Westmont College
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA  93108

(805) 565-6000
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 Our Latest News & Buzz!!
12/5/14 - Lit Moon Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" at Westmont
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Following a five-year hiatus, the Lit Moon Theatre Company’s version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol returns for three performances this Christmas season. First staged in 2007, “Humbug!” A (Lit Moon) Christmas Carol highlights Dickens’ vivid language and haunting atmospheres, in a story about the Christmas Eve transformation of the flinty, crusty old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. Played in the company’s visual, image-oriented style, five actors – and several puppets – bring more than 30 characters to life. The production features a fabulous ensemble of actors, and several Westmont alums – Victoria Finlayson, Stanley Hoffman, Marie Ponce (’10), Nina Sallinen, Paige Tautz (’14) and Lauren White (’14). Music by James Connolly; Puppetry by Jaco Connolly; Costumes by Olivia Warner; and Lighting by Jonathan Hicks (’04). John Blondell directs. Westmont College Porter Theater.  (805) 565-7140  Website
11/20/14 - Westmont Observatory Public Viewing of the Stars on Friday
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This month’s public viewing of the stars will feature astronomical glimpses of a heart, owl and a Christmas tree on Friday, Nov. 21, beginning after 6:30 p.m. and lasting for several hours at the Westmont Observatory. The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  (805) 565-6272  Website
11/13/14 - Westmont Theater Presents Almost, Maine -- 11/14-15, 11/20-22
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The contemporary play “Almost, Maine” takes a joyful and perilous look at love on the stage of Westmont’s Porter Theatre Nov. 14­15, 20­22 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565­7140. The play, which contains adult themes, is appropriate for ages 12 and up.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College - Porter Theatre  Website
11/12/14 - Grotenhuis Estate Gift Will Fund 12 Scholarships Each Year at Westmont
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David and Anna Grotenhuis have planned a gift from their estate to Westmont, endowing 12 full-tuition scholarships focused on attracting culturally and ethnically diverse students and rewarding those with extraordinary musical accomplishment.  Email   Website
11/12/14 - Blondell Circles Globe with Shakespeare on Thursday Night
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John Blondell, professor of theater arts at Westmont and director of Lit Moon Theatre Company, shares his experiences of staging classic works for contemporary audiences on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 5:30 p.m. at University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. No tickets are required; the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051. The free, public lecture, “Shakespeare Around the World,” is part of Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter, which is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation.
Blondell has directed Shakespeare plays in the United States, London (at the Globe Theatre), Albania and Macedonia and presented “Hamlet” in China in October. He has also organized and participated in international Shakespeare festivals.
“‘Shakespeare Around the World'” develops perspectives relevant to what is surely the most novel aspect of my directing career — that is, how an American, English-speaking stage director, approaches the direction of a play by William Shakespeare in a language different from one that I speak,” he says. “The talk provides principles, stories and insights about the nature of directing Shakespeare in another language, and thereby reveals some of the most salient aspects of Shakespeare’s art.”
Blondell received national recognition earlier this year for his work directing an innovative production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which won three national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The Westmont Foundation also sponsors the President’s Breakfast to reach out and engage the larger Santa Barbara and Montecito communities. This year the breakfast features Doris Kearns Goodwin speaking about “Leadership Lessons from American Presidents” on March 6 at 7 a.m. in Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. Tickets, which cost $125 each, go on sale Feb. 6.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... University Club  Email   Website
9/25/14 - Meacham Launches New Westmont Leadership Series
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Jon Meacham, presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner and contributing editor at Time magazine, speaks about “The Moral and Ethical Leadership of Jefferson and Jackson” on Friday, Oct. 10, at 12 p.m. at the Fess Parker—A Doubletree Resort by Hilton. Tickets to the luncheon, part of the Mosher Foundation’s series on Moral and Ethical Leadership in the American Presidency, cost $100 each and may be purchased online only at westmont.edu/leadershipseries/.
Meacham, one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, is known as a skilled raconteur, knowledgeable about politics, religion and current affairs. He understands and analyzes how issues and events impact our lives.
His latest presidential biography, “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Fortune magazine hailed it as “masterful and intimate,” Amazon named it one of the best books of the year, and Walter Isaacson called it “A true triumph. A fascinating look at how Jefferson wielded his driving desire for power and control.”
The New York Times bestselling “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. Meacham used the seventh president’s unpublished correspondence and other sources to create “an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.” Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at McCallie and at the University of the South, where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa. He began his career as a reporter at The Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville and in Sewanee. The leadership series features Bob Woodward on Jan. 16, Doris Kearns Goodwin on March 6 and Ron White on May 26.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Fess Parker -- A Doubletree Resort by Hilton  Website
8/29/14 - Talk Examines Holy Land Unrest, Christians on Sept. 9
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Azar Ajaj, president of Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, explores how Christians should react to the unrest in the Middle East in a lecture, “Beauty for Ashes: The Mission of the Church in Israel/Palestine,” Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Hieronymus Lounge in Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. The World Christianity Lecture, co-sponsored by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Caryn Reeder, associate professor of religious studies, at (805) 565-7047.
Ajaj, who contributed to a book, “Christian Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” will examine what Christians in the Holy Land are experiencing and what the church can do in response to the prevailing violence.
Born and raised in Nazareth, Israel, Ajaj is an ordained Baptist minister who has been tending to his Arab-Israeli community for more than 20 years. He has been serving at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary since it was founded by the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel in 2007. He began as a financial administrator and teacher and has been president since 2013.
Ajaj, a graduate of Bethlehem Bible College, earned a Master of Theology degree from the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague and is a doctoral candidate at Spurgeon’s College in London.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College's, Hieronymus Lounge  Website
8/22/14 - Save the Date! Lit Moon Theatre presents Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" -- 9/4
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Several recent Westmont graduates return to Porter Theater to stage a new production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” under the direction of John Blondell, Westmont professor of theater arts, Sept. 4-6, all at 7 p.m. Tickets to the Lit Moon Theatre production are $20 general admission, and $15 for students and seniors. To purchase, visit www.westmont.edu/boxoffice or call 565-7140.
“The play is a richly observed, sometimes heartbreaking, and often hilarious picture of a family and period in transition,” says Blondell. “I am interested in creating a rich, luscious, romantic staging of this play and fill it with an abundant sense of life. I want the stage to bubble with vitality and for the audience to be swept away by the deep longings and somewhat crazy idiosyncrasies.” In the play, Lyubov Andreevna (Victoria Finlayson) returns from Paris to find that the family estate is in debt and must be sold. A local businessman, Lopakhin (Mitchell Thomas, Westmont associate professor of theater arts), has an idea to sell the estate along with the adjacent cherry orchard in order to develop the property for leisure homes. The ensuing action focuses on whether the estate will be sold and the implications for the family, servants and hangers-on.
“It presents a typical situation in early 20th-century Russia, depicting all the characters as deeply flawed, though imminently interesting and likable,” Blondell says. “This play resonates deeply with modern American times, especially the recent recession and accompanying mortgage meltdown.”
“The Cherry Orchard” features Lauren White ’14, Ben Offringa ’14, Paige Tautz ’14, Chris Wagstaffe ’14, Michael Bernard, Brian Harwell, Stan Hoffman, Jeff Mills, Nina Sallinen and Matthew Tavianini. Lighting design is provided by Jonathan Hicks ’04, Westmont theater department technical director. Music composition and performance is by Jim Connolly. The stage manager is alumna Elaine Galang ’11.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College p  Website
5/2/14 - Westmont's Commencement Ceremony
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Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of the book, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” will speak at Westmont’s Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. on Carr Field. President Gayle D. Beebe will give the Westmont medal to long-time Montecito neighbor Annette Simmons and her late husband, Harold, who died Dec. 28, 2013. Commencement is free and open to the public, but no parking is available on campus. Guests must park their cars at Santa Barbara City College and use Westmont’s free shuttle service to campus, arriving at City College no later than 9:30 a.m.  Website
4/25/14 - Westmont College Choir & Chamber Concert
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The Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers will tour Southern California May 4-6, singing a diverse repertoire of classic and contemporary sacred and secular music, folk songs, spirituals and vocal jazz before traveling to Russia and Lithuania.The musicians had originally planned on touring Ukraine, but changed plans in March following Russia’s military intervention there. “At first the cancellation of the Ukraine portion of the trip was disappointing, but Lithuania is just as foreign to most of us and therefore just as exciting,” says junior Jake Elliott, choir president. “The scariest thing about the change was the absence of hosts for a group of 60 people in addition to having places to sing.” As part of their Southern California tour, Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers will perform at Santa Ynez Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang, Calif.  Website
4/25/14 - Westmont College Choir Performs at Church Service
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The Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers will tour Southern California May 4-6, singing a diverse repertoire of classic and contemporary sacred and secular music, folk songs, spirituals and vocal jazz before traveling to Russia and Lithuania.The musicians had originally planned on touring Ukraine, but changed plans in March following Russia’s military intervention there. “At first the cancellation of the Ukraine portion of the trip was disappointing, but Lithuania is just as foreign to most of us and therefore just as exciting,” says junior Jake Elliott, choir president. “The scariest thing about the change was the absence of hosts for a group of 60 people in addition to having places to sing.” Westmont Choir will perform as part of the evening church service at First Ukrainian Baptist Church of Santa Barbara, 150 Pebble Hill Pl. Santa Barbara, Calif.  Website
4/25/14 - Sonos Montecito Concert
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Sonos Montecito, a new wind quintet in residence at Westmont, performs a free, public concert Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The quintet, comprised of Westmont’s applied music faculty, will play works by Carl Nielsen, Jacques Ibert and Eric Ewazen. Sonos Montecito features Andrea DiMaggio, flute, Trey Farrell, oboe, Joanne Kim, clarinet, Steve Gross, horn, and Paul Mori, bassoon.  Website
4/14/14 - Westmont's Commencement Ceremony
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Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of the book, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” will speak at Westmont’s Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. on Carr Field. President Gayle D. Beebe will give the Westmont medal to long-time Montecito neighbor Annette Simmons and her late husband, Harold, who died Dec. 28, 2013. Commencement is free and open to the public, but no parking is available on campus. Guests must park their cars at Santa Barbara City College and use Westmont’s free shuttle service to campus, arriving at City College no later than 9:30 a.m.  Website
4/4/14 - Good Friday Breakfast
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Dr. Gayle D. Beebe, Westmont’s eighth president, will be the keynote speaker at the 37th Annual Good Friday Breakfast April 18th. The Annual Good Friday Breakfast brought to our community by the Channel Islands YMCA since 1978 is a Christian outreach program, focusing on the significance of the death of Jesus Christ, is open to the public and will be held at Fess Parker's Double Tree Hotel and Resort in the Ballroom, beginning at 7:00 AM with breakfast and will conclude by 8:50 AM. Brian Gough, Partner, Howell, Moore & Gough LLP and Channel Islands YMCA Board Member will emcee and music will be provided by Joyce Reed and Shalen Williams, Lewis Chapel. Table sponsorships: Gold-$1000, Silver-$500, Bronze-$300 Individual tickets: $40 visit ciymca.org to purchase online or call, 805.687.7720, ext. 257   Website
