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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC Chamber Music will feature artists from throughout community

Ryan Cullom
The Anna Casper Quartet played one song during their set on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, performing at the Fall Chamber Jazz Concert in the City College Fé Bland Forum. Vocalist Anna Casper sings “Desafinado” while Sebastian Martinez accompanies her on the bass.

While many college students can barely remember their last show and tell day from all the way back in kindergarten, the City College’s music department will host the Chamber Music Concert that might revive those memories. Small groups of students, from six to eight participants, will put on a small intimate performance for family and friends on Dec. 8. 

Valerie Malvinni, professor of Strings and Chamber at City College and director of the Chamber Music Ensembles, has been in charge of the chamber concert for three years, organizing it at the end of every semester. Her students are at all levels, some at beginner level and doing their first ever live performance during the concert. The class meets weekly, as well as practice outside of class whenever possible. 

Malvinni, who was also a member of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and SB Symphony, took over the organization of the event after the previous professor moved away. 

“I was really honored and very happy to do that,” she said. “Chamber music is a big part of what I do. I have always done my training in it. So it’s nice to have these small groups.”

When the semester starts, the students get new music, and they start from scratch. They get to meet new people, either being paired up by Malvinni or by themselves. Malvinni pairs up the performing groups by ability level, sometimes even performing with any beginner students or who might not have as much experience with an instrument. 

“They start making friends, which is really what it’s about, that’s why the ensemble is nice, because you make friends that way,” Malvinni said.

The music professor also shared how many community members have played in the past, including musical professionals and teachers who want to join in the performance. 

“You don’t have to be a music major; anyone can sign up,” she said. 

The show has all types of performances, from clarinets and flutes to guitar duos and string trios. If there are any beginners, Malvinni works with them and even joins in the performance for extra support. 

“That’s like our end of semester performance of our chamber ensemble,” she said, explaining how the concert serves almost as a final exam for the chamber class. Instead of a written test or a presentation for the class, they are given the opportunity to present in front of the live audience and are evaluated for their performance. They are also supplied with the instruments from the school’s music department if one is not available to them. 

Malvinni encourages everyone to attend the concert, and maybe even take up an instrument and find their way to the chamber class. 

“Everyone needs music in their life. Especially in these times with turmoil in the world,” she said. “I think everyone can benefit from having an instrument and something that they can really call their own. It’s good for their self esteem and discipline.”

The music department has much to offer, including the upcoming concert, according to Malvinni and the rest of the staff and professors.

“It’s not really about that finished product, it’s more about the process, so that’s what I think is more important,” Malvinni said with a smile.

Any information for the chamber concert and any upcoming performances can be found on the Santa Barbara City College Music website, as well as the musical department Facebook page. 

The Chamber Music Concert will take place on Dec. 8 from 7 p.m to 8 p.m. Admission is free for students and family members, and the concert will take place in the BC Forum on City College’s West Campus.

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