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California Mission Music

California Mission Music Celebrated

UC Riverside’s annual Encuentros/Encounters conference Jan. 30 will focus on the music and musicians of California missions.

(January 16, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Music and musicians of the California missions will be explored in the annual Encuentros/Encounters conference on Friday, Jan. 30, at the University of California, Riverside.

Encuentros/Encounters 2009: Music and Musicians of the California Missions will include an all-day symposium of musicologists and historians discussing the heritage of mission music, tango and flamenco, and an evening concert by the Early Music Ensemble of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The conference is presented by UCR’s Center for Iberian and Latin American Music.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Tickets to the concert cost $6 and may be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, located on campus at the University Theatre, or by calling (951) 827-4331. The office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour before the concert. Seating is limited. All-day parking costs $6. Parking for the concert only is $5 in Lot 1.

“The purpose of this Encuentros is to celebrate the rich heritage of sacred music from the California missions during the time when they were outposts of the Spanish empire,” said Walter A. Clark, professor of musicology, director of UCR’s Center for Iberian and Latin American Music and chair of the Department of Music. “Over the past few decades, musicologists have unearthed numerous manuscripts in mission archives, revealing a wealth of beautiful music, some composed in California and some elsewhere.”

Clark has organized this conference in collaboration with Craig Russell, professor of musicology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an expert on mission music. Russell’s book, “From Serra to Sancho, Music and Pageantry in the California Missions,” will be published by Oxford University Press in May.

The symposium is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Interdisciplinary Building South, Screening Room 1128.

Morning session

Daniel E. Krieger, professor of history emeritus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - “Prospero and Caliban: Music and the Psychology of Colonization in the California Missions, 1780-1834.”

Kristin Dutcher Mann, associate professor of history at University of Arkansas, Little Rock - “Much Inclined to Music: Indians, Song, and Dance in the Missions of California and New Spain's Northern Frontier.”

Steven Hackel, associate professor of history at UCR - “Beyond Words: Liturgical Art in the California Missions.”

Margaret Cayward, a Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis - “The Pastorela, a Christmas Play of Mission-era California.”

Afternoon session

Craig Russell, professor of musicology, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - “Musical Style and Performance in California Mission Life.”

John Koegel, associate professor of musicology at California State University Fullerton - “Musical Instruments in Mission, Presidio, and Pueblo.”

Jim Sandos, professor of history at the University of Redlands - “Professionalization of Music: Choristers at Mission Santa Clara and the Mystery of Mission San Antonio.”

William Summers, professor of musicology at Dartmouth College - “How Much Remains to Be Learned about California Mission Music: Two Case Studies.”

The Cal Poly Early Music Ensemble will perform music of the California missions at 8 p.m. in ARTS 166. The ensemble has 15 vocalists and four instrumentalists, and will perform music reconstructed from original manuscripts in Californian and Mexican archives. The director is Thomas Davies, professor of music.

Encuentros/Encounters 2009 is organized by the UC Riverside Center for Iberian and Latin American Music and funded by the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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