It is estimated that almost a quarter of the U.S. population will be older than 65 by the year 2050. This represents a major demographic shift in this country, which will have profound impacts on economics, marketing, consumerism and healthcare.
One fascinating and important aspect of the day will be the presentation of poster boards of Santa Clarita Valley seniors’ lives. These are the products of an ingenious academic pursuit by the students in COC’s Sociology of Aging class as well as students from English, history and philosophy classes. As part of these classes and in conjunction with COC’s Service-Learning program, students will participate in sociological research by collecting life histories of several SCV seniors.
This project is made possible by a grant received by the college’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), Generations Together/University of Pittsburgh, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. COC students not only provide 20 hours of community service to area seniors, but they are also required to conduct 4-hour, in-depth, intensive interviews with valley seniors. Match-ups between students and seniors were facilitated by the SCV Senior Center. In all, approximately 120 oral histories will be collected during the spring semester.
“This type of experiential learning enables students to gain real-life knowledge of a social condition and to understand it by linking classroom to community,” stressed Robinson. “It is not until students work at a senior center or discuss first-hand the specific challenges faced by the elderly do they begin to recognize the diminished social status that often accompanies growing old in the United States.”
Robinson is an upbeat and optimistic individual who prefers to meet challenges head-on. The theme she and the organizers of the day have agreed upon reflects that attitude: “Learning and Playing Among the Generations: A Celebration for all Ages!”
Featuring free admission, free parking, raffles and giveaways, along with a host of fun activities and exhibits, the day will definitely live up to the day’s theme.
April 17, 2003
College Offers Hundreds of Classes, Sports Programs this Summer
In a move that runs contrary to what many other state budget-constrained community colleges are doing, College of the Canyons this summer will offer more than 600 class sections many of them sought-after transfer, general-education and core academic classes as well as a wide variety of sports programs through the Community Extension Office.
“Despite a state budget crisis that has hit community colleges particularly hard, students still want and need classes during the summer,” said Sue Bozman, director of public information at the college. “We will do everything we can to meet the needs of the community and find innovative ways to serve students while we endure the pain of budget uncertainties.”
The summer session will consist of four-, six- and eight-week classes that begin June 9, as well as a four-week session that begins July 7.
Summer sessions have been designed to begin after high school students finish their spring terms so they can get a head start on their college educations. Many high school students opt to take classes at COC during the summer so that they can take fewer units at their four-year schools freeing up time for extracurricular activities or part-time jobs. Others attend during the summer so they can improve their registration priorities for the fall semester at COC.
The 600-plus classes will have a heavy emphasis on transfer classes (many classes offered at the college are transferable to UCs and CSUs), general-education classes and core academic classes focusing on subjects such as English, math and science.
These classes will appeal not only to students who will continue their educations at COC, but to any student home for the summer from four-year schools who wish to take a class or two.
The class schedule reflecting the 600-plus “for-credit” classes is already posted on the college’s Web site (www.canyons.edu
), and printed copies were distributed to residential addresses in the Santa Clarita Valley during the week of April 21.
In a switch reflecting the current state budget situation, the college will offer its summer sports programs through the Community Extension Office instead of through the college’s for-credit mechanism. State budget cuts have forced this change and will result in increased fees for sports program participants since the Community Extension Office is self-supporting.
Last year, more than 3,000 students enrolled in sports programs. Enrollment fees will be $75 for three-day programs, $80 for four-day programs and $85 for five-day sessions. Sports programs will be held at a variety of locations throughout the community.
“We understand that these sports programs are important parts of summer plans for many families,” said Dr. Phil Hartley, assistant superintendent and vice president for instruction and student services. “We are doing everything we can to provide services for the community this summer, but the budget situation makes it particularly challenging this year.”
The summer sports schedule is available through the Community Extension Office. Students may enroll in these classes at the on-campus Community Extension Office, by mail, fax or by calling (661) 362-3304.
April 15, 2003
Cast, Producers Putting Super Effort into ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
A strong blend of amateur and professional performers are working towards raising the College of the Canyons Theatre Department’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar to new heights.
“This is a huge production, not something typically seen on a community college campus,” said director Mark Salyer. “It’s challenging not only for the message it delivers but also in the effort it requires from everyone involved.”
The figure of Jesus is being portrayed by Ben Benefield, a graduate of the Academy of Film and Television whose first love is writing music. Benefield conducted his first symphony at age nine and has written eight full-length musicals, two of which have been produced. Joining the cast as Mary is Ever Fecske, who recently returned from a three-episode stint on the FOX-TV drama “Boston Public,” where she played opposite American Idol finalist Tamyra Grey. Cast member and Valencia High School graduate Mia Jones also has TV credits to her background, including appearances on “Hill Street Blues” and “Thirtysomething” as well as in numerous commercials. Other cast members run the gamut in experience in theatre performance from years to months.
“This is an amazing group of diverse individuals,” said Salyer of the cast. “Audiences will be stunned by their ability.”
The talent doesn’t stop on the stage, though, as a highly talented collection of professional producers and designers have thrown their collective knowledge behind Superstar.
“This really is a true collaboration between all the performing arts departments at College of the Canyons, and a number of professional designers,” said Theatre Department chair Susan Hinshaw. “It’s just a big show.”