4/2/14 - Westmont's Senior Art Exhibition: “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W” Opening Reception
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Sixteen graduating art majors present their capstone projects while paying homage to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art on April 3-May 3. The public is invited to a free, opening reception Thursday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. The senior exhibition, “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W,” reflects the longitude and latitude coordinates of the museum that officially opened when they were first-year students.  Website
4/2/14 - Westmont's Senior Art Exhibition: “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W”
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Sixteen graduating art majors present their capstone projects while paying homage to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art on April 3-May 3. The public is invited to a free, opening reception Thursday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. The senior exhibition, “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W,” reflects the longitude and latitude coordinates of the museum that officially opened when they were first-year students.  Website
4/2/14 - Westmont's Senior Art Exhibition: “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W”
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Sixteen graduating art majors present their capstone projects while paying homage to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art on April 3-May 3. The public is invited to a free, opening reception Thursday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. The senior exhibition, “34°26’59.33”N, 119°39’43.29”W,” reflects the longitude and latitude coordinates of the museum that officially opened when they were first-year students.  Website
4/2/14 - U.S. Supreme Court Simulation
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Ten Westmont students will simulate a U.S. Supreme Court trial hinging on the First Amendment Thursday, April 3, from 7-8 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The Constitutional Law class will try McCullen v. Coakley, a 2009 Massachusetts state legislature case that created a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the case in its current term. Covington, who has held these types of class simulations since 2009, says the format follows the structure of real oral arguments before the Supreme Court. “This provides helpful insights into a controversial political issue with intense back-and-forth debate between attorneys and the judges,” he says.  Website
4/2/14 - Observatory Opens for Total Lunar Eclipse
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The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years will be the focus of a free, public viewing on Monday, April 14, from 10:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, April 15, at the Westmont Observatory. The special viewing occurs in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for public use.  Website
3/28/14 - The Westmont Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert
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The Westmont Music Department comes alive this spring with several concerts during the first few weeks of April, beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Chorale and New Sounds on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street. All performances are free unless otherwise listed. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. The Westmont Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert is Wednesday, April 16, at 8 p.m. in Deane Chapel. “The ensemble’s repertoire covers a wide spectrum of styles from bebop and straight-ahead jazz to bossa nova, Broadway standards and contemporary pop,” says John Enrico Douglas, who directs the ensemble. Special features include songs by vocalists Abby Polett ’16, Briana Sanchez ’16 and Robert Huff ’17 (also on trombone), and spotlight solos by alto saxophonist Austin Wood ’16 and pianist John Chu ’16. Also sharing the limelight are trombonist Daniel Fraats ’16, string bassist Katrina Whitman ’17, vibraphonist/drummer Evan Kramer ’16 and drummer/percussionist Tim MacDonald ’15.  Website
3/28/14 - Westmont Wind Chamber Concert
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The Westmont Music Department comes alive this spring with several concerts during the first few weeks of April, beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Chorale and New Sounds on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street. All performances are free unless otherwise listed. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. The Wind Chamber Concert is Sunday, April 13, at 3 p.m. in Deane Chapel  Website
3/28/14 - Westmont Spring Choral Concert
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The Westmont Music Department comes alive this spring with several concerts during the first few weeks of April, beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Chorale and New Sounds on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street. All performances are free unless otherwise listed. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040 The Spring Choral Concert is Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. in First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St. General admission is $10; students are free.  Website
3/28/14 - Westmont Composer’s Concert
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The Westmont Music Department comes alive this spring with several concerts during the first few weeks of April, beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Chorale and New Sounds on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street. All performances are free unless otherwise listed. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. The Composer’s Concert is Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in Deane Chapel.  Website
3/28/14 - Westmont's String Chamber Recital
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The Westmont Music Department comes alive this spring with several concerts during the first few weeks of April, beginning with the Men’s and Women’s Chorale and New Sounds on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street. All performances are free unless otherwise listed. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. The String Chamber Recital, under the direction of Han Soo Kim, assistant professor of music, is Sunday, April 6, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. It will feature various musical groups, including Fuoco Duo, Deane Sextet, Kerrwood Quartet and the Siloam Quartet.  Website
3/26/14 - Westmont's Fringe Festival
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Nearly 50 Westmont students have created or will be performing in a record-setting 24 pieces during the Westmont Fringe Festival April 10-11 and 13 at 7 p.m. and April 12 at 3 p.m. General admission is $10; $7 for students, seniors and children. Purchase tickets online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140.  Website
3/24/14 - Movie screening and panel discussion: "Fruitvale Station" with Trestin George
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Actor and former professional football player Trestin George joins a discussion following the screening of “Fruitvale Station” on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Page Multipurpose Room. The Reel Talk event, sponsored by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts and the Office of Campus Life at Westmont, is free and open to the public.  Website
3/24/14 - “From Main Street to Wall Street: The Amazing Effectiveness of Mathematical Algorithms"
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Russell Howell, Kathleen Smith professor of mathematics at Westmont, explores the power and success of the mathematical algorithm in a free, public lecture Thursday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. at University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. No tickets are required; the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051. The talk, “From Main Street to Wall Street: The Amazing Effectiveness of Mathematical Algorithms,” is part of Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter, which is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation.  Website
3/24/14 - “Paul’s Relationship to Jews and Judaism in First-Century Context"
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Mark D. Nanos, a Reform Jew who has lectured at the University of Kansas since 2005, probes the identity of the Apostle Paul in a lecture, “Paul’s Relationship to Jews and Judaism in First-Century Context: Revisiting the Translation of Romans 11,” Monday, March 24, at 6 p.m. in Founders Room at Westmont. The lecture, sponsored by the Westmont Religious Studies Department, is free and open to the public.  Website
3/19/14 - The Last Five Years
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Westmont senior Ben Offringa stars and directs in Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years,” a story of a couple’s rocky, five-year relationship, March 21-23 at 8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets to the performance, which is a fundraiser for the Westmont Choir’s Lithuania tour in May, cost $14; $7 for students and seniors.  Website
3/19/14 - Public Viewing of the Stars
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Jupiter and the Great Orion Nebula will be the featured attractions of this month’s free public viewing of the stars with Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope on Friday, March 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening.   Website
3/18/14 - 'Pirates' Lands National Accolades
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Westmont’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” won three national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recognized outstanding work from eight regional festivals held Jan. 7-March 1 across the United States. “Pirates” earned Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Scenography for a Musical for Danila Korogodsky, and Distinguished Director of a Musical for John Blondell, Westmont theater arts professor. Blondell has been invited to receive his award and participate in the 46th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., April 14-19. Blondell says the cast and crew are all delighted and honored to receive national recognition by the Kennedy Center. “I was blessed with a world-class team of cocreators and a multi-talented, effervescent group of performers and technicians,” he says. “The experience of making the show was unparalleled, and I am so pleased that the work of these fabulous young artists has met with such general acclaim. This is great news for our students, our departments and the college, and I am completely tickled at this surprising turn of events.” “Pirates” was chosen to be performed at one of eight regional festivals Feb. 14 in the Los Angeles Theatre Center. It returned for two final shows in Westmont’s Porter Theatre Feb. 22-23. In addition, Blondell directed “Bread,” written by California Institute of the Arts student Michael Yichao, which is a National Finalist of the KCACTF Ten-Minute Play Award.   Website
3/18/14 - "The Last Five Years," Starring Ben Offringa and Paige Tautz, is March 21-23
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Westmont senior Ben Offringa stars and directs in Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years,” a story of a couple’s rocky, five-year relationship, March 21-23 at 8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets to the performance, which is a fundraiser for the Westmont Choir’s Lithuania tour in May, cost $14; $7 for students and seniors.
Offringa and senior co-star Paige Tautz discovered “The Last Five Years” during their first year at Westmont. “We loved the music immensely, but didn’t yet have the skills necessary to stage a full-fledged production of the show,” Offringa says. “But through our training and growth in both the theater and music departments over the last four years, I felt we were finally both ready to take on this beast of a two-person, no intermission, hour-and-a-half musical.”
Junior Luke Mizuki directs the music of the play, which features two interweaving storylines, one moving forward, the other backward.“The best part about directing this piece has been watching it come to life in a way I could have never anticipated,” Offringa says. “Paige and I have jumped right into the script after our successful reboot of ‘Pirates of Penzance’ on that has allowed us to maintain the vocal strength necessary to carry a show of this size.”
Being an actor and director in the same show has created additional challenges. “As a director, my job is to be the outside eye that can identify and reshape images on the stage that those involved cannot easily see,” he says. “As a result, John Blondell has been a tremendous help in attending several rehearsals, presenting a sort of mirror to me through his eyes.” Offringa directed “The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!)” at Westmont in 2013. He has starred in nearly every Westmont theatrical production during his four years, including “Pirates,” “Electra,” “Platinum Circle,” “Much Ado,” “Animal Farm,” “The Servant of Two Masters” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Tautz has performed in “Pirates,” “Electra,” “Platinum Circle,” “Musical of Musicals,” “Much Ado,” “Animal Farm,” “Peer Gynt,” and “Servant of Two Masters.”
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College's Porter Theatre  Website
3/14/14 - Talk Examines Faith, Politics and Jimmy Carter on Monday
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Randall Balmer, a prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee, explores the turbulent religious context of Jimmy Carter’s presidency on Monday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. at Westmont’s Hieronymus Lounge in Kerrwood Hall. The Erasmus Society Lecture, “His Own Received Him Not: Jimmy Carter, the Religious Right, and the Eclipse of Progressive Evangelicalism,” is free and open to the public. The Westmont Department of History and the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts sponsor the talk.
