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The CSUB Concert Band will perform guest composer Adam Schoenberg's work "Rise" as part of their show Saturday at the Dore Theatre on campus.

It’s concert time at Cal State Bakersfield, as the music department offers the first of two “mega weekends” of back-to-back concerts.

The series of concerts begins Thursday evening at 7:30 in the Music Building Room 127, with a joint venture between the CSUB and Bakersfield College music departments, presenting student composers from the two schools performing their own original works. BC students Zach Taylor, Marina Martinez and Izzy Foster will perform works written for small jazz ensemble — "A Little Change of Winter," "Sometimes it's Sad Boi Hours," and "Don't Wake the Sleeping Dragon" and "Waking Sonoma," respectively — and Abigail Wilson will be part of a saxophone quartet to perform her music ("Argumentative") written for that group.

CSUB students Amande Fese will perform her work, "You Wouldn't Get It," for prepared piano, which is a piano with sound altered by items installed into the works of the instrument; and guitarist-composer Steven Parker will perform "Necromancer's Duet," his piece for acoustic guitar duet, with guest performer Matt Elkins.

Generating a lot of excitement on campus is Saturday’s concert band performance, featuring guest composer Adam Schoenberg. The student ensemble will perform Schoenberg’s latest work, “Rise,” which was commissioned by the California Wind Band Consortium in a project to sponsor new works for wind ensembles.

Schoenberg is one of the most in-demand composers of his generation, with major works commissioned and performed by orchestras and ensembles throughout the United States.

The ensemble, directed by Leo Sakomoto, will also perform Robert Ward’s “Jubilation — An Overture,” Guy Woolfenden’s “French Impressions,” “Winter Dances” by Fergal Carroll, and William Walton’s “Crown Imperial.”

Sunday afternoon’s concert closes the series with a performance of chamber music in Music Building Room 127. Director Soo-Yeon Park will direct some unique combinations of instruments as well as traditional groupings: music by Elaine Fine for viola duo; “Song Book,” by David Maslanka, for alto saxophone and marimba; “English Folk Song Suite,” for brass quintet by Ralph Vaughan Williams; “Intermezzo” by Enrique Granados for guitar ensemble; and the Trio, Op. 38 for clarinet, cello and piano by Beethoven.

Right after Thanksgiving weekend, the concerts resume to let students demonstrate what they have been working on all semester. On Dec. 2, the wind players will show off the full capabilities of the symphonic band in a 7 p.m. concert in the Dore Theatre.

Opera students will present scenes from operas by Mozart, Massenet, Sondheim and more on Dec. 6. Works include “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Werther” and “Into the Woods. The program is directed by Soo-Yeon Park and Peggy Sears and starts at 7:30 p.m.

The full Chamber Orchestra caps off the series of concerts, performing on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., also in the Dore Theatre. Directed by Leo Sakomoto, the Chamber Orchestra will perform the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, by Bach; “Brook Green Suite,” by Gustav Holst; and the Symphony No. 5 by Franz Schubert.

Tickets for all shows other than Thursday's free concert are $12, $7 for seniors and students.

Susan Scaffidi is a freelance music journalist. She can be reached at scaffidi@twc.com.

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