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Cougars & Mustangs

BY JASON KEEDY

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While the weather on the Central Coast may make it difficult to differentiate the seasons, somehow we’re aware of the waning of winter and the waxing of spring. Maybe it’s the subtle, almost imperceptible appearance of pale blues and brilliant yellows dotting the landscape. It could be the emergence of cherished energy in the morning that accompanies the early sunrise. Whatever the vehicle of perception, it’s time to use those little nudges of inspiration to get out during this curtain call of winter.

As with all revolutions and mass upheavals, there are cultural and artistic consequences. Take last year’s Arab Spring. Aside from the amply covered protests from professors and political dissidents, not much was made of the strong push for change that came from Egypt’s nascent metal scene.

On Feb. 29, in Cal Poly’s Chumash Auditorium, ethnomusicologist Laith Ulaby will discuss the role of popular music in the Arab uprisings of 2011. “Tears in Tahrir: Popular Music and the Arab Spring,” will focus on the story of Tamer Hosny, known as the king of Egyptian pop, as well as the unlikely role of the Egyptian heavy metal scene in the Tahrir Square protests.

Is your knowledge of Russian culture limited to what you gleaned from a midnight showing of Spies