Jimmy Carter rode to the presidency on the confluence of two streams: his reputation as a New South governor and a brief revival of progressive evangelicalism in the mid-1970s. “After helping propel him to office, however, American evangelicals turned dramatically against Carter four years later, sending him to a stinging defeat,” Balmer says.
Balmer, an Episcopal priest, has written more than a dozen books, including “The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond” and “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture,” the fifth edition of which will be released this summer, the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication. His commentaries on religion in America have appeared in newspapers throughout the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, the Anchorage Daily News and the New York Times. His newest book, “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter,” will be released in May.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  Email   Website
3/11/14 - Free Family Folk Art Festival on March 22
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” includes Family Day: American Folk Art Festival on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around the museum and Adams Center at Westmont. This will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food, and more, all celebrating the vibrant culture of America. The Family Festival is free and open to all families and all ages. There will be a small charge for food. It will feature innovative artisans from the Central Coast and Southern California offering their creations for sale.
The exhibition features many diverse artists, including Rev. Howard Finster, J.B. Murry, Rev. Benjamin Perkins, Mose Tolliver, Raymond Coins, Ronald Cooper, Tim Lewis, Elder Anderson Johnson, Felix Virgous, Myrtice West, and R.A. Miller. “At the forefront of the most engaging contemporary art are works made by outsider artists, whose creations are inspired by their own spiritual fervor and unwavering visions,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “We specifically focus on artists who are inspired by spiritual convictions, visions of God, or a passionate desire to spread the Good News through their art. In recent years, outsider art has become highly collectable as the art world discovered the unbridled emotional response communicated through these art forms.”
Sponsors include Michael Kidd (in memory of Benjamin E. Ortega), Neunuebel Barrantes Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and Just Folk in Summerland. Another sponsor, Steven Pattie ’74, has written an essay for the exhibition brochure and lent several objects from his collection to the show. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art  Website
3/7/14 - “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists” at Westmont Museum
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. The exhibition includes Family Day: American Folk Art Festival on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around the museum and Adams Center at Westmont. This will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food, and more, all celebrating the vibrant culture of America. The Family Festival is free and open to all families and all ages. There will be a small charge for food. It will feature innovative artisans from the Central Coast and Southern California offering their creations for sale.
The exhibition features many diverse artists, including Rev. Howard Finster, J.B. Murry, Rev. Benjamin Perkins, Mose Tolliver, Raymond Coins, Ronald Cooper, Tim Lewis, Elder Anderson Johnson, Felix Virgous, Myrtice West, and R.A. Miller. “At the forefront of the most engaging contemporary art are works made by outsider artists, whose creations are inspired by their own spiritual fervor and unwavering visions,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “We specifically focus on artists who are inspired by spiritual convictions, visions of God, or a passionate desire to spread the Good News through their art. In recent years, outsider art has become highly collectable as the art world discovered the unbridled emotional response communicated through these art forms.”
Sponsors include Michael Kidd (in memory of Benjamin E. Ortega), Neunuebel Barrantes Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and Just Folk in Summerland. Another sponsor, Steven Pattie ’74, has written an essay for the exhibition brochure and lent several objects from his collection to the show.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  Website
2/28/14 - Westmont's Annual Music Guild Competition
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Six high school seniors will be competing for Westmont music scholarships at the annual Music Guild Competition on Saturday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The performances are free and open to the public. The winner of the Guild Scholarship will receive up to $10,000 in annual music scholarships funds (up to $40,000 over four years) to study at Westmont. The finalists are cellist Timothy Beccue of Westlake Village, violist Erik Fauss of Santa Rosa, violinist Melissa Wong of San Gabriel, harpist Alexandra Nieuwsma of Martinez, bassoonist and organist Michael Rowlands of Irving, Texas, and pianist Jonathan Kok of Sammamish, Wash.  Website
2/21/14 - Westmont Reads: Panel Discussion on ‘The Big Burn’
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Westmont hosts a panel discussion about wildfire as part of Westmont Reads Thursday, March 6, from 2-3 p.m. in Voskuyl Library. This year, the annual program focuses on the book “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America” by Timothy Egan. The program includes a series of events, including book discussions and featured speakers at UC Santa Barbara and at public libraries in Santa Barbara and Montecito.  Website
2/19/14 - Public Viewing of the Stars
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Stargazers might enjoy views of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot at this month’s public viewing at the Westmont Observatory on Friday, Feb. 21, beginning after 6:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.  Website
2/14/14 - “The Pirates of Penzance”
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Westmont’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which will be performed for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, returns to Porter Theatre Feb. 22-23 at 7 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students and seniors. A $25 special benefit ticket entitles the buyer to the play and a dessert reception with the cast, following each encore performance. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140.  Website
2/14/14 - “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.  Website
2/14/14 - “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.  Website
2/10/14 - Westmont Downtown: “The Future of Microfinance and the Role of Muhammad Yunus"
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Rick Ifland, director of the Eaton Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Westmont, explores the challenges and effectiveness of microfinance both in the developed and developing worlds at a free, public lecture Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. Tickets are not needed; the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051.  Website
2/7/14 - Westmont Spring Orchestra Concert
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The Westmont Orchestra performs Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture” as part of its Spring Orchestra Concert Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont and Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets to the concerts, which may be purchased at the door, are $10 general admission; students are free.  Website
2/7/14 - Westmont Spring Orchestra Concert
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The Westmont Orchestra performs Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture” as part of its Spring Orchestra Concert Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont and Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets to the concerts, which may be purchased at the door, are $10 general admission; students are free.  Email   Website
2/5/14 - Family Day: American Folk Art Festival
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. The exhibition includes Family Day: American Folk Art Festival on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around the museum and Adams Center at Westmont. This will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food, and more, all celebrating the vibrant culture of America. The Family Festival is free and open to all families and all ages. There will be a small charge for food. It will feature innovative artisans from the Central Coast and Southern California offering their creations for sale.  Website
2/5/14 - Opening Reception: “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.  Website
2/5/14 - Conference Digs into Ancient, Modern Theater
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In conjunction with “Electra,” the Westmont Theatre Arts Department hosts the first Westmont Dialogue on Theatre Ancient and Modern on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 1-8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets cost $15 and do not include dinner. Please RSVP by Feb. 5 to Beth Whitcomb at bwhitcomb@westmont.edu.  Email   Website
2/5/14 - Lecture to Probe ‘God and the Multiverse’
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Deborah Haarsma, president of BioLogos, explores astronomy, cosmology and connections to evolution and other sciences in a lecture Friday, Feb. 7, at 3:30 p.m. in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The Pascal Society Lecture, “God and the Multiverse,” is free and open to the public.  Website
1/22/14 - "Electra" by Sophocles
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Sophomore Christine Nathanson of Chula Vista stars in “Electra,” a masterpiece of dramatic literature, on Friday, Jan. 31, and Feb. 1, 6-8, all at 8 p.m. at an outdoor location northeast of Westmont’s Van Kampen Hall. Sophocles wrote the ancient tragedy, and acclaimed young British playwright Nick Payne has developed a new contemporary version of the text. General admission is $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. The play, which contains adult themes, runs 90 minutes without an intermission. Wooden benches provide seating; feel free to bring your own seat cushion for comfort. Directed by Mitchell Thomas.  Website
1/22/14 - Erasmus Society Lecture Series: "What is Faith?"
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"What is Faith?" by Lara Buchak, assistant professor of philosophy, University of California at Berkeley. The lecture will be in Hieronymous Lounge, in Westmont College's Kerrwood Hall. It is free and open to the public.  Website
1/22/14 - Erasmus Society Lecture Series: "The Mystery of Trauma, the Mystery of Joy"
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"The Mystery of Trauma, the Mystery of Joy", by Amy Hollywood, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School. Event will be held in Westmont College's Hieronymous Lounge in Kerrwood Hall. It is free and open to the public.  Website
1/22/14 - Remembering William Stafford: 8th Annual Community Reading
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Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont and former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, hosts a poetry reading to honor the life and work of William Stafford (1914-1993) on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. at the First Crossing Day Use Area in Los Padres National Forest, across from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Road. This is the former site of the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp, where Stafford served as a conscientious objector during World War II.  Website
1/22/14 - Opera Production: Haydn's La Canterina
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The Westmont Music Drama Workshop stages “La Canterina,” a comic opera by Joseph Haydn on Jan. 24-25 in Westmont’s Deane Chapel and Jan. 30-31 at Center Stage Theater in Downtown Santa Barbara, all at 8 p.m. The performances at Westmont are free; tickets to the Center Stage performances are $15 for students and $20 for adults and can be purchased at the theater box office or online at http://www.centerstagetheater.org/.  Website
12/4/13 - Public Viewing of the Stars
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the Double Double star system during a free, public viewing Friday, Nov. 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.  Website
12/2/13 - Tickets Available for Saturday Christmas Fest
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The ninth annual Westmont Christmas Festival, “Prepare the Way,” features music spanning 600 years celebrating Advent and Christmas Dec. 6-8 at First Presbyterian Church. Tickets, which are $25 each and support the Westmont Choir’s tour to Russia in spring 2014, are still available for the performance on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased online at: westmont.edu/christmasfestival. For more information, please contact the Westmont Music Department at (805) 5656040.  Website
12/2/13 - Christmas Festival Tickets to Go on Sale
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Tickets to the ninth annual Westmont Christmas Festival go on sale Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. This year’s performance, “Prepare the Way,” will be held Dec. 6-7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., all at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave.  Website
12/2/13 - Westmont Lights Tree, Sings in the Season
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Westmont kicks off the Christmas season with the 12th annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Kerrwood Lawn, Wednesday, Dec. 4. The lights on the 150-foot redwood tree, affectionately known as the Pickle Tree, will glow at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.  Website
12/2/13 - Entrepreneurs Present Poverty-Ending Plans
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The 24th annual Westmont Business Plan Competition attempts to solve some of the deepest problems encountered by disadvantaged families in poverty-stricken areas on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 3:15-6:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Kerrwood Hall. The event is free and open to the public.  Website
11/22/13 - Save the Date! Museum Exhibits Impressive Art Collection -- 12/3
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The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art shows works from 29 artists from 1980-2000 in an exhibition, “Impulse and Connoisseurship: Selections from the Forde Collection,” Dec. 3-Feb. 1. There will be a free, public opening reception on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 4-6 p.m. The exhibition features the collection of Westmont alumna Marie (May) and Arnold Forde, who began collecting contemporary art with the help of legendary art curator Paul Schimmel. The show includes a selection of works by John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Chris Burden, Jenny Holzer and many others.
