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School of Music

Season Highlights

Event Info

Faculty Recital tickets are $10 general, $7 senior, and $5 student (free to Sac State music students on the night of the show, subject to availability).

Tickets for concerts are available online, through the Sac State Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323, or at the door (starting one hour prior to performance, subject to availability). Cash or Credit cards may be used at the door.

The house opens 30 minutes prior to concert start time.

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Faculty Recitals

On Thursday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m., various School of Music faculty will combine to perform Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Suldat (The Soldier’s Tale). The performance will feature Sandra McPherson, clarinet; David A. Wells, bassoon; Anna Presler, violin; Chris Castro, double bass; Steve Roach, trumpet; Phil Tulga, trombone; and Daniel Kennedy, percussion.


On the following night, Friday, February 9, pianist Kirsten Smith teams up again with her brother, cellist Brinton Smith, for a recital at 7:30 p.m. The duo last performed here in May 2016 to a large and enthusiastic crowd. They will be performing works by Beethoven, Franck, Rozsa, de Falla, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Waxman.

Kirsten Smith began part time studies at Arizona State University at the age of thirteen, studying sociobiology, history and foreign languages.  She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance there, studying with pianist Steven De Groote, Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. A winner of multiple competitions herself, Ms. Smith has been the recipient of awards, scholarships and invitations to music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Van Cliburn Institute.

Cellist Brinton Averil Smith has been the principal cellist of the Houston Symphony since 2005, and is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Aspen Music Festival. He was previously a member of the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth symphonies. Mr. Smith was hailed for “extraordinary musicianship” by Newsday and “stunningly beautiful” performances by the American Record Guide.


Faculty bassoonist David A. Wells and harpsichordist Lorna Peters will be performing with guest artists Dennette McDermott, Baroque flute and Douglas Bakenhus, Baroque bassoon (both pictured here), on Monday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. McDermott and Dr. Bakenhus are on the faculty at Northwestern State University in Louisiana.

Dennette McDermott is Professor of Flute and Coordinator of Graduate Studies in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She made her European debut in 1992 in the Czech Republic with the Czech premiere of Jindřich Feld’s Introduzione, Toccata e Fuga. She has performed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, England, Canada, Honduras, Russia, Spain and throughout the United States, including numerous performances at National Flute Association conventions.

Douglas Bakenhus is the music director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where he also teaches bassoon, aural skills, string methods, and conducting. He has performed abroad with the NSU Faculty Woodwind Trio in Canada, Slovakia, England, and the Czech Republic. He regularly performs in orchestras throughout the Ark-La-Tex region, including the Shreveport, Longview, South Arkansas, and Texarkana Symphony Orchestras.


Faculty flutist Laurel Zucker will be performing her own compositions along with a variety of colleagues on the annual Festival of the Arts, on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Zucker has enjoyed teaching full time at Sacramento State since 1988. Her early years as a child were spent in New York City with her brother and sister in Washington Heights (in Manhattan). At the age of 12, Laurel begged her parents for a flute after hearing numerous flute recordings at home. At 14 she left home and studied at the North Carolina School for the Arts under Philip Dunigan. After graduating high school at 16 she went to New England Conservatory for two years and studied flute with Paula Robison.

Laurel completed her Bachelor of Music in Flute at The Juilliard School with Samuel Baron. For the next 13 years she had a very successful career as a performer in New York, playing in the American Symphony Orchestra, Radio City Silent Film Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra, and the Jupiter Symphony. During her career at Sacramento State, Ms. Zucker has released 55 recordings and 4 DVD Masterclass Series on Cantilena Records. Gramophone Magazine, as well as many newspapers, have reviewed all of her recordings extremely positively, stating that she is among the top flutists in the world. The New York Times, New York Post, and others have given her four-star reviews as a solo performer in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Kennedy Center.