Schola Cantorum celebrates 50 years
Schola Cantorum, Mountain View's independent choral ensemble is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend, with a concert titled ReSound!, which will include songs from the chorus' history in addition to new music.
One hundred volunteers, all of whom auditioned for the part, will sing at Palo Alto's First Congressional Church on Saturday evening, May 17. The concert will be led by Schola Cantorum's music director, Gregory Wait, who also teaches at Stanford. Professional accompanist, pianist Dawn Reyen, is set to play along with the singers. Audience members may recognize the hymn "Hark, I hear the Harps Eternal" or Reyen's rendition of the classic song "Camptown Races."
"To some degree, it's meant to indicate some of the really important people that were part of the ensemble," said Wait, citing Schola's founder, Royal Stanton, as well as choral greats, like Robert Shaw, Alice Parker and Jester Hairston, as influences on Saturday's show.
Also on the program, Wait noted: a commissioned song from Eric Tuan, a recent Stanford graduate and former student of Wait's.
"We're about old music, but we're about new music, too," said Wait.
"This is the greatest time ever to be a choral musician," Wait said, describing the new-found access musicians have to traditional and current music world-wide.
In keeping with the idea of bridging musical eras, Schola Cantorum invites chorus alumni to join in on the concert's final two songs, Giuseppe Verdi's "Va, Pensiero" from Nabucco and "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place," from Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem." Scores for these songs may be downloaded from Schola Cantorum's website.
The concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., May 17 at 1985 Louis Road, in Palo Alto. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and free for guests 25 and under. The ticket price includes a complimentary wine and cheese reception before the concert at 6:45 p.m. For more information, visit scholacantorum.org or call 650-254-1700.
Frost Music and Arts Festival
Once the stomping grounds of Summer of Love-era bands, such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, Stanford University's Frost Amphitheater was quiet for a spell, with event organizers at the university opting to old tamer fare at the historical venue.
But the rock has returned. Starting three years ago, in 2012, Stanford revived the dormant venue with the inaugural Frost Music and Arts Festival, which saw indie rock heroes Modest Mouse take the stage. The following year, in 2013, psych rock revivalists MGMT headlined.
And this year. at the third annual Frost and Arts Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 17th, the lineup includes openers Ethan Tucker and Paper Void, supporting act Yeasayer, and headliner Dispatch.
In addition to the live performances, Andrea Stein of the Stanford Concert Network said there will be plenty to do. Several interactive art installations created by Stanford students, and pieces from professional guest artist Charlie Gadeken will be featured at the festival.
"There will be everything from a kinetic sculpture, to a life-size chess board, to a waterfall maze. It's going to be amazing," Stein said.
This year, festival organizers worked to increase the amount of art on display on the Frost grounds, according to Frances Ball, director of the Stanford Concert Network. In the two previous years, student artists were given just one quarter to plan and build their festival pieces. This year, Ball explained, they were given two quarters.
Ball said organizers are hoping that the increased attention on art and the inclusion of Stanford student band, Paper Void, will lead to an increase in attendance. "This is the first year we have chosen an opening act comprised of Stanford students and alumni," Ball said.
In addition to the art on display and music on stage, attendees will have their pick of four "gourmet" food trucks, and will be able to visit free face-painting and henna-tattoo booths
The gates of the Frost Music and Arts Festival open at 2 p.m. on May 17, at the Frost Amphitheatre on the Stanford Campus. The concert begins at 3 p.m. For more information go to frostmusicfestival.com or call 650-715-2787.
Tune into 'Mayhem'
Get ready for more "Mayhem." Foothill College's student-run, volunteer radio station KFJC 89.7 is hosting a month of special programming called the "Month of Mayhem," which began May 1 and runs through the end of the month
Since 1981, the station's DJs have dedicated the month of May to a variety of different topics, from queer punk and outsider artists to 1950s rockabilly music and Ethiojazz.
"I love the time and effort and creativity that DJs put into their specials during the month of Mayhem," said Cynthia Lombard, who goes by the moniker DJ Too Cool For School, and spins on Tuesday nights. "Right now I'm obsessed with Mickey Slim's 'Vinylicious' special," Lombard says, referring to a program organized for Mayhem month by one of her fellow DJs at the station.
The role of music in popular culture will be explored in several specials over the course of the month, as will video game music, the music used in the "Cosmos" television series, and artists covered in the '90s-era zine, "Hungry Freaks," which frequently covered exploitation films, the grindhouse scene and obscure movie soundtracks.
Other specials will look into the work produced by specific independent labels, including Skin Graft Records, Bloodshot Records and Feeding Tube Records. And the careers of various producers and artists, from avant artist Anna Holmet to punk and metal producer Jack Shirly, will also be featured.
DJs Pax Humana and Cadillac Margarita even have a program planned called "Milk and Cookies with Caddy and Pax" — a three-hour special featuring songs with either of the words "milk" or "cookies" in the titles.
The program is scheduled to end on May 31 with a live "24 Hour Drone" special, where over 40 musicians will work in concert to produce a massive, day-long track of minimal ambient sounds.
For a full schedule of the Month of Mayhem special programs, visit kfjc.org/mayhem/. To watch the DJs live from your computer on the KFJC HD livecam, visit kfjc.org/live. And, of course, you can tune into 89.7 FM to listen on the radio.