Music Fills the Montecito Air in November

Westmont Chamber Singers

Westmont Chamber Singers and director Grey Brothers

Westmont student musicians and composers show off their talents at free concerts this month in Westmont’s Deane Chapel on lower campus. For more information, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040.

The Composer’s Concert, highlighting original works by Westmont student composers and performers, is Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. “The concert is an outlet for bright, young, new composers to see their own works realized in a legitimate setting that allows the audience to become the first in the world to experience that realization,” says Jared Clarke, a junior music composition major.

Cellist Logan Hodgson

Cellist Logan Hodgson

The Vocal Chamber Concert will feature the Westmont Chamber Singers, a select 10-member ensemble drawn from the Westmont College Choir and under the direction of Grey Brothers, on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. They will sing a varied program of music composed from the late Renaissance through the present. “The one-hour program will include music by Renaissance Italian, English and Dutch composers, including two madrigals and two works for the Christmas season, William Byrd’s “Hodie Christus natus est” and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s “Gaude et laetare,” Brothers says. A centerpiece of the program will be a performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s early Baroque masterpiece “Lamento della ninfa,” sung by a quartet of voices accompanied by cellist Logan Hodgson and pianist Emma Mitchell.

Jazz vocalist Laura Coors

Jazz vocalist Laura Coors

The Westmont Jazz Concert, featuring a diverse repertoire of traditional and contemporary genres, is Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. The ensemble, under the direction of John Douglas, features vocalists Eve Reiner and Laura Coors on American Songbook standards such as “Cry Me a River” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” jazz waltzes such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “My Favorite Things,” Latin-American beats on “Sway” and swinging gospel with “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Backing up the singers and driving the instrumental numbers are Soren Warren (trumpet), Douglas (piano), Jada Fox (string bass) and Daniel Thiel (drums). The instrumentals featured in this concert include jazz-blues numbers like Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” and “Watermelon Man.” The ensemble will also perform bebop tunes like “Four Brothers” and Latin American grooves on the “I Love Lucy Theme” and “Freedom Jazz Dance.”

Finally, the String Chamber Concert, featuring Westmont’s top string musicians under the direction of Han So Kim, highlights works by Brahms and Arensky on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the 15th annual Westmont Christmas Festival, Dec. 13-15, go on sale Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. at westmont.edu/Christmas. This popular event at First Presbyterian Church sells out every year.