Torero Tidbits: Virtual Concerts on YouTube; Cropper Writing Entries Due; Hiring, Job Search in COVID Era

Torero Tidbits: Virtual Concerts on YouTube; Cropper Writing Entries Due; Hiring, Job Search in COVID Era

As undergraduate students’ final exams week nears its conclusion for the University of San Diego fall semester, they’ve taken their share of exams, turning in final reports, projects and giving individual and group presentations. It’s a stressful time, for sure.

Now how about if one has to give that final presentation on YouTube for all others to see and hear? That’s what is happening this week for some music majors. The Department of Music scheduled two virtual fall music events that are being shown on YouTube.

The first Fall 2020 Virtual Recital from Home took place last night (Nov. 18) as students from the studios of Kay Etheridge, Reka Parker, Maribel Ruiz-Velasco and Eric Foster, performed their material.


"Opus 20," by Dustin O'Halloran, was performed on piano by Sara Anfuso; "El majo tímido," by Enrique Granados, was voiced by Angelique Brown; "Mia & Sebastian's Theme," by Justin Hurwitz, was played on piano by Ryan Nguyen; "La poupée," by Alexandre Tansman, was performed on piano by Colin Allison; "Lata Lullaby," Traditional (Tonga) arr. by Eric Foster, was performed on guitar by Patrick Conlon, Cassandra Gonzalez, Amaris Leal, Kenneth Manlapaz, Emily Miguel, Kate Nigolian, and Brian O'Neil; "Asturias (Leyenda)," by Isaac Albéniz, was played on piano by Joseph Ceballos; "Tu lo sai," by Giusepee Torelli, was voiced by Melissa Tumlos; and "D&E Blues," by Oscar Peterson, was performed on piano by Julianna Zheng.

Tonight on YouTube: Digital Audio Composition Virtual Concert

Tonight’s show, at 7 p.m. on YouTube, is the Digital Audio Composition Virtual Concert. Students in MUSC-420 have spent the semester analyzing experimental music and sound learning about sampling, recording techniques, digital audio editing, effects processing, and mixing.

Tonight’s lineup consists of Nick Brumbach, Sam Frost, Jonathan Munsterteiger, Brian Linthicum, Cassidy Solomon and Kameron Jamasbi performing their piece. Each student, below, provided a short description of their project and the work that went into them.

"5 7 3" — Nick Brumbach: For this project I wanted to challenge myself and create a song using polymeter. Much of this influence comes from one of my favorite albums “Polygondwanaland” by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. The instruments and rhythm techniques were influenced by them. I also wanted to challenge myself in mixing. I used a variety of techniques including panning, compression, and equalizing all my instruments.

"Accept" — Sam Frost: Using a handful of field recordings such as breathing, sand steps and matches, I intended to mix said recordings with samples that created a juxtaposition between atmospheres. In this piece there are two different tempos and spaces between samples. Each of these different tones are reflected differently within the video but are meant to tie together as one for a character analysis. In terms of how the sounds were made, layering played a large role and distortion of sounds. The goal was to find beats that filled a space and noisy/echoey textures that felt ambient or distant.

"Metamorphosis" — Jonathan Munsterteiger: This piece, as the name suggests, attempts to sonically and visually represent the process of change. The composition, both in concept and in sound, is based nearly entirely on samples found from various corners of the internet with the live elements being the vocal harmonies in the beginning and bass guitar heard throughout the piece.

"Paper Planes" — Brian Linthicum: The goal was to create a fun and upbeat composition that would get stuck in your head. In the creative process, I laid out the initial drum beat first. This began with a kick and snap, an unlikely combination that gave me great results. I settled on layering grand piano tracks as implementing contrasting instruments muddied the sound and detracted from the fun atmosphere I was intending to create. Each piano track served its own purpose, and I relied heavily on their distinctness for when composing my bridges.

"Untitled" — Cassidy Solomon: For my piece, I chose to split it up into three sections. The entire piece is meant to generate peace and serenity, but the first part is meant to be uplifting and euphoric. I recorded myself playing my singing bowls. I layered this with an Ambient and Evolving Wavetable “Descenting Dreams” to enhance this effect. To pick up the beat, I transitioned into a jazz-like sample and added a kick to give it some texture. To finish, I transitioned with a synth to add some dramatic affect and carried out the piece with a funky repeating sample.

"Lost Control" — Kameron Jamasbi: For this project, I used my midi keyboard to record all of my software instruments which include the synths, basses, pianos, and pads. I recorded live guitar from my electric guitar through my audio interface. The main underlying concepts in the song are the vocal chop sample, the vocal sample and the synth beat drop. The song has an intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, and outro. I made this song in the genre of edm or more specifically future bass. I used many techniques including sampling, EQing, compression, automation, pitch shifting and more.

Entries Deadline for Cropper Creative Writing Contest is Nov. 20

Undergraduate students who like to write poetry, fiction or nonfiction stories, be sure to get your entries in for the 2020-21 Lindsay J. Cropper Creative Writing contest by Friday, Nov. 20 by 11:59 p.m.

A $150 prize will be awarded in each of the three categories. All USD undergraduate students are eligible to enter. Students can enter in more than one category, but will only be eligible to win one prize. Winners and an honorable mention in each category will be published in the Fall 2021 issue of the Alcalá Review. Winners will be announced at the Spring Cropper Readings. Full contest guideline and submissions are done through the Cropper Contest website,

If you have any questions about the contest, please email English Assistant Professor and Cropper Center for Creative Writing Director Brad Melekian, MFA,, or English Associate Professor Halina Duraj, PhD,

Hiring, Job Search in COVID-19 Era

University of San Diego alumnus Ken Schmitt ’92, recruiting entrepreneur and founder of TurningPoint Executive Search, will speak on Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific time via Zoom with USD Associate Director of Regional Programs Meghan O’Rourke ’15 on the topic of hiring and job searching in the era of COVID-19.

During this informational and interactive event, Schmitt will share his insights and predictions about the hiring process, and what it takes to find the perfect job. Specifically, Schmitt and O’Rourke will discuss: The new world of #WFH (Work From Home) and its impact on business leaders and employees; No. 1 secret to getting hired and finding the right candidates; Value of social media in job search; Art of applying to online job posts; Importance of writing compelling job descriptions and resumes; New salary paradigm.

There will be opportunities for Q&A, and the total time for the discussion will be 45 minutes. This event is brought to you by the North County San Diego Torero Club.

To register — a Zoom link will be sent by email upon registering — and to learn more about Ken Schmitt, click here.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone

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