2011​ NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​
Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​​


June 30, 2011

Science Fiction Musical at Performing Arts Center July 8 and 9

The theatre department will present a workshop production of the award-winning, young adult science fiction novel ‘The Giver’ July 8 and 9 as part of this summer’s Festival of New American Musicals.

The musical is being staged as part of the college’s Theatre 193: Summer Theatre Workshop course, and will feature a cast of 16 students, professional actors and community members in what will be the musical’s West Coast premiere.

“This production offers Santa Clarita artists and audiences a rare opportunity to witness the birth of a new musical in workshop format, with only limited sets and minimal costumes,” said Paul Wickline, COC theatre department chair. “Such performances emphasize the substance and artistry of the work, rather than the glitz and glam so common of most musicals today. We are pleased to share this exciting new work with audiences.”

Released in 1993, the novel ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry, follows a boy named Jonas through the 12th year of his life, in a futuristic, assumedly Utopian, society that has eliminated all feelings of pain and strife by converting the masses to what is called the “Sameness” plan.

With this societal setup gradually appearing more and more dystopian, Jonas suddenly finds himself in the position of “Receiver of Memory,” the person in charge of storing all of society’s memories from the time before “Sameness” was implemented. But as Jonas takes the reigns of his new job, with training from a mysterious man called the Giver, he discovers the power these memories posses.

He soon faces a dilemma — should he embrace his new role within this society, and live a life without love, color and choices; or should he seek out a more fulfilling, and meaningful life.
The production features an original score by Scott Murphy and lyrics and dialogue by Nathan Christensen, with direction from COC theatre professor Andrea Slominski and music direction by Mary Ekler. ‘The Giver’ is being co-produced by the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons in partnership with the Festival of New American Musicals.

Running throughout the spring and summer months, the Festival of New American Musicals celebrates the return of the American musical by showcasing full productions, staged readings, concerts, master classes and other performance-based events in conjunction with performance arts organizations in cities across Southern California.

“With a score as complex as it is beautiful, this production has been one of the most challenging summer workshops yet,” said Slominski. “Our students worked closely with Scott and Nathan throughout the entire process, which was essential in order for them to learn such a difficult score in such a short amount of time.”

“If you’re a fan of contemporary musical theatre,” added Slominski, “you won’t want to miss this show.”

‘The Giver’ will open at 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, in the PAC Black Box Theater. A matinee performance will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

As part of the Festival of New American Musicals, admission to ‘The Giver’ is $15 for all attendees. However, there will be no advance ticket sales for this production.

Tickets can be purchased at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 8, and 12:30 p.m. July 9. Only cash and checks will be accepted. Debit/credit card payments cannot be accepted.

June 30, 2011

Mariachi Mystery Tour Pulls Into PAC for California Premiere July 9

​Mariachi Mystery Tour, a group of accomplished mariachi musicians that play a fun and festive repertoire of songs by The Beatles, will perform a free concert Saturday, July 9, on the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) main stage as part of the ongoing SCV World Music Free Concert Series.

Founded by musical director Lorenzo Martinez, Mariachi Mystery Tour features a nine member mariachi band from Albuquerque, New Mexico and the talents of Martinez’ brother and musical partner Roberto Martinez Jr., who is also the group’s lead singer and guitarist.

With the ability to play nearly any song from the Beatles extensive catalogue, the members of Mariachi Mystery Tour have successfully re-imagined the music of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — while remaining true to each song’s spirit.

“We don’t have the electric guitar and drums, but we can do just about any Beatles song,” said Martinez Jr., who also sports a black suit and mop-top hairstyle while on stage.

All songs are performed in English, with some presented in traditional Beatles musical arrangements and others featuring a more distinctive mariachi flavor. But for the members of Mariachi Mystery Tour, the result has been the creation of a new and vibrant musical form, widely described as “a tour-de-force artistic and cultural collision.”

“Most people say ‘mariachi and The Beatles, who would have thought?’ ” Martinez Jr. said. “But after seeing a show they’ll leave thinking, ‘Wow, it makes perfect sense.’ It’s just beautiful music, and it works very well together.”

