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Sacramento State Campus

FOCUS ON: Festival of New American Music

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The Festival of New American Music is one of the longest-running contemporary music festivals in the country. The Festival offers a wide variety of music performances, as well as lectures and presentations at venues ranging from Sacramento State’s Music Recital Hall to area high schools and art museums.

(Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.

(Jim Finnerty reporting:) New American Music can mean different things to audiences and performers, but the long running Festival of New American Music at Sacramento State gives both a venue to enjoy and appreciate.

(Stephen Blumberg, Sacramento State music professor:) “These are national and international-level musicians and composers and we really are bringing the best in the new music world.”

(Finnerty:) The festival offers up dozens of free performances over an 11-day period, but also provides students the chance to take master classes from experts in their particular instrument.

(David Webster, student:) “You can learn a lot about the little nuances that you would have initially overlooked; as much as you can change the color.”

(Finnerty:) For student David Webster, that input from cellist Susannah Chapman provided insights he hadn’t considered.

(Webster:) “Everyone has their own strength in teaching as well. And so by having multiple teachers and different opinions on technicality and musicality, it basically enhances everything about music.”

(Finnerty:) Student George England considered approaches from performers Bill Anderson and Oren Fader.

(England:) “They basically show me ways to approach the music that I hadn’t thought of. ‘Play it softer, play it louder, try playing in a different spot on the instrument using a different fingering.’”

(Blumberg:) “We try to cover the different areas that the students would be interested in. And also just to provide a wide palette of different instrumental ensembles for the audience as well.

(Finnerty:) The prestigious festival has drawn performers and audiences for more than three decades, delivering an opportunity to explore and discover.

(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty reporting.

(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.

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