2013 Fall Newsletter

Tour Reports and Images

Wind Orchestra Back from the British Isles

The Cal Poly Wind Orchestra at St. John Smith Square in London, England,
a stop on their tour of Ireland, England and Scotland this past June.


Mustang Band Goes to Baton Rouge
for NCAA Tournament

Left: President Jeffrey D. Armstrong sharing a dinner with the band at a Cajun restaurant.
Right: Band students sitting on the Mississippi River levee.

More on the Mustang Band's Tour

In March 2013, Cal Poly's women's basketball team was selected to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, a first for Mustang Athletics. The Mustang Band — during finals week — put together a band of 30 students to travel to Baton Rouge and support the team in the first-round game against Pennsylvania State University. This was an exciting time not only to be a Mustang, but to be a member of the "Pride of the Pacific."

Coach Faith Mimnaugh had this to say: "When our band played the national anthem at the NCAA tournament, the opposing coach said 'Wow, your band rocks!' Of course, I've known that all along! After 18 years on the Cal Poly sideline, the national anthem is the best version I've ever heard, and it still sends chills up my spine. We are so proud to have the Mustang Band as part of our team. They really do ROCK!"

Jazz Band Gets Them Swingin’ in Sacramento and San Francisco

The University Jazz Band I performed in Sacramento and San Francisco in April 2013. In Sacramento, the band played at the Midtown Stomp, a regular swing dance venue and one of the most popular in Sacramento. The band's performance was well received, the large dance floor was packed, and the band was invited back to play the Midtown Stomp anytime. Sitting in for much of the performance was former band member Justin Au. The band was happy to re-connect with Justin and to play with him again. The band's next performance was at one of San Francisco's best jazz clubs, the Savanna. Both Cal Poly big bands had played at the Savanna in 2009. A great audience of Cal Poly alumni from the Bay Area heard the band, and another former member, vocalist Josh Little, sat in with the band and sang a few tunes.

Arab Music Ensemble’s Southern California Tour

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble traveled to southern California last spring for a two-day tour. They were invited to perform April 13 at the 35th International Festival of the Claremont Colleges. Attendees of the festival enjoyed authentic international cuisine and performances of music and dance from around the world presented by student and professional artists alike.

Arab Music Ensemble Director Ken Habib arranged a complementary performance on April 12 at Azusa Pacific University. His longtime music colleague — Kimasi Browne — who is the university’s director of ethnomusicology and music research, arranged the hosting of the ensemble. Browne inspired students and off-campus enthusiasts of Arabic and culturally related music to fill the hall.

Both programs focused on vocal and instrumental selections by some of the most celebrated composers and performers of Arab art and popular music from the Ottoman era to the present day. The shows were received enthusiastically and provided Cal Poly students another great opportunity — following the northern California tour the previous year — to perform on different stages and in contrasting contexts for diverse and appreciative audiences.