“This is an exciting exhibition not only because it features so many incredible and respected contemporary artists, but because of the close connection to our Westmont alumni,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “It is wonderful to see where Westmont alumni go and what they do after they graduate, and Mrs. Forde is no exception. She and Mr. Forde are both incredibly knowledgeable about art from this era, and it is exciting to see this within the Westmont community.”
“This is an exciting exhibition not only because it features so many incredible and respected contemporary artists, but because of the close connection to our Westmont alumni,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “It is wonderful to see where Westmont alumni go and what they do after they graduate, and Mrs. Forde is no exception. She and Mr. Forde are both incredibly knowledgeable about art from this era, and it is exciting to see this within the Westmont community.”
“This impressive collection is visually and conceptually interesting,” says Alisha Paulsen, museum outreach and education coordinator. “Many of them exemplify the minimalist and conceptual realms of the art world during this time.” The museum is also preparing for the American Family Folk Festival on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The festival will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling and food, celebrating the vibrant American culture. The festival, held in conjunction with the exhibition “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists” (Feb. 20- March 29), will be located in and around the museum. The exhibition showcases work from folk artists from all over the United States. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art  Website
11/22/13 - Dance Concert to Leave ‘Eyes Wide Open’ Friday and Saturday Nights
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Westmont’s fall dance concert, “Eyes Wide Open,” breaks from tradition to explore Porter Theatre’s black-box space Nov 21-23 at 8 p.m. Tickets, $10 for general admission; $7 for students, seniors and children, may be purchased at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140.
Susan Alexander, who co-directs the show with Christina Sanchez, says the performance will be full of surprises. “The faculty and student choreographers are going to bring this unusual space to life in a variety of different ways,” Alexander says. “With the audience seated on three sides, an intimacy will prevail as choreographers present challenging and delightful works ranging from pure movement to dance/theatre pieces.”
Alexander was professor of modern dance at the Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance from 1989-2008 and for the Paris Opera Ballet Company from 1985-2008. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Alexander earned a master’s degree in dance at Mills College.
Sanchez, who performs with the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre based at UCSB, has danced and toured throughout Europe, South America and the U.S. with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Buglisi Foreman Dance. Both Alexander and Sanchez have been teaching at Westmont since 2011.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Porter Theatre's Black-Box, Westmont College  Website
11/15/13 - Public Viewing to Feature Celestial Double Double TONIGHT!
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the Double Double star system during a free, public viewing Friday, Nov. 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
The viewing, which will be challenged with a close-to-full moon in the eastern sky, will focus on objects in near the zenith or to the west. Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he’ll zoom in on Epsilon Lyrae, the Double Double, which is a quartet of stars about 200 light-years away. “One pair of stars takes 600 years to orbit each other and the other pair takes about 1,000 years,” he says. “Now, imagine the fact that the two pairs are separated by 0.2 light-year and would likely take a half million years to complete one orbit.”
The Observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the Observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Observatory  Website
11/14/13 - Blondell Directs Two Unique Productions of ‘Henry VI’ on Sunday
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Westmont hosts two performances of Shakespeare’s early history play, “Henry VI,” on the same day, in the same space, directed by the same director in two different languages. “Henry VI, Part 3 Times 2,” featuring the Lit Moon Theatre Company and the Bitola National Theatre, is Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 and 7 p.m. respectively; both in Porter Theatre. General admission tickets to Lit Moon’s production are $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Bitola National Theatre production are free, though reservations are recommended. Tickets can be reserved online at westmont.edu/tickets and picked up at the door.
The project is the culmination of director John Blondell’s more than two-year odyssey with the play that began as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Bitola National Theatre participated in the Globe to Globe Festival, which presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages. In anticipation of the Bitola production, Blondell and Lit Moon Theatre Company staged the play in February 2012 in Santa Barbara.
Blondell says the endeavor will come full circle with Lit Moon and Bitola showing varying versions of “Henry VI” back to back.
“The play presents events in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic and Civil War that took place in England from 1450 to 1485,” Blondell says. “Both productions show the virtues of a wild, eccentric and vividly drawn play — both are something of a thrill ride, and both display the strengths of each company to a high degree. They are also very different — although they share the same essential DNA, they feel different and display varying approaches to character, situation, music and atmosphere.”
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre  Website
11/10/13 - Westmont Wind Chamber Concert
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The Wind Chamber Concert, under the direction of Paul Mori, is Sunday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in Deane Chapel.  Website
11/8/13 - String Chamber Ensemble Concert
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The String Chamber Ensemble performs Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in Deane Chapel.  Website
11/8/13 - Warriors Secure Playoff Plans
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The No. 3 Westmont women’s soccer team captured a first-round bye and a semi-final match at home in the upcoming Golden State Athletic Conference Championship. The Warriors (14-0-3, 8-0-2 GSAC) open the tournament at Thorrington Field on Friday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. against either Biola, Vanguard, San Diego Christian or the Master’s.   Website
11/8/13 - Willis Offers Reflective Poems of Comfort
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Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont, will be reading from his new book of poetry, “Say This Prayer into the Past” (Cascade Books, 2013)  Website
11/1/13 - More than 570 Teens to Sing in Santa Barbara Today
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More than 570 students from 15 California high schools join the Westmont College Choir at the ninth annual Westmont Fall Choral Festival on Friday, Nov. 1. Half of the choirs will perform at 4:45 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. The remaining half will perform prior to the Westmont ensembles at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian. Both performances are free and open to the public, although seating is limited. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040.
The afternoon concert features the Westmont Men’s and Women’s Chorales along with the first-year chamber ensemble. The Westmont Chamber Singers and College Choir will be the featured performers on the evening program. The Westmont College Choir will sing works by Hugo Distler, F. Melius Christiansen and Moses Hogan along with new works from Tanzania and the Philippines. The evening concert concludes with all choirs performing a mass choral piece, “Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11” by Gabriel Fauré.
At workshops before the performance, singers will work with Westmont professors Grey Brothers, Steve Hodson and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, and adjunct instructors Robert Rockabrand and Joanna Wasserman. Tom Davies, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo choir director, and KuanFen Liu, CSU Channel Islands choir instructor, will also be teaching.
This year’s participating high school choirs include: Arlington High School Chamber Singers, Cathedral City High School Lions’ Pride Chamber Singers, Frontier High School Concert Choir, Fullerton Union High School Vocal Ensemble, Highland High School Chamber Choir, Irvine High School Irvine Singers, Maranatha High School Mixed Ensemble, Oaks Christian School Oaks Chorale, Providence High School Providence Chorale, Redlands Adventist Academy Kantorei, San Marcos High School Madcappella Choir, Santa Barbara High School A Capella and Madrigal Singers, Saugus High School Concert Choir, Sunnyside High School Cantus Vocem and Woodcrest Christian School Chamber Singers.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... First Presbyterian Church  Website
10/25/13 - Orchestra to Perform a California Premiere Tonight
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The Westmont Fall Orchestra Concert features a California premiere by Chicago-area composer James Stephenson on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at Montecito Covenant Church and Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. General admission to Sunday’s performance is $10. The suggested donation for admission to Friday’s concert is $10. Students are free. To purchase tickets, or for more information, please call (805) 565-6040.
Stephenson’s “Two Brothers,” a musical remembrance of families divided by the Civil War, features narration by John Sider, distinguished professor emeritus of English, and Maurice Lee, assistant professor of religious studies. The concert includes William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American” and Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov, which features sophomore Aaron Wilk on piano.
Still’s Afro-American Symphony, which premiered in 1931, was the first symphony by an African-American composer to be performed by a major orchestra. He was the first African-American to conduct a white radio orchestra in New York and in 1936 was the first African-American to conduct a major orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most popular pieces of classical music and has been featured in many films. Wilk, who recorded his first full-length CD at the age of 11, has opened for Twila Paris, a member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame. The Centennial, Colo., resident earned a Monroe Scholarship, Westmont’s highest academic honor.
Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, directs the Westmont Orchestra. Han Soo Kim, an award-winning artist who joined the Westmont faculty this fall, is the string coordinator.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Montecito Covenant Church  Website
10/22/13 - Will's Tourney to Feature Stick, Disk Golf on Monday
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Golfers and disc golfers will play together at the Montecito Country Club for the sixth annual William Wiersma Golf and Disc Tournament on Monday, Oct. 28. Registration and lunch begin at noon with play beginning at 1 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and awards and prizes will be handed out at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event benefit the William Wiersma Endowment Scholarship Fund and Westmont Fund to support student scholarships. To register, or for more information, please visit www.willstourney.com.
Wiersma graduated from Westmont in 2006 after spending his senior year studying at Oxford University. He was killed in a car accident in October 2006 while returning from an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Phoenix. The following year, the Wiersmas established a scholarship to honor the principles of collaboration for which Will stood.
“”Now in its sixth year, Will’s Tourney is, as far as we know, the only simultaneous stick/disc golf tournament in the country,” says Tom Wiersma, Will’s dad. “The nature of the tournament embodies three of the things Will appreciated most — collaboration, competition and fun.”
The tournament is played in a foursome, scramble style. The evening is filled with awards and raffle prizes, including a one-night stay and dinner for two at the Biltmore Four Season’s Resort, a $1,000 value.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Montecito Country Club  Email   Website
10/18/13 - Kiplinger’s Ranks Westmont as a Top College
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Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked Westmont among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in its annual list. The report, which named Westmont No. 83, features colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. The rankings will appear in Kiplinger’s December issue and are available online now at www.kiplinger.com/links/college. Westmont is one of eight liberal arts colleges in California to make the list and the only California member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to be included. Westmont scored well in several attributes that parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman-retention rate, and a high four-year graduation rate. Although private colleges generally carry higher sticker prices than in-state public schools, Silvio Vazquez, Westmont dean of admission, says private schools can actually be more affordable because of their generous financial aid. “Eighty-five percent of Westmont students receive financial aid,” he says. “And what’s more, 76 percent of Westmont students graduate in four years, while the national six-year graduation rate is only 57 percent. This translates to a lower cost in the long run, on-time graduation and the ability to begin their careers or graduate school right away.” Last month, the U.S. News and World Report ranked Westmont in the top 100 best liberal arts colleges for the fifth straight year. In August, Princeton Review listed Westmont as one of the Best Western Colleges, giving it the top academic ranking among the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.  Website
10/18/13 - 'Pirates of Penzance' by Westmont Festival Theatre Thru Oct. 27
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Artistic dynamos John Blondell, Westmont theatre professor of theater, and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, have combined forces, collaborating on the production of a comic operetta. About 30 student-actors/musicians will perform “Pirates of Penzance,” written by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, Oct. 17-19, 23, and 26-27 at 7 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students, children and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140.
