Weekender: Plenty to See and Hear…Music, Music, Music

Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor, faculty lecturer in studio art, has an exhibition of her sculptures in a solo show in Los Angeles County running through July. Pictured is "lullaby/lament," 10.5' h x 8'w x 12' d 2019 lumber, styrofoam, bedsheets, paper, paint, rope, twine, string, quilting pins. (Courtesy photo)

There is no noon concert this Thursday, but there are free jazz combos 2-3:30 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. concert at the Ann E. Pitzer Center that night. Friday offers 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. concerts and student performances during the weekend. And more concerts as the next week progresses as UC Davis winds up its spring quarter. Details are here. Read on for more entertainment information, which includes faculty sculptures in Southern California, MFA art on campus and in Sacramento, a book reading and an opportunity to create your own art at the Crocker.

Contemporary and Classic Compositions Showcased in UC Davis Concerts

By Michael French, College of Letters and Science

Concerts by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band and Campus Band offer diverse programs ranging from a classic by Robert Schumann with a student soloist to a new work by a music composition graduate student to selections from an award-winning musical.   

On Saturday, June 1, the Symphony Orchestra, performs a program titled “Breathtaking Motion,” which includes Schumann’s Allegro affettuoso from the Piano Concerto in A Minor with soloist Erica Mineo, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, and the premiere of doctoral student Daniel Godsil’s “Cathedral Grove.” The symphony is conducted by orchestra director Christian Baldini, Barbara K. Jackson professor of music.

symphony orchestra practice
The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra French horn section practices for upcoming concerts. (UC Davis photo)

Godsil, whose music has been described by San Francisco Classical Voice as having an “intense dramatic narrative,” is the 2018-2019 winner of the orchestra’s Composition Award.

“This composition was inspired by a visit to Muir Woods, a redwood forest north of San Francisco,” said Godsil. “One particular grove of the forest has been dubbed the ‘Cathedral Grove’ for its towering beauty; the grove reminded me of a passage from John Steinbeck's ‘Travels with Charley: In Search of America.’”

Godsil’s works have been played by Ensemble Dal Niente, the Lydian String Quartet, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, the Daedalus String Quartet, and the Nova Singers, among many others. Film scores include the PBS documentary Boxcar People,” new scores for Man Ray’s 1926 silent film “Emak-Bakia and feature film The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells.

Winner of the music department concerto competition, Mineo, a second-year undergraduate student majoring in biological sciences and minoring in music and animal science, has performed as a soloist with the Southwestern Music Festival and Beach Cities Symphony orchestras, and the Winchester Orchestra of San Jose. She was a three-time state finalist in the Celia Mendez Beethoven Competition at San Jose State University.

An evening of ‘Contrasts’ Next Week

Under the direction of Pete Nowlen, the UC Davis Concert Band and Campus Band perform an evening of “Contrasts” on June 5. Spotlighting contemporary works, the evening features Dana Suesse’sWhirligig,” Brian Balmages’ “Industrial Loops,” and Jeanine Tesori’s “The Girl in 14 G” with vocal soloist David Korn. The concert includes the first performance of James DeMars’ “The Lake that Speaks” with Deborah Pittman, Native American flute, and selections from the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

The concerts take place at Jackson Hall in the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for students and youth and are available at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office in person or by calling 530-754-2787 during 12-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tickets are also available online.

For more information about the College of Letter and Science’s Department of Music and future performances, visit here.

Ongoing: first-year art studio MFA exhibition, 'Blip' and more

June 3–22, 2019.  Jay Jay, Sacramento, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First-year MFA candidates Caz Azevedo, Zeina Baltagi, Brenda Gonzalez, Dongwan Hong, Brett Melliar, Julia Edith Rigby, Jessica Eve Rattner, and Rachel Maryam Smith will be exhibiting their most recent work at Jay Jay’s in an exhibition entitled “Blip.” Their works include installations, painting, photography, social practice, and sculpture.  More information here. The reception accompanying this exhibition is June 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, MFA 2005, and UC Davis art studio lecturer has a solo exhibition at the Lancaster Museum of Art and Art History in Los Angeles County through July 21. 

One of Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor's sculptures on view at the Lancaster Museum of Art and Art History. "hate stayed the ending that love started to say," 2017. 10 1/2' h x 10' w x 10' d, lumber, styrofoam, bedsheets, paper, paint, rope, twine, string, quilting pins. (Courtesy photo)

Her solo is part of  the museum’s “Woven Stories.”

Master’s Student Exhibition at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art started Wednesday with opening reception Thursday, May 30, 6 to 9 p.m. Here’s a recent Arts Blog with the rundown.

Davis novelist presents at Avid Reader Saturday

UC Davis graduate Jerry Coker will present his novel “Hunt Of The Kite” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in downtown Davis. It is free and open to the public.

Jerry Coker’s novel tells the story of Anna, whose future in medicine was one only a few women could aspire to. But in the spring of 1940, as Hitler raced to Paris, her dreams disappeared. Despite her father’s efforts to mask their past for 40 years, the reports from Poland and the Netherlands revealed even the Sorbonne was no longer a safe place. Departing in the night, her journey home takes four years, blending into the underclass of France, hiding in plain sight.

Anna finds security in the arms of the enemy and for a time, love. When this is lost, she survives a cat-and-mouse existence, deteriorating into destitution, prostitution and eventually murder for revenge. Joining the resistance in desperation, she is recruited by British and American Special Operations, returning to France for an assassination mission of a key German commander on D-Day.

Competing priorities have the allies working against each other, one side trying to stop Anna, the other supporting her mission. Anna must thread the needle in one pass with little hope for escape.

Coker is a former U.S. Marine rifleman. He earned degrees in literature from the UC Davis and Brown University when he returned from Southeast Asia.

Be your own artist at The Crocker: children's event

The Particulars of Alebrije

Be your own artist at The Crocker

Paint an Alebrije / Pinta un Alebrije

Sunday, June 2
1st Session: 10:30 a.m.
2nd Session: 1:30 p.m.


The Crocker is offering a workshop where participants will have an opportunity to paint alebrijes and learn about Mexican culture with Maestro Artesano Pedro Mendoza Ortega, who is famous for his wood carvings of imagined creatures. Participants will select a one-of-a-kindalebrije hand-carved by Maestro Ortega and paint their creature with vibrant patterns and bold colors.


Participants will select a one-of-a-kind alebrije hand-carved by Maestro Ortega and then use acrylic paints to adorn their creature with vibrant patterns and bold colors. Designed for children and a caring adult. http://crockerart.org/

Coming up

The UC Davis Department of Music closes its 2018-19 season on June 7 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem performed by the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra. More on that in next week's arts blog.

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