Mariachi Mystery Tour will perform in its California debut at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9, on the PAC main stage. Admission is free, with seating available on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

“It doesn’t matter what your background is, this concert is going to be a great time, for kids to older adults and everyone in between,” Martinez said. “You’ll not just be able to hear the music, you’ll be able to experience it in a whole new way.”

This concert is being presented as part of the SCV World Music Free Concert Series, with sponsorship from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, The Wild Beast at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons, in association with Levitt Pavilions.

With funding support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission administers the sponsorship of free concerts at community venues throughout the county, to provide citizens with access to quality music programming which represents the diversity of the county’s residents.

“We are proud to be part of this new series and thank our partners and sponsors for helping to make this concert happen,” said PAC managing director Adam Philipson. “Bringing new music to this valley, in a variety of venues, is part of our mission to provide high quality arts entertainment to all Santa Clarita residents.”

Future performance dates in the SCV World Music Free Concert Series include:

• On Ensemble — 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Dr. Richard H. Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch
• Lisa Haley and the Zydekats — 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Castaic Lake
• Te Vaka — 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at the PAC

June 15, 2011

College Introduces Students to Environmental Sciences/Studies

This fall, the College of the Canyons Math, Science & Engineering Division will offer students an opportunity to match their educational pathway with the ongoing worldwide environmental movement, with two new courses in the disciplines of Environmental Studies and Environmental Science.

“The development of these courses is a momentous achievement for the college and a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Omar Torres, dean of the Mathematics, Science and Engineering Division.

“Having a set of courses focused on the science behind green technology, sustainability, alternative energies and other key environmental issues,” added Torres, “is pivotal to the success of our students in this emerging, and all-important field — which is the future of our planet.”

The college’s Environmental Studies and Environmental Science programs will prepare students for transfer to four-year schools by providing a broad base of both natural science and social science course work, paired with a well-rounded selection of general education courses.

Both courses have been designed to provide students with the scientific background needed to obtain advanced degrees and eventually pursue careers in the solar technology, bio-fuel technology and environmental surveying industries — along with the multitude of environmentally inspired consultancy positions.

“Environmental Studies and Environmental Science are two emerging fields,” said Jeannie Chari, associate professor of the Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences Department. “The completion of an advanced degree in either discipline can lead to a variety of environmental positions with firms and organizations, both commercial and governmental.”

In addition, the presence of a field studies component in the curriculum of both courses positions College of the Canyons as one of the only community colleges in the state to offer an Environmental Science program that includes both a lab and field studies component.

“The field studies component will be revolutionary in terms of the breadth of knowledge and well rounded approach it provides,” Chari said. “It will allow our students to apply what they've learned in both the lecture and lab setting, in a more natural environment.”

The course Environmental Studies (ENVRMT) 101: Introduction to Environmental Studies will introduce students to the use of earth’s natural resources by human civilizations and the roles that economics, ethics, law, history, politics, culture and gender inequity have continually played in resource use and distribution.

The course Environmental Science (ENVRMT) 103: Introduction to Environmental Science will familiarize students with the Earth’s natural processes, along with an understanding of the environmental processes associated with today’s society. The course will emphasize the scientific method though a series of semester-long research projects, experiments and field activities that will allow students to develop the skills needed to thrive in any environmentally related career field.

“Over the next decade jobs within the environmental sector will be among the fastest growing, not just in California but in the world,” said Vincent Devlahovich, chair and associate professor of the Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences Department. “It’s important that we present students at the community college level with the training needed to obtain a degree, start a career and eventually begin serving as leaders of the worldwide movement toward conservation and sustainability.”

During the fall 2011 semester ENVRMT 101 will be offered at the college’s Valencia campus, with a portion of the course hours conducted at the Camp Tahquitz Outdoor Education Center, located in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake.

The course ENVRMT 103 will also be offered during the fall 2011 semester, with classes and labs scheduled at the college’s Canyon Country campus, as well as the Camp Tahquitz Outdoor Education Center.

“These are two growing sectors of the environmental industry and companies and organizations will soon be looking to hire scientists who are content experts in the field,” Torres said. “I’m hopeful these courses will give our students more opportunities to investigate some of the environmental issues they’re interested in, while simultaneously completing the necessary credits to transfer and achieve their career goals.”