Blondell, who directs the show, says it has been a joy collaborating with Shasberger, student conductor Andrew Combs, Danila Korogodsky (scenography) and Victoria Finlayson (choreography). He says he was attracted to “Pirates” for several reasons.
“I had never done a comic operetta,” he says, “so the prospect seemed new and fresh and also rather scary. I enjoy breathing fresh life into plays that we think we know. I wanted to make something fresh and vibrant, and that was satisfying on dramatic, theatrical and musical levels.” For a moment, Blondell and Shasberger considered a big cast, full orchestra and larger venue. “I was interested in what it meant to play the play in Porter Theatre — in the intimate environment where action and music are very close to the audience. The entire approach to the show, then, led me to make decisions based on what it meant to do a chamber version of the show.
“I think the show is going to be terrifically performed, vibrantly sung, beautifully acted and will have scenery, costumes and choreography that are both appropriate to the material and also very modern. I have high hopes for this show — I am constantly and consistently inspired by our students and collaborators. In some ways, I don’t want it to open, because that will mean that my work with it is over.”
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre  Website
10/18/13 - Save the Date! Public Viewing of the Stars Tonight -- 10/18
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the stars during a free, public viewing Friday, Oct. 18, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Observatory  Website
9/27/13 - Kissinger to Speak at Westmont Luncheon Oct. 9
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Henry Kissinger, secretary of state from 1973-1977 and a Nobel Peace Laureate, will discuss world events and diplomacy at a Westmont-sponsored luncheon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, 1281 Channel Drive. The reception begins at 11 a.m., and the luncheon concludes by 2 p.m. Tickets, which cost $1,500 each, can be purchased at www.westmont.edu/Kissinger. For more information, please call (805) 565-7256.
“Renowned for his unparalleled skills in the art of diplomacy, Dr. Kissinger is one of the shrewdest and most articulate people ever to work in Washington,” says Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe. “He understands firsthand the delicate balance of world power and America’s influence. Considering the state of affairs in Syria and other countries in the Middle East, it’s an incredible time to hear his wisdom.” Kissinger, 90, remains an influential public figure whose opinion on foreign policy is still sought by U.S. presidents, secretary of states and other world leaders. Founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, he served as national security adviser and secretary of state in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America until it ceased operation in 1985. Later, he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department, and the Defense Policy Board since 2001.
Kissinger graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954. He won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty, given to 10 foreign-born, American leaders, in 1986. Kissinger was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1938, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He taught on the faculty at Harvard University in both the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs from 1954 until 1969, and he directed the Harvard International Seminar from 1952 to 1969.
Kissinger has written several memoirs and more than a dozen books on foreign policy, including “On China” (2011), “Does America Need a Foreign Policy?” (2001) “Diplomacy” (1994), “A World Restored” (1973) and “American Foreign Policy: Three essays” (1969). His first memoir, “The White House Years” (1979), won a National Book Award.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club  Website
9/18/13 - Pianist to Perform in Free Westmont Recital on Sept. 27
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Pianist Constantine Finehouse, a scholar-in-residence at Westmont, performs music by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Alexander Scriabin and Sergey Rachmaninoff at a free, public recital Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. For more information, please call the Westmont Music Department at (805) 565-6040.
Finehouse, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, attended New England Conservatory, Juilliard and Yale. He studied with Fredrik Wanger, Natalia Harlap, Herbert Stessin, Jerome Lowenthal, Boris Berman and Bruce Brubaker.
He has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including Lausanne, London, Odessa, St. Petersburg and Trieste. His newest album, which includes cellist Sebastian Baverstam, features the universally-admired Brahms Sonata, Opus 38 for piano and cello as well as several new works in the high romantic style by Boston composer Tony Schemmer. In 2009 he released a solo recording, “Backwards Glance,” which interweaves music of Brahms and Richard Beaudoin. Finehouse is a member of the American Double, which in 2007 released the Bolcom Project, the first recording of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer William Bolcom’s complete works for violin and piano.
He is currently recording Bolcom’s complete piano solo works with fellow pianists Ursula Oppens and Christopher Taylor for Naxos Records. His awards include the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship from Juilliard, a 2004 St. Botolph Club Foundation Grant and a 2006 Classics Abroad Project Award. He serves on the faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory and Extension Divisions in Boston.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Deane Chapel  Website
9/17/13 - Harvest Moon Stargazing at Westmont Observatory Friday Night
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for a double star and two globular clusters during a free, public viewing Friday, Sept. 20, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to turn the 24-inch reflector telescope toward the blue-gold double star Albireo, which will be near zenith an hour after sunset. “The two stars circle one another every 100,000 years,” he says. “It is interesting to note that the light you see from this binary system is 400 years old. You are looking at light that has traveled since the time of Galileo.”
Not too far from the moon the viewing may also feature the globular cluster M15 in Pegasus. “A 12 billion-year-old ball of stars, M15 is a magnificent object especially when you consider that it houses a black hole in its center,” Whittemore says. “Although we won’t be able to see the black hole, we can still admire M15’s twinkling members.” The telescope may also zoom in on another globular cluster, M2, which has about 150,000 very old stars and a noticeable elliptical shape.
Most of the viewing will be away from the moon, which will be a day or so after its full phase (The Harvest Moon). Also, early in the evening the planets Venus and Saturn will be very close to the western horizon. They will be visible, but not through the telescopes because they will be too low in the sky. The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Observator  Email   Website
9/12/13 - Westmont Faculty Recital to Feature Han Soo Kim on Friday
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Members of Westmont’s talented music faculty will perform the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Peter Schickele and Franz Schubert on Friday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. in Deane Chapel. The Fall Faculty Recital is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040.
Performers include Grey Brothers (tenor), Neil Di Maggio (piano), Han Soo Kim (violin), Steve Hodson (piano), Paula Hatley (piano), Paul Mori (bassoon), Seungah Seo (piano), and Trevor Welch (piano).
Kim, who joined the Westmont faculty this fall as assistant professor of violin, is an award-winning artist who has performed at the Boston Symphony Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has performed in more than a dozen countries, including Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, Cuba, England and France. He has played at world renowned conservatories, music schools and festivals, including Boston Conservatory, Académie Internationale de Courchevel, Columbia University, Longy School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Morningside Music Bridge, Musicorda and the New England Conservatory.
He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Julliard School and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University in New York. While he regularly performs on violin, Han also enjoys playing the viola and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, the Emerson String Quartet, and the International Sejong Soloists.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Dean Chapel   Email   Website
9/11/13 - Caryn Reeder Named Fulbright Scholar
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Caryn Reeder, Westmont associate professor of religious studies, has earned a prestigious Fulbright award for teaching and research in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board award supports Reeder’s year-long sabbatical in the West Bank, where she will be teaching at a Palestinian university and conducting her own research from September 2013 through June 2014 Reeder’s research will examine “women, children and war in biblical and classical antiquity” and consider the “realities and rhetoric of violence,” both in ancient texts and the modern world. Reeder lived in Jerusalem before and during the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, witnessing some of the effects of the conflict. She worked for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Israel from 1999-2001, teaching a semester at Bethlehem Bible College. “Including the voices of Palestinian and Israeli students, faculty, and members of the community will deepen my research into the realities and rhetoric of violence,” she says. “My own research and teaching will provide students the chance to explore the roots of violence in Judeo-Christian traditions, giving them a new perspective for understanding ancient texts and contemporary experiences. Finally, I will be able to bring what I learn home, helping my students at Westmont understand the global significance of what they are privileged to study in a very peaceful place.” Reeder, a graduate of Augustana College, earned master’s degrees at both Wheaton College and the University of Cambridge. She earned a doctorate in New Testament at Cambridge and began teaching at Westmont in 2007. She has authored a book “The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond,” and several journal articles and book chapters, including “Vindicating Womankind: Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum,” to the book “Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters Who Challenged the Status Quo.”  Website
8/27/13 - Opening Reception for New Art Exhibition on Thursday at Westmont Museum
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Thirteen diverse artists from around the world will exhibit their work as part of “Invisible Realms: Encountering the Sacred” Aug. 22-Oct. 12 in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. Most of the artists will be available at a free, public reception Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4-6 p.m. The featured artists are: Lynn Aldrich of Los Angeles, Fabian Astore of Sydney, Australia, Adam Belt of Carlsbad, Calif., Kent Anderson Butler of Los Angeles, Linda Ekstrom of Santa Barbara, Hadassa Goldvicht of Jerusalem, Mary Heebner of Santa Barbara, Father Bill Moore of Glendale, Calif., Linda Saccoccio of Santa Barbara, Susan Savage of Santa Barbara, Marie Schoeff of Santa Barbara, Duncan Simcoe of Riverside, Calif., and Michael Tracy of Houston. Savage, who has taught at Westmont since 1991, will retire at the end of the year. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Santa Barbara, and has taught at La Colina Junior High School and Santa Barbara City College. “All of our shows this year have a spiritual theme, and Savage’s work is a wonderful way to begin that exploration through what spirituality is,” says Judy L. Larson, director of the museum. “Removed from common use, the domestic objects represented in Susan’s paintings are transformed into symbols of openness, reflection and divine interaction.”
Aldrich, originally from Texas, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. She says she makes art that communicates “authentic transcendence.” Astore, a media artist, received his Master of Arts with distinction from the University of New South Wales. He will exhibit “The Threshold,” which was a joint winner of the Blake Prize, given to artists whose work addresses religion and spirituality. Belt, who earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, enjoys using experimental forms of art, creating mystifying objects that remind us we are small pieces of a large and active environment. Butler, who earned an MFA from CSU Fullerton and teaches at Azusa Pacific University, has produced numerous videos and video installations. He often uses his own body as the focus of his videos, defining what it means to be human and possess a soul. Ekstrom, who earned a Bachelor of Arts and MFA from UC Santa Barbara where she lectures, uses altered Bibles to create sculptures. She reassembles pages of Bibles that have been shredded, sliced, twined, twisted and balled to express different ways of interpreting sacred texts. Goldvicht earned a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She also attended the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Her video art creates and modifies rituals that make connections between the spiritual and physical.