Included in this group is costume designer Richard Bostard, who has twenty years of experience, including work on Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Julie Ferrin makes her debut with College of the Canyons as sound designer. Ferrin has won numerous nominations and awards for her recent efforts, which include work on more than 70 productions in the Los Angeles area in just the past six years. Richard Taylor and Wes Peelle have put together a dynamic, moving lighting package that will surprise and delight. Both Taylor and Peelle have years of experience working for Angstrom Stage Lighting and Production Services in Hollywood.
Regular College of the Canyons staff and faculty have also been adding the full weight of their experience to the production. Brodi Steele is in charge of both set design and technical direction while KC Manji, as music director, and Shannon Levy-Heath, as choreographer, have been pooling their professional wisdom and look to amaze audiences with the musical and dance intricacies of this rock-opera.
“I think audiences will be thrilled by the effort that has gone into Jesus Christ Superstar,” said Salyer, who has dozens of directing credits himself. “Everyone involved is giving everything they have to make it a hit.”
Superstar will run May 8 through 11 at 8 p.m. each night in the College of the Canyons amphitheater. Admission is free.
April 13, 2004
‘Twelve Angry Jurors’ Argue at Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre
12 Angry Jurors convene at the Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre April 23-25 as the College of the Canyons Theatre Department hosts its version of the classic courtroom drama 12 Angry Men.
Both men and women were cast in the staring roles, so the name was changed slightly, but the story remains the same as it follows the deliberations of a split jury and the efforts of one juror to sway the minds of the other eleven.
The cast is also diverse in its level of acting expertise as both new and experienced actors are performing in the play. Jeffery Rollins, who plays Juror #3, has a nationally syndicated radio show, is a national instructor for the Columbia School of Broadcasting and personally tutored Jim Carrey for Carrey’s role as a broadcaster in “Bruce Almighty” while Marcus Briscoe, who played varsity golf for Valencia High School, enters the cast as Juror #5 in just his second theater production.
The production runs for three days with four shows: Friday, April 23rd at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 24th at both 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 25th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 for general admission and $6.00 for students with a valid ID. The Santa Clarita Repertory Theater is located at 24266 San Fernando Road in Newhall.
April 11, 2003
15th-Annual SCV Wine Classic on Track to be Biggest Yet
Wine connoisseurs and music lovers are preparing for what is expected to be the biggest Santa Clarita Valley Wine Classic yet. Already, 47 wineries, seven wine merchants and 10 restaurants are slated to participate in the 15th-annual event, a fundraiser for the SCV Youth Orchestra and Santa Clarita Symphony.
In addition to the latest releases poured by wineries, more than 50 library wines will be uncorked. Among them will be a 9-liter bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Champagne, holding the equivalent of a case, as well as a wide variety of fine wines bottled in California, France and Italy. Participating restaurants and caterers will provide an assortment of culinary delights.
The Wine Classic is scheduled 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 7, in the Main Gallery of California Institute of the Arts, 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia.
Those who purchase tickets by June 6 will receive discounted prices of $60 per person or $110 per couple. Prices at the door will be $70 per person or $120 per couple. Group sales for a minimum of 10 people are available until May 23 for $50 per person. Designated drivers may obtain tickets for just $35.
A wide selection of current and rare vintage wines will be offered during a silent auction, professional musicians will perform for guests, and vintage library wines will be available for tasting. All guests will receive souvenir wine glasses and trays.
The SCV Youth Orchestra is a three-tiered instrumental educational program that was founded at CalArts in 1986 and moved to College of the Canyons in 1989. The program provides a positive and creative outlet for hundreds of young musicians.
“This year’s Wine Classic is shaping up to be the biggest, most exciting one yet,” said Sue Bozman, executive co-director of the Wine Classic Committee. “The response from the wineries, merchants and restaurants has been remarkable. It’s going to be a fantastic evening and a great year for the Youth Orchestra.”
The other beneficiary of the Wine Classic is the Santa Clarita Symphony, which is dedicated to maintaining a professional symphony orchestra that will attract Santa Clarita Valley audiences to symphonic music, strengthen music education in our schools, and inspire young and old to appreciate orchestral literature. It performed its inaugural concert during the city’s Concerts in the Parks series last summer.
Both the Youth Orchestra and the Symphony are directed by Robert Lawson, a member of the music faculty at College of the Canyons and chair of the Music Department at Ventura College.
April 10, 2003
College to Hold Japanese Festival
Origami, fish painting, Bonsai gardening, calligraphy, formal kimonos, uniquely prepared seafood — all are important aspects of Japanese culture and all will be part of the Japanese Festival to be held at College of the Canyons on April 23. The festival will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in the Honor Grove at the center of campus.
This is one in a series of college events sponsored by COC’s Heritage Committee, which provides students, faculty and the community insight into many of the world’s cultures.
Participants will have a chance to watch a demonstration of Gyotaku (fish painting) and then get a lesson on how to do it. They’ll also be able to watch a demonstration of origami (the art of paper folding) and enjoy a display of intricate origami pieces. Martial arts performances will be staged in counterpoint to the readings of delicate Haiku poetry and calligraphy lessons. Displays of fish kites, Japanese wedding dresses and other Japanese artifacts will also be set up on a variety of campus locations. The COC Biology Club will display animals found in Japan.
From tastes of typical fish dishes to chopstick contests to Japanese food for lunch, the day promises to be rich in cultural experiences. Organizers encourage community members to join in the festivities.
April 8, 2003
Classes Focus on Financial Planning, Caregiver Issues
The Community Extension Office at College of the Canyons is offering special classes that will help community members cope with two very important issues: financial planning for the future and issues in care-giving. These opportunities for personal growth and skill development will be held in May. They are: