"A Night in Spain" on Sept. 21 Opens Fall Semester of USD Music Concerts

A Night in Spain"A Night in Spain" kicks off the USD Music Dept. fall semester schedule. The 7:30 p.m. show Sept. 21 in Shiley Theatre features music, poetry and dance in classical and flamenco traditions.

It's a special occasion when one can enjoy a sampling of Spanish culture locally. After all, the University of San Diego draws much of its campus beauty as a result of buildings created in the tradition of 16th century Spanish Renaissance architecture. Spain is a popular USD study abroad destination and there’s a permanent USD education facility, the Madrid Center, in Spain.

San Diego may be thousands of miles away from Spain, but the country is seemingly never far from the minds and hearts of those who enjoy its many charms. Perhaps that's one reason why the USD Department of Music kicks off its Fall 2018 semester programming with "A Night in Spain," on Friday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. in Shiley Theatre.

This professional event will feature two USD music adjunct faculty performers, guitarist Eric Foster and singer Maribel Ruiz-Velasco, among a six-person ensemble set to deliver a vibrant celebration of Spanish culture through music, poetry and dance.

Joining Foster and Ruiz-Velasco on the Shiley Theatre stage will be violinist Branden Muresan, singer Juan de Dios, guitarist Juan Moro and dancer Erika Lopez. Together, this ensemble will present their talents while performing in a way that is considered rare — performing works of both classical and flamenco traditions.

"It will be a collaboration of styles and textures, genres and art forms," said Foster, who is a classically trained guitarist and has been teaching and instructing at USD for nearly a quarter century.

There are pieces in the show in which Foster will play right alongside Moro, whose forte is the flamenco-style guitar sounds. Mix in Muresan's classical violin and the flare and grace of Lopez, a veteran flamenco dancer and the audience is in for a treat. Ruiz-Velasco fills the classical stylings with her vocals and will present Spanish poetry alongside Foster while Dios provides an authentic Spanish voice to numbers in which Foster and Moro will collaborate.

Bringing this ensemble together surely opened the boundaries of creativity by attempting something not often seen, but when the group did a show rehearsal this past weekend, the level of professionalism and dedication and devotion to their craft was quite evident.

"This is a unique collaboration of genres, something you won't see too often. But this gives the audience a taste of something different and a chance to celebrate all Spanish arts," said Lopez, who also has ties to USD as a former program officer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

Tickets are available for Friday's show. Purchase tickets online at or at the door on Friday. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors, USD alumni, faculty and staff, and $5 for students with valid ID card.

— Ryan T. Blystone


Fall Semester 2018 Music Performances

"A Night in Spain" opens USD's 2018-19 performance schedule for the Department of Music and other music-oriented shows on and off campus this fall. Here's a look at other performances, dates and times this semester. Ticket information is at the bottom of the page.

"Flow — Music for the Clarinet from the 20th Century," Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall's French Parlor: USD clarinet faculty member Alice Gallagher will perform Aaron Copeland's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, together with Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. There will also be works by Stravinsky and Poulenc performed.

“Fall Choral Concert: A Light to Guide You,” Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Auditorium: The 2018-19 USD Choral Scholars, directed by Emilie Amrein, DMA, present their annual fall concert performance. Free admission and open to the public. The TSRI Auditorium is located at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, San Diego, 92122.

"Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms," Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., Shiley Theatre: The San Diego Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, directed by USD Music Professor Angela Yeung, PhD, will perform Wellington's Victory (Beethoven), Symphony No. 2, Hymn of Praise (Mendelssohn) and Academic Overture (Brahms).

"Classics Out of Ireland Series (3 events)," Nov. 5, 6, 8: Three separate performances will grace the USD campus. On Nov. 5, 7 p.m. in Founders Chapel, Ireland's leading classical guitarist John Feeley and Marianne Pfau, a USD professor of music history and an international musician on baroque oboe and recorder, will perform a concert of sacred and secular masterpieces and select Irish songs and hymns; On Nov. 6, 12:30 p.m., the Humanities Center (Serra Hall 200) hosts JoyceSong: The Irish Songs of James Joyce. Guitarist John Feeley and vocalist Fran O'Rourke, emeritus professor of philosophy at University College Dublin, will perform James Joyce songs; On Nov. 8, 12:30 p.m., the Humanities Center will host The Three Aristotles of James Joyce, an illustrated lecture given by Fran O'Rourke.

"Land," (a three-part concert season, "Land, Air and Sea") Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., St. Augustine High School Auditorium: The USD Wind Ensemble will perform music celebrating Mother Earth, including Grant's Panoramic Landscapes, Hokoyama's Spiritual Planet and, celebrating his 100th birthday, Leonard Bernstein's "Dance Episodes" from On the Town. The show will be performed inside St. Augustine High's new performing arts space. Free Admission.

"Thirteenth Annual Messiah Sing- and Play-Along," Nov. 30, 7 p.m., Founders Chapel: Attendees are encouraged to bring your own score or rent one at the door for $5. Contact Angela Yeung, PhD, for optional choir rehearsals and instrument parts. Proceeds go toward USD Department of Music scholarships.

"USD Strings and Chamber Music Ensembles," Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., Shiley Theatre: These ensembles play their end-of-the-semester concert, directed by Dr. Yeung.

"Lessons and Carols," Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Founders Chapel: Sponsored by the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture and open to the public, this event is a Christmas celebration that dates back more than 100 years. There are poignant readings of the Old and New Testaments interspersed with music and carols and the audience is invited to reflect on the birth of Jesus in the context of its significance in salvation history. Free admission.

"Gamelan Ensemble and Mariachi Ensemble," Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., Shiley Theatre: This concert presents both the music of Bali, Indonesia through the Gamelan Ensemble, which is directed by David Harnish and Tyler Yamin, and the Mariachi Ensemble sounds of Mexico as directed by Serafin Paredes. Both performances may include dance.

"Digital Audio Composition," Dec. 12, 5 p.m., Shiley Theatre: Adventurous new electronic sounds from student composers in USD's Digital Audio Studio. Free Admission.

"Jazz Ensemble," Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., Shiley Theatre: This student concert features, vocalists, saxophonists, guitarists along with a rhythm section of piano, bass and drums. Both vocal and instrumental, the music performed is a mix of old and new jazz standards with multiple grooves. Free Admission.

"Student Recital," Dec. 13, 12:30 p.m., Founders Hall's French Parlor: Voice and instrumental students present selections from opera, operettas, art songs and musical theater. Free Admission.

For more information about any of the music department-connected events, please call (619) 260-2938. Tickets, unless noted, are $10 for general admission, $8 seniors, USD faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for students with ID. Tickets available online at All remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Seating is first-come, first-serve.


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