Professors Celebrate Mission Archives Library

Illustration from 1774 Antiphonarium

The Westmont Chamber Singers and history professor Rick Pointer are featured in the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library’s celebration of its music manuscript collection and early California history on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in Serra Hall, 2200 Garden Street. Tickets to the event, which includes light refreshments, cost $15 for SBMAL members and students, $20 for general public, and may be purchased online at, by calling (805) 682-4713 ext. 152, or at the door. All donations and proceeds go to SBMAL, which collects and conserves historical material for the study of Franciscan Missions and Native Peoples of the Americas.

Grey Brothers, professor of music and director of the chamber singers, will explain the music in New Spain leading up to the California mission period before they sing a piece written in Mexico City in the early 18th century by Manuel de Sumaya (c. 1678-1755), who was director of Music at the Mexico City Cathedral from 1715-1738.  “I’ll also talk about music of the California missions and we’ll sing the Alabado, a simple hymn of praise that was commonly sung during the Mission period,” he says. “Finally, we’ll perform the Sanctus and Agnus Dei of the Misa del quarto tono a 4 voces (Mass in the Fourth Tone for Four Voices), which is found in the Duran Choirbook.”

Pointer’s remarks will focus on the early decades of Spanish colonization in Santa Barbara. “I will concentrate on the first two places of Christian worship here — the Presidio Chapel and the Mission — and the peoples who worshiped there,” he says.

Monica Orozco, director of SBMAL, will also speak at the event.