Recent Entries in Arts and Lectures

The spring 2015 Holocaust Lecture Series at Sonoma State University runs January 20 and continues through May 5. Lectures are Tuesdays, 4-5:50 p.m. in Warren Auditorium (Ives 101) hosted by professor Diane Parness with guest speakers. The theme for the 32nd annual lecture series is "A Century of Genocide."

The Holocaust Lecture Series is sponsored by the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, the Paul V. Benko Holocaust Education Endowment, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Lecture Fund, the Adele Zygielbaum Endowment, the Thomas Family Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, the Sonoma State Students' Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Fund and the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Lectures are free and open to the public, but a daily parking permit ($5) is required at all hours to park on campus.

fforfake.jpgThe Sonoma Film Institute announced today its spring 2015 slate of screenings. This semester celebrates international cinema with a slate of women directors, the latest in American Independent cinema and the Orson Welles Centenary.

The season kicks off with the North Bay premiere of the Australian film "Charlie's Country." David Gulpilil ("Walkabout," "The Last Wave") won a Best Actor prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival as an aging Aboriginal who abandons his remote community in order to live a traditional lifestyle.

SFI Celebrates Women's History Month in March with the Sonoma County premieres of Ana Lily Amirpour's stylish and spellbinding Persian take on the vampire, "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night"; Doris Dorrie's stirring music documentary on female mariachi bands singing their hearts out in Mexico City's Garabaldi Plaza, "Que Caramba es la Vida"; and Talya Lavie's hilarious portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female soldiers in a remote Israeli desert outpost, "Zero Motivation."

The Sonoma State history department is holding a lecture about the "Christmas truce" and the beginning of World War I. The discussion is led by SSU graduate student Kevin Braafladt, historian for the U.S. Army Reserve Division and curator of the Sergeant Richard Penry Memorial Museum.

The 1914 Christmas truce was a series of unofficial ceasefires that took place across the Western Front during World War One. In many areas the truce started as an opportunity to bury the dead who had fallen in the "no man's land" between the trenches, but instead soldiers held joint burial ceremonies and independently ventured out to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. In one of the truce's most enduring moments, troops from both sides played games of football with one another.

The lecture is in Stevenson 3072 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, noon to 1 p.m. Pizza will be served.

ssuchorus.jpgFamilies everywhere are invited to celebrate the holiday season in song on Sunday, Nov. 23, when the Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Singers present the first annual Family Concert By Candlelight.

The 2 p.m. concert will be over well before bedtime, and the battery-powered "candles" can't burn little fingers. So bring the kids over to Weill Hall and make this a part of your holiday tradition.

Conductor Jenny Bent has again partnered with the Redwood Empire Food Bank to accept donations of food at the door. Cash donations are always welcome too. For information, call 707-664-3925.


"The Importance of Being Earnest" is a play written by Oscar Wilde that follows the British upper class and their relationships and struggles with social conformity. The play features two eligible bachelors who are in the midst of courting two young women, both of whom are determined to marry a man named Ernest. The play, directed by Judy Navas, runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 in Evert B. Person Theatre at Sonoma State University.

valleysun.jpgThe University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University is pleased to announce In the Valley of the Sun, a multimedia installation by collaborative artists Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis, which opens with a reception on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 4-6 p.m., and will be on view through Sunday, Dec. 7. The artists will discuss their work during a noon lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The interplay between examination of materiality and poetic references to theory forms Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis' creative practice, driving their work into unexpected territory. Their works consistently act as a meditation on process as well as a response to a particular time or place.

For their new, site-specific installation In the Valley of the Sun, the artists conducted research into the origins of the word Sonoma, and the title of their work is an obvious reference to the meaning of Sonoma as "the Valley of the Moon."

trionavarro.pngTrio Navarro celebrates its twenty-third season as Chamber Artists-in-Residence at Sonoma State with three Sunday concerts in Schroeder Hall on Oct. 26, Jan. 25 and March 29. All performances begin at 2 p.m.

The first two programs will be devoted to piano trios by Bruch, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Haydn, Dvorak and Arensky, while the season closer features piano quintets (two violins, viola, cello and piano) by Shostakovich and Taneyev.

leekonitz.jpgThe Sonoma State University Department of Music at the Green Music Center will host legendary jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz in two appearances with the Jeff Denson Trio at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15. at the Jazz Forum and in concert at 7:30 p.m. Both events take place in Weill Hall. The forum is free of charge and the evening concert is $8.

After more than a decade as a co-leader of the internationally acclaimed trio Minsarah, bassist Jeff Denson is forging into new territory with his trio that features Joshua White on piano and Jon Arkin on drums. Denson has performed with Lee Konitz since 2007 and has been a member of Lee Konitz New Quartet, the only permanent group that the eminent saxophonist has ever led.

williamkanengiser.jpgThe multi-talented William Kanengiser, winner of the Concert Artist Guild International Competition, presents a classical guitar recital at highlighting music from Spain and North America. The concert, presented by the SSU Department of Music, takes place on Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Schroeder Hall.

Kanengiser is active as a soloist, chamber musician, founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and teacher at USC Thornton School of Music. In addition to his many recordings on the DG, Delos, Sony, and Telarc labels, Kanengiser is known for ghost-playing actor Ralph Macchio in the 1986 film Crossroads.

theatre.jpgKen Sonkin directs the dark and edgy coming-of-age story "The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek" in a production offered by the SSU Department of Theatre Arts and Dance from Oct. 16 to Oct. 25 in Studio 76, Ives Hall.

Set in a small rural town during the Great Depression, the play is the story of two teenagers seeking adventure and escape by racing trains.

Physically and psychologically trapped in a town blanketed with despair, poverty and isolation cause several characters to unravel as a tragic, gender twisting mystery unfolds. Playwright Naomi Wallace provides an unsentimental and uncensored portrait of the lives and struggles of the working class, frustrated by their inability to change their circumstances.

lmcquade.jpgThe Feminist Lecture Series addresses the timely topic of "Gender and Health" on Thursdays at noon in Stevenson 1002. The series is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Department, it features presentations by local and regional activists, organizers, practitioners, and experts working on issues of gender, social justice, and health.

Hosted by Women's and Gender Studies Professor Dr. Lena McQuade, featured speakers address a range of pressing topics from the health of migrant children to sex education to breastfeeding among Native Americans to human trafficking in Sonoma County.

Music Department in Search of Director of Orchestral Studies

Jazz Forum turns five!
Weill Hall Artists in Residence Features Frederica von Stade in 2015

gmcentrances.jpgSonoma State University's Department of Music at the Green Music Center (GMC) welcomes one and all to its fall season of more than 30 performances at value prices in GMC's flagship Weill Hall and newly opened Schroeder Recital Hall.

Tickets for all seats are priced at $8 and include parking. Special events, including the Carnegie Hall-trained ensemble Trio Ariadne and the USAF Band of the Golden West, are completely free of charge.

Tickets are required for admission to all concerts, whether charged or not, and available online, by phone, or in person. For information call the university box office at 707-664-4246 or email

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