Savage, who has taught at Westmont since 1991, will retire at the end of the year. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Santa Barbara, and has taught at La Colina Junior High School and Santa Barbara City College. “All of our shows this year have a spiritual theme, and Savage’s work is a wonderful way to begin that exploration through what spirituality is,” says Judy L. Larson, director of the museum. “Removed from common use, the domestic objects represented in Susan’s paintings are transformed into symbols of openness, reflection and divine interaction.” Heebner, who graduated from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara where she also pursued her MFA, is a trained painter and distinguished author. Viewers will encounter Heebner’s creations layer by layer, slowly discovering the depth of her artistic imagination. Rev. Moore, a Roman Catholic priest who serves at the Ministry of the Arts in San Dimas, Calif., says his art has made him a better priest, and his faith a better artist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Saint Mary’s University before pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the Washington Theological Coalition. His artistic style is rooted in abstract expressionism. Saccoccio, whose artwork is influenced by Eastern religions and yoga rituals, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and earned an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She paints planes of bright colors often structured as broad stripes to form the backdrop for a mystical handwriting that seems to float above her abstract geometric paintings.
Schoeff, who has taught for many years at Santa Barbara City College and Westmont, graduated from CSU Sacramento and earned an MFA at Hunter College. She refers to her drawings as intensely private and personal traces. She says the very act of drawing is physically and mentally transformative. Simcoe, who chairs the art department at California Baptist University, will exhibit his figural “Black Drawings,” which explore the biblical narrative of Abraham and his sons, a point of both unity and controversy among Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Tracy, whose work emerges in response to his Catholic upbringing, creates stations of the cross that are deeply physical. Tearing, puncturing and cutting, Tracy builds up textural, almost grotesque, surfaces. His monochromatic paintings seem to reflect Christ’s physical torment. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  Website
8/13/13 - Westmonster 5K to Race through Campus on Thursday
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More than 100 runners are expected to compete in Santa Barbara’s toughest 5K race Thursday, Aug. 15, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Westmont track. The fourth annual Westmonster, part of the 2013 Santa Barbara Athletic Association Grand Prix Series, is a fundraiser for Westmont student-athlete scholarships.
The course, which climbs 284 feet, weaves through Westmont’s beautifully wooded campus in the Montecito foothills. A free children’s 1,000-meter race will follow the Westmonster. Dinner will be provided for all participants after the races. “We wanted to make it different since we know there are a lot of races in town,” says Dave Odell, Westmont athletic director. “We developed into the course this big hill, which is kind of a monster. It’s very steep, probably a 15 percent grade. So it’s a play on words, we’re Westmonsters and we have the Westmonster hill.”
The race is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. An early registration fee of $35 is available through July 31, after which the registration fee increases to $40. Children can participate in the 5K race for $15.Same-day registration begins at 5 p.m., but participants are encouraged to register online at http://www.westmont.edu/westmonster. Ricky Ho and Cindy Abrami have each claimed two Westmonster titles in three years.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  Website
7/18/13 - Internationally Renowned Violist Roberto Díaz Performs Friday at Montecito International Music Fest
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Internationally renowned violist Roberto Díaz performs works by Max Bruch, Paul Hindemith and Tchaikovsky Friday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. The concert is part of the Montecito International Music Festival, which brings about 160 students to Westmont for a three-week, music-intensive program July 15-Aug. 2. Concert tickets, which are $15 for students/seniors and $30 general admission, will be sold at the door. Tickets to the master classes are $10 for students/seniors and $20 general admission.
Díaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, was principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 10 years. He was also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. His recording of transcriptions by William Primrose with pianist Robert Koenig was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award.
Classical cellist Lynn Harrell, who earned Grammy Awards for “Beethoven: The Complete Piano Trios” in 1988 and “Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor” in 1982, performs during a master class on Friday, July 19, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. Concert violinist Linda Wang, assistant professor of violin at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, performs a master class on Friday, July 26, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus.
Famed violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, a faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music since 2007, holds master classes on Saturday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. in Deane Chapel and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus. Ashkenasi, who formed the twice Grammy nominated Vermeer Quartet, performs in concert on Tuesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre  Website
7/16/13 - Telescope Features Primetime Views of Saturn Friday Night
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the rings of Saturn and a globular cluster during a free, public viewing Friday, July 19, beginning at about 8 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to turn the 24-inch reflector telescope toward Saturn and its Cassini Division, the gap between the A and B rings. The viewing may also feature the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules. The cluster, one of the best-known in the northern hemisphere, consists of about 300,000 stars.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College  Website
6/20/13 - College Honored for Excellence in Service
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Westmont received the Excellence in Service award at the annual South Coast Business and Technology Awards June 13 at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. An audience of more than 700 people honored five local businesses, organizations and individuals demonstrating “extraordinary commitment to the economic vitality of the south coast of Santa Barbara.” In the past 19 years, the event has raised nearly $1.5 million for scholarships given to local students studying business and technology at Westmont, Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. President Gayle D. Beebe accepted the Excellence in Service award on behalf of Westmont. He described the many “businesses” on campus involved in providing a “dynamic educational enterprise”: a hotel, a food service, a symphony orchestra, a health clinic, an accounting firm, a career planning and placement center, and a landscaping and construction business, among many others. Beebe estimated that Westmont’s economic impact on the Santa Barbara area ranges from $175 to $280 million. Westmont alumni work for nearly 600 local companies, organizations and educational enterprises. “But a college is more than a business, and it should be measured by more than just economic impact,” Beebe said. “We know of countless way that Westmont administrators, faculty and students serve in our community, contributing more than 300,000 volunteer hours each year to local organizations. “We work so hard to make life in Santa Barbara better, and we are so pleased to be able to do it alongside so many distinguished and accomplished organizations and companies.” Westmont senior Filipp Kozachuk, one of the scholarship recipients, spoke at the event. An economic and business major interested in entrepreneurship, he has interned with a local company and plans to earn an MBA. For a class during the fall semester, he developed a business plan for a product that uses wireless technology to back up photos from a digital camera. Born in Ukraine, he came to Santa Barbara with his family as a toddler and speaks fluent Russian. He has also received academic and music scholarships from Westmont. Other award winners who have “demonstrated excellence in business and technology as well as outstanding innovation, service, and leadership” include Barbara Rosenblum, who founded Strategic Healthcare Programs: Entrepreneur of the Year; Sonos Inc., which makes wireless high-fidelity systems: Company of the Year; Joanne Funari, who helped establish Business First Bank and works as executive vice president and market area president for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties: Executive of the Year; and Larry Barels, who founded numerous companies, including WaveFront Technologies and Aqueous: Pioneer Award.  Email   Website
6/19/13 - Save the Date! Telescope to Focus on Ringed Planet Saturn -- 6/21
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The ringed planet Saturn, sitting in the nearby constellation of Virgo, will be one of the focal points of a free, public viewing Friday, June 21, beginning at about 8 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
“Although the Moon will be nearly full this evening, 12 days old, and placed in the constellation Libra, we should still get a good look at Saturn,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “Saturn’s large moon, Titan, will lie on one side of the planet and the moons Enceladus, Rhea and Dione on the other side of Saturn’s rings. If the seeing is good, we should be able to see the Cassini Division, the beautiful, dark break between Saturn’s A and B rings.”
The viewing will feature the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules by about 9:30 p.m. “This spectacular ball of about a million old stars will be well up for viewing,” Whittemore says. “As you look at this beast the night of the viewing, keep in mind that you are looking back in time 26,000 years. Since the age of these stars exceeds 10 billion years, it’s likely that all of the stars in this cluster still exist and will exist for a long time to come.”
During the past few evenings, Whittemore says the planet Mercury has been slipping by the planet Venus. “The night of the viewing, we will find Mercury just to the left and below Venus in the northwest after sunset,” he says. “The public might enjoy seeing this close pairing of the two bright planets with their bare eyes as they wait to look through Westmont’s large telescopes. Unfortunately, the planets are far too close to the horizon to be viewed through Westmont’s observatory-based scopes.” Westmont students and faculty use the Keck Telescope, a 24-inch reflector, to conduct astronomical research. The telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Presented by ... Westmont College
Venue ... Westmont College Observatory  Website
6/14/13 - Summer Camp Season Off and Running
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More than 60 youngsters attended the first week of Westmont’s youth summer athletic camps, developing motor skills for a variety of sports. An additional, third week of Sports Skills (June 10-14, June 17-21 and June 24-28) targeted for children 5-10 years old, has been added due to its popularity. Director Jill Wolf oversees the camp that focuses on skills for soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball as well as many coordination skills. Westmont has added a new Girls Rhythm and Moves Camp (July 22 – 26) that features dance, tumble, cheer, balance and stretching to fun music. The camp is codirected by Wolf and Chrissie Velazquez, a long-time physical education teacher at Dos Pueblos High School. Kristi Kiely, Westmont head women’s soccer coach, oversees all the Westmont summer camps with Jeff Azain, Westmont men’s assistant basketball coach. “I’m most looking forward to working with our veteran staff this summer,” she says. “We have longtime, successful coaches working with our campers this summer. At least three of our programs this year have athletes who participated in camps when they were younger.” All camps, which began June 10 and run through July 26, start at 9 a.m. and cost $225 or $250. Most camps end at 1 p.m., though several camps (basketball, soccer and tennis) last until 3 p.m. with aftercare offered until 4:30 p.m. The price includes a camp T-shirt, photo and instruction by Westmont coaches as well as current and former Westmont student-athletes. Campers also have the opportunity to swim in the Westmont pool throughout the week. Azain says with so many wonderful camps in Santa Barbara, he’s thankful Westmont has one of the longest running and most successful camps in town. “We have state-of-the-art facilities and tremendous coaches and staff, most of whom are our current athletes or local students who create a safe and fun environment while providing sport-specific instruction,” he says. “Most importantly, we love the kids we get to work with.” Registration and information about age restrictions are available at http://blogs.westmont.edu/athletics/summer-camps/. Space is limited, and all camps are expected to fill up quickly. For more information, please call the athletics department at (805) 565-6010.  Website
4/19/13 - Public Viewing to Feature Saturn, Needle Galaxy TONIGHT!
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Westmont’s Keck Telescope, one of the most powerful along the Central Coast, turns its attention to the ringed planet Saturn and the Needle Galaxy at a free, public viewing Friday, April 19, beginning about 7:30 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
Although Saturn rises after sunset, Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says Saturn should be in a good position as the night progresses. “If the seeing is good this evening, we should be able to see some details on the ball of the planet as well as several of Saturn’s moons,” says Whittemore, who earned a master’s degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Arizona.
The evening may also include views of the Needle Galaxy, NGC 4565. “This beautiful, spiral galaxy lies in Coma Berenices and is estimated to be 30 to 50 million light-years away,” Whittemore says. Another highlight of the viewing may be the globular cluster M3, which was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier. “It’s probably one of the most studied globular clusters,” Whittemore says. “Some amateur astronomers consider it to be one of the finest globular clusters in the northern sky, second only to the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules. M3 is unusual in that it contains a very large number of variable stars.”
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
4/12/13 - American Double to Play Westmont Finale TONIGHT!
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The American Double, a duo featuring violinist Philip Ficsor and pianist Constantine Finehouse, perform its final concert at Westmont Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the music department at (805) 565-6040. Ficsor, who joined the Westmont faculty in the fall of 2006, is moving with his family to Colorado this summer. Finehouse currently serves as an artist-in-residence at Westmont.
The concert will feature sonatas by Brahms, Bolcom and Ravel. Ficsor says Ravel and Bolcom’s sonatas share a common thread in their reliance on American jazz genres. “In Ravel’s sonata, a middle-movement blues draws heavily on 1920s Paris jazz idioms with the instruments strumming in guitar-like fashion,” Ficsor says. “The outer movements open and close the sonata in a manner which is quintessentially Ravel: a first movement that is gossamer-like in its delicacy and textural transparency and a final movement that closes the work in virtuosic, perpetual mobile fashion.”
William Bolcom evokes jazz violinist Joe Venuti throughout his Second Sonata, which has become one of the iconic violin sonatas of the latter half of the 20th century. American Double studied the sonata with Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, during their recording of his complete works for violin and piano. Brahms’ Third Sonata for Piano and Violin in D-minor closes the program. “Truly a monument of the duo sonata repertoire, this four-movement work alternates moods from a brooding, melancholic opening to a songful slow movement and into a bridged third and fourth movement which ends in thunderous fashion,” Ficsor says.
Venue: Westmont College, Deane Chapel.  Website
4/10/13 - A Dozen Art Students Exhibit in '12 Speed' Open Through May 4
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Twelve graduating art majors have created a visual capstone to their Westmont education and will exhibit work April 4-May 4 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. A free, public opening reception for “12 Speed” will include the artists Thursday, April 4, from 4 -6 p.m.
Susan Savage, Westmont professor of art, says the students have plenty of room in the museum compared to last year’s exhibition that featured 23 graduating art majors, the second most ever at Westmont. “This year the students have the luxury of working bigger, and most of them have taken advantage of that opportunity,” she says.
The students have worked with several different mediums, including etching, digital photography, drawing, painting, mixed media, digital painting, assemblage and sculptural installation. The artists are: Paige Boies, Benjamin Bisson, Tim Cederwall, Andrew Loy, Avary Mitchell, Amelia Neal, Alisha Paulsen, Bekah Rogers, Talia Sheets, Kalie Stier, Ari Stork and Samantha Watts.
worked to develop their initial concepts, while others welcomed the spontaneity of tackling current life challenges to bring their personal stories forward. “All these seniors worked with educational synthesis in mind,” she says. “From themes involving social and cultural content to those developed through deep personal conviction, all the works represented testify to each person’s walk and place in life. “One of the joys of this exhibit is the revelation that each student’s uniqueness is tangibly demonstrated through the relationship of form and media. As a true test in comprehending the realities and responsibilities of self-direction, this exhibit offers everyone a glimpse of the complex inner dialogue that manifests itself within the artist, and ultimately comes out as art.”
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
4/5/13 - Westmont Masterworks Concert Tonight and Sunday
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The Westmont Music Department performs several concerts this month, beginning with Masterworks on April 5 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 3 p.m., both in First United Methodist Church, 305 E Anapamu St. General admission is $10 and students are free. The concert includes the Westmont Orchestra, the Men and Women of College Choir, directed by Michael Shasberger, and Chamber Singers and Men’s Chorale, directed by Grey Brothers. Caleste Tavera is the featured soprano soloist. The 60 voice choir, orchestra and Tavera will perform Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria.” Also on the program, “Vier Gesange (Four Songs)” by Johannes Brahms for Women of College Choir, horns and harp and Dan Forrest’s “His Robes For Mine” for strings and Men of College Choir. The Westmont Chamber Singers will sing the Gloria by the renaissance master Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina.
Venue: First United Methodist Church.  Website
3/22/13 - Final Day of the Corot Exhibition is Saturday
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The works of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, the most influential French landscape painter in the late 19th century, will be displayed in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art from Jan. 31-March 23. A free, public reception for the exhibition, “Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: The Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Collection in the Context,” will feature live French music Thursday, Jan. 31, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree has donated 10 paintings, 12 lithographs and a drawing by Corot to the exhibition. The museum will also feature works on loan from Michael Armand Hammer, Robert and Chris Emmons, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and other prestigious collections that place Lady Ridley-Tree’s works into the context of nineteenth century art.
Judy L. Larson, director of the museum and curator of the exhibition, has worked with a team of scholars to produce a 150-page catalog that includes essays by Larson, Amy Kurlander, a Corot scholar from Houston; Charlene Garfinkle, secretary of the Association of Historians of American Art, and entries by Laura diZerega, a UC Santa Barbara graduate student, and Brandon Waybright, Westmont museum outreach and education coordinator.
Three experts will speak at a symposium, “Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: Conversations about Connoisseurship,” Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The talk includes Kurlander, Scott Allan, associate curator at the Getty Museum, and Jill Newhouse, a New York gallery owner and editor of a definitive catalog on Corot’s drawings.
“Corot’s work celebrates the ethereal beauty of nature,” Larson says. “Corot was an influential leader among the Barbizon artists. He loved to paint the sunrise and sunset and is among the first landscape painters to capture the specifics of weather and atmosphere by going directly to nature and painting ‘en plein aire.’” The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh owned a Corot painting and praised Corot’s figure paintings. “Picasso saw a selection of Corot’s figural works at the 1909 Salon D’Automne, which likely served as the inspiration of his own classical female figures holding mandolins or violins — a direct borrowing from Corot,” Waybright says. “Monet himself praised Corot, calling him ‘the only master. We are nothing to him, nothing …’ “We hope to communicate Corot’s love and appreciation of nature by sharing these paintings with our students and community on the beautiful Westmont campus We also hope that his work will open eyes to the natural world that surrounds us. For art students, there can be few better ways to learn about how to capture a landscape in movement than by encountering the work of Corot.”
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
3/22/13 - Tomorrow! -- Westmont Spring Sing 2013
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Westmont Spring Sing 2013 -- Once in a Blue Moon. All tickets are General Admission. There are no reserved seats for this event.
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
3/15/13 - Michigan Violinist Wins Music Scholarship
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Violinist Lalia Mangione of Belmont, Mich., earned a $10,000 annual music scholarship to study at Westmont for winning the Music Guild Competition on March 2. Seven high school seniors performed before a panel of judges in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The other six musicians won smaller awards.
Mangione, concert master of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony for the past four years, performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Op. 64. She is also one of seven finalists in the Music Teachers National Conference Competition in Anaheim.
The other finalists were Tiffany Backe from Laguna Hills High School; Ai My (Chyna) Charbonneau from the Dubai American Academy, Al Barsha, United Arab Emirates; Sofiya Pyrkhitko of San Marcos High School; Anna Reiley from Wailea, Hawaii; Cole Syverson of Thousand Oaks High School and Katrina Whitman of Wenatchee High School in Washington state.
The judges for this competition were Grey Brothers, professor of music, Steve Butler, professor of music and music department chair, Steve Hodson, professor of music, Philip Ficsor, associate professor of music, and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship.
The Guild Scholarship program is funded by the Guild for Music at Westmont. For information about becoming a Guild member or any aspect of this competition, please contact the Westmont Music Office at (805) 565-6040.  Website
3/15/13 - Stargazers to View Jupiter and Nebula Tonight
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Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope hopes to show off the planet Jupiter during a free, public viewing of the stars on Friday, March 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening.
“Jupiter will still be well-placed this evening with Callisto, one of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, lying very close to the ball of the planet near the onset of tonight’s viewing,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “Jupiter will lie above a beautiful, four-day-old Moon and sandwiched between Taurus’ wonderful Hyades and Pleiades open clusters.”
The viewing may also feature the Great Orion Nebula. “Last month we had some fine, steady views of this stellar nursery through Westmont’s 24-inch reflector telescope,” Whittemore says. “Let’s hope the viewing is good enough this evening to see six of the Trapezium stars in the center of the nebula.” Whittemore says the comet Pan-STARRS, lying low in the western sky just after the sun goes down, may also be visible with the naked eye. “It’ll be difficult to see on Friday and it will not be a telescopic object for Westmont’s observatory-based telescopes considering how low in the sky it will be during early twilight,” Whittemore says. “I will, however, bring a pair of binoculars just in case we get lucky.”
The best time to view the comet on the western horizon will be March 12-13 between 7-7:30 p.m. Whittemore suggests binoculars to see the tail of the comet, which was discovered in 2011 by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
3/13/13 - Novelist Ron Hansen to Speak at Westmont Reading Series on March 27
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Novelist Ron Hansen, author of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” helps launch the Westmont Reading Series on Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in Fleischmann Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol. The event is free and open to the public.
“The Westmont Reading Series will annually present writers of national reputation to the Santa Barbara community,” says Paul Willis, Westmont English professor and Santa Barbara poet laureate. “We are pleased to inaugurate our series with Ron Hansen, one of the most versatile and remarkable contemporary writers of fiction. His prose is image-rich and spot-on, and he traverses a wide range of subject matters, from Jesse James to Victorian nuns, plumbing both our depravity and our spiritual depths.”
