camera and a 70-200-millimeter lens.

Because the location was within the boundaries of an airport, he had to talk to an air-traffic controller at the same time.

“It does feel like a wild ride,” said Todorov, 43, a Music professor at San Francisco State University and a professional violinist. “Luckily, I can multitask.”
mus  faculty  national  metrics 
20 days ago by sfstatelca
Professor Dee Spencer, Lecturer Renee Lubin Honor the Memory of Aretha Franklin
SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES -- Not long after the passing of Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018) was announced on the morning of Thursday, August 16, her immortal legacy became evident in the Castro. We could hear her music flowing out of homes, cars and local businesses. People walking down the streets were talking about her and how she had touched their lives in meaningful ways. That night, a group of women musicians and singers including Dr. Dee Spencer of San Francisco State, “Beach Blanket Babylon” performer Renee Lubin and vocalist Deborah Coley performed Franklin’s songs in a heartfelt tribute at Beaux on Market Street.

As Dr. Spencer told KTVU: “You feel her energy. It’s undeniable.”
tha  mus  faculty  regional 
4 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Morrison Artists Series: Free Concerts at SF State for the 63rd Year
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- There is no more exceptional value for chamber-music audiences than the Morrison Artists Series at San Francisco State University, offering free admission to a season of first-class concerts, workshops, and lectures, all free, for the 63rd year.

When the Morrison-regular Alexander String Quartet opens the season on Sept. 16 (with music of Mozart, Penderecki and Mendelssohn), there will be a new man in charge of the Morrison Chamber Music Center, which oversees the series.

Succeeding Richard Festinger, conductor and SFSU School of Music Director Cyrus Ginwala says he and his predecessor “combined work on this transitional season, which includes new components, not always visible to the concert-going audiences.”
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4 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Faculty Members Renee Lubin, Dee Spencer Pay Tribute to Aretha Franklin
KTVU-CHANNEL 2 (OAKLAND) -- Renee Lubin, a performer with Beach Blanket Babylon for more than three decades, paid homage by singing Franklin's songs.

Lubin is also a vocal coach at San Francisco State University. Like Franklin, her musical background came from church.

“I grew up in the church. I see Aretha, hear the sound of her voice. You realize where all of that beautiful mixture came from,” said Lubin.

On keyboard is Dee Spencer, professor of musical theatre at San Francisco State.
“You feel her energy. It’s undeniable,” said Spencer. She says “Respect” has become an anthem.
“People today look at that song and use it as part of the civil rights movement, as part of the women’s march. And people are walking around going R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” said Spencer.
mus  tha  faculty  regional  metrics 
5 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Professor Ginwala Named Artistic Director of Morrison Chamber Music Center
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION -- Cyrus Ginwala, a professor of Music at San Francisco State University, has been named artistic director of the University’s Morrison Chamber Music Center.
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7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Former Lecturer Michael Robert Patch Forms Choral Spectrum
LEAVENWORTH TIMES (KANSAS) -- I was the artistic director and conductor of the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus. I was the artistic director and conductor of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus. I was the director of choral and vocal music at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. I was the interim director of choral music at San Francisco State University. And this fall I will be the guest choral director at Avila University, in [Kansas City, Missouri].
mus  faculty  regional 
7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Alum Barbara Kemp to Perform in Maine
THE REPUBLICAN JOURNAL (BELFAST, MAINE) -- Kemp grew up in San Francisco where she began her piano studies at age 4. Early in her career, she was privileged to appear twice as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, once under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. At San Francisco State University she studied chamber music with cellist Zara Nelsova and Symphony violist Ferenc Molnar.

She performed throughout Northern California as a soloist and chamber musician, and she was associate pianist for the San Jose Symphony, Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, Symphony of the Redwoods and Johns Hopkins Symphony.

She taught piano for more than 40 years. She has resided in Belfast since 2012.
mus  alumni  regional 
7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Professor Hanna Creates Music, Exercise Program for Seniors
PR NEWSWIRE -- Results of six projects aimed at expanding access to care that enhances quality of life for seniors and caregivers will be reported at the California State University Institute for Palliative Care’s National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research October 11 – 12, 2018, in San Diego.

Researchers were awarded seed grants, funded by the Gary and Mary West Foundation, to carry out one-year projects to design and test approaches that will lead to improvements in care or quality of life for those suffering from chronic, serious, or life-threatening illnesses.

San Francisco State University’s Wendell Hanna, Ph.D., created a music and exercise program for bedridden, wheelchair and ambulatory seniors in hospice to ease pain and improve joint motion.
mus  faculty  research  wire  collegiate 
7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Lecturer Reuben Zellman Creates New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus
BAY AREA REPORTER -- “There is no textbook on choral conducting that even considers the possibility that singers don't fall into one of those [gender] categories,” Zellman, 39, told the Bay Area Reporter in a recent interview. “A lot, not all, but a lot of choruses still today tend to be quite strictly segregated by gender and are not a very comfortable environment for someone who is transgender, intersex or genderqueer.”

Zellman is a lecturer in the Music department at San Francisco State University, where he also directs the Treble Singers, formerly known as the Women’s Chorus. At the university Zellman said he would often get students who were transgender males and females, or those who did not identify as women, who wanted to sing in the Women’s Chorus.

“A lot of trans and genderqueer singers are not ever approaching those ensembles because they don't have a place where they feel safe. It’s time to create a place they do,” he said.

And that’s exactly what Zellman did. He reached out to the Community Music Center and proposed his idea of creating a choir where people whose gender didn’t fit into traditional male or female roles could sing soprano, baritone or tenor regardless of their gender identity or transition status.
mus  regional  faculty  metrics  alumni 
7 weeks ago by sfstatelca
Professor Cyrus Ginwala, Chamber Chief
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- San Francisco State University’s esteemed Morrison Chamber Music Series has a new artistic director: Professor Cyrus Ginwala, a conductor and director of the School of Music.

The new season starts September 16 with the splendid Alexander String Quartet, in residence at the University since 1989.
mcmc  Mus  faculty  regional 
8 weeks ago by sfstatelca
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 
9 weeks ago 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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 
june 2018 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.
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may 2018 by sfstatelca

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