Hansen has written many other novels, including, “Mariette in Ecstasy,” “Atticus,” “Hitler’s Niece,” “Isn’t It Romantic?” “Exiles,” “A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion” and most recently, “She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories.” Hansen, a graduate of Creighton University, served in the military before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1974 and a Master of Arts in Spirituality from Santa Clara University. He earned a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University and fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim, Lyndhurst and Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundations.
Hansen teaches courses in writing and literature at Santa Clara University, where he is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. professor in the arts and humanities. For more information, please contact Paul Willis at (805) 565-7174 or willis@westmont.edu.
Venue: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.  Email   Website
2/22/13 - Westmont Orchestra to Feature a 'Fanfare' Premiere TONIGHT!
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The Westmont Orchestra, which just finished a tour from Southern California to the Sierra, presents its Spring Orchestra Concert in Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in Montecito Covenant Church, 671 Cold Spring Rd., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. General admission is $10, and students are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040.
The concerts, conducted by Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, will feature works by Edward Elgar, Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibilius and Modeste Mussorgsky. The orchestra will also perform a world premiere, “Fanfare on the Hymn Tune Hamburg,” arranged by Westmont student-composer Daniel Gee and based on Isaac Watts’ hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” “I hope my arrangement arouses in us the profound tension, mystery and triumph that this wonderful hymn of the church has brought to many who have found themselves at the foot of the cross in need of Christ’s transformation,” Gee says.
Soprano soloist Emmalee Wetzel, a sophomore studying music and vocal performance with Celeste Tavera, will sing “Musetta’s Waltz” from Puccini’s “La Boheme.” The orchestra’s spring tour, Feb. 15-19, included stops in Grass Valley, Calif., Yosemite, Mariposa, Calif., and Los Angeles.
Upcoming performances include the Spring Faculty Recital on Friday, March 1, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel and the Rising Star Concert, featuring world-renown guitarist Mak Grgić on Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m. in Deane Chapel.
Venue: Montecito Covenant Church.  Website
2/20/13 - Event Tackles ‘War and Peace as Liberal Arts’ Beginning Feb. 21
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The 12th annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts, “War and Peace as Liberal Arts,” features speaker and noted political theorist Michael Walzer Thursday, Feb. 21, at 3:30 p.m. in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The lecture, “What is Just War Theory About?” is free and open to the public. The conference, Feb. 21-23 at Westmont, is sponsored by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, which promotes the continued vitality of the liberal arts tradition in American higher education. Walzer, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., has written more than two dozen books on political theory and the ethics of war, including “Just and Unjust Wars” in 1977. “That book brought just war theory back to prominence in American political thought and shaped public debates over the use of American military force for three decades,” says Gaede Institute director Christian Hoeckley. This year’s conference will bring together scholars and academic leaders from around the world to address issues of peace and conflict and how a liberal arts education can equip students to address these critical social issues. Other speakers include Sherman Jackson, noted scholar of Muslim thought, Duncan Morrow, Northern Ireland peace worker, and philosophers Jean Bethke Elshtain and Helen Frowe. “As American higher education faces major changes, this conference offers scholars and academic administrators a place to gather to address challenges and opportunities facing liberal arts education,” Hoeckley says. Past conference themes include “The Gendered Liberal Arts?” “The Liberal Education of Students of Faith,” and “Globalizing the Liberal Arts.” For a complete schedule of lectures open to the public, please visit the conference program page at http://westmont.edu/gaede-conference.  Email   Website
2/15/13 - TONIGHT! Telescope to Spy on Jupiter, Orion Nebula
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Westmont’s Keck Telescope, one of the most powerful along the Central Coast, will offer glimpses of Jupiter and the Orion Nebula (Messier 42) at a free, public viewing Friday, Feb. 15, beginning about 7:30 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been cancelled.
Early in the viewing, Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to focus the 24-inch reflector telescope on the planet Jupiter. “We may be able to see the shadow of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, cast onto the surface of the planet,” says Whittemore, who earned a master’s degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Arizona. “It will lie close to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.” The viewing may also focus on the Orion Nebula, regarded as one of the most photographed objects in the night sky. “Located some 1,400 light-years distant, this is one of the winter sky’s most spectacular stellar nurseries,” Whittemore says. “If the view is good, we may be able to discern the six hot, blue stars that make up the Trapezium Cluster in the center of the Orion Nebula.”
The viewing may also include a glimpse of Messier 35 in Gemini, the Twins. “Messier 35 is an open cluster of stars located 2,700 light-years away from Earth,” Whittemore says. “Dominated by young, hot, blue stars, this weakly bound cluster is scattered over a 24-light-year-wide region and appears about the same size as the full Moon in the night sky.” The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
2/8/13 - Westmont Stages World Premiere Play-- Feb. 22-March 2
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John Blondell, Westmont professor of theatre arts, directs a world premiere, “Platinum Circle: A Play in Three One-Acts,” Feb. 22-23 and 28, and March 1-2, 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and can be purchased online at westmont.edu/tickets or by calling (805)565-7140.
Randy VanderMey, Westmont professor of English, spent more than a decade crafting the whole three-play sequence, “Cell Division,” “Fleas” and “Bluetooth Paternoster,” which probe the spiritual underside of our obsession with cell phones. “I’ve hardly made any changes to the initial drafts of any of the three plays,” VanderMey says. “When they came, they all came at white heat.” The show features an experienced cast, including seniors Jackie Dressler and Shawnee Witt; juniors Paige Tautz, Mak Manson, Lauren White, Chris Wagstaffe and Ben Offringa; and first-year students Laura Shultz and Connor Bush. Most actors appear in one or more shows, and Manson appears in all of
“The plays are wild and eccentric — mysterious and quite moving,” Blondell says. “They have a vivid, compelling use of language. We have made a show that’s contemporary, off-center, and also energetic and engaging.” Blondell is staging one of the three acts utilizing Westmont’s new black-box theater, adjacent to Porter Theatre. The downside is it holds only 45 people, so Blondell recommends audiences get their reservations early.
“I know John’s way of working with plays and actors, and I know better than to meddle,” VanderMey says. “I’m eager to see the play performed in order to learn what a brilliant director and talented actors will do with it.”
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
2/5/13 - Flute, Piano Recital Features Folk Music on Feb. 9
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Wife and husband, Andrea (flute) and Neil Di Maggio (piano), perform some of their favorite pieces during “A Tour Through the World of Concert Flute Music: Folk Music in Classical Repertoire” on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.
The performance includes Six Pieces for flute and piano by Fikret Amirov, “Variations on an Irish Theme: ‘The Last Rose of Summer’” by Friedrich Kuhlau, Sonatine for flute and piano by Henri Dutilleux, “Achat Sha’alti” by Paul Schoenfield and Sonata for flute and piano by Otar Taktakishvili.
Andrea says she chose pieces that represent the composer’s country of origin by directly quoting or referencing his own folk music or relying heavily on cultural traditions of the time.
“I have always been drawn to pieces that have a heavy folk music influence,” she says. “My goal is for the audience to get a feel for how folk music has made its way into the standard repertoire.”
Venue: Westmont College.  Website
1/29/13 - Tickets to Westmont President's Breakfast with Colin Powell on Sale Friday Morning
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Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who has held senior military and diplomatic positions under four presidents, will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual Westmont President’s Breakfast Friday, March 1, from 7-9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Tickets are $125 per person and go on sale Friday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. at the Westmont website. Seating is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Powell, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, was secretary of state under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position, and the first and only African-American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell’s most recent New York Times bestselling book, “It Worked for Me,” reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career. He served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser from 1987-1989 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton from 1989-1993. During his time as chairman, he oversaw 28 crises, including the U.S. invasion of Panama (1989) and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Powell was appointed the 65th secretary of state under President George W. Bush, and he led the state department to solve regional and civil conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Northern Ireland and Sudan. Powell was widely respected for using diplomacy to build trust, forge alliances and then help transform these unstable regions. The U.S. military has given Powell many awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, more than two dozen countries have honored him with awards, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
Powell founded the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City College of New York, to develop a new generation of publicly engaged leaders. He founded and is chairman emeritus of America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to improving the lives of children. The Westmont Foundation and area businesses sponsor the President’s Breakfast to promote discussion and consideration of current issues among local community leaders. This year’s lead sponsor is Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, now part of Union Bank. Gold sponsors include Axia, Chronicle Family Offices, Davies,Ergomotion, Hub International, La Arcada, Jo and Carl Lindros, Matt Construction, Lindsay and Laurie Parton,Rabobank and V3. Past Westmont President’s Breakfast keynote speakers include: Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state; Robert Gates, former secretary of defense, Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and former chairman and CEO of CNN; Thomas Friedman, author of “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” and “The World is Flat”; and American historian and bestselling author David McCullough, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize.
Venue: Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort.  Website
1/24/13 - Reading, New Sign to Honor Poet Stafford on Saturday
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A sign dedication and poetry reading hosted by Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont and poet laureate of Santa Barbara, will honor the life and work of William Stafford on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. at the First Crossing Day Use Area in Los Padres National Forest, across from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Road. In case of rain, “Remembering William Stafford: A Seventh Annual Community Gathering” will be held at the Los Prietos Ranger Station, 3505 Paradise Road.
During World War II, Stafford (1914-93) spent two years serving as a conscientious objector at the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp. Stafford won the National Book Award in 1963 and became poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1970 and poet laureate of Oregon in 1975. “This year we will be dedicating a permanent outdoor display about William Stafford and the history of the camp and the role it played in the formation of Stafford as a poet,” Willis says. The display, co-sponsored by Westmont College and the Friends of William Stafford, was erected this fall.
Paulann Petersen, the current poet laureate of Oregon and board member of the Friends of William Stafford, and Mark Sargent, provost of Westmont, will read selected Stafford works. Others in attendance will be encouraged to read a favorite Stafford poem as well. Before the gathering, Peterson will lead a free, public poetry workshop, “Writing the Stafford Way,” from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the ranger station. Poets and would-be poets of all levels of experience are welcome to reserve a spot by contacting Willis at (805) 565-7174 or willis@westmont.edu.
“The most encouraging of teachers, William Stafford urged us to use writing as a vehicle for exploration and inquiry,” she says. “During this workshop — in that spirit of welcoming what might find its way onto a page — we’ll use some Stafford poems as springboards for generating our own poems. Our goal will be to have each of us leave the workshop with an outpouring of new work.” Those attending the reading or the workshop will not need to buy or display a Forest Service Adventure Pass.
Venue: Westmont College.  Email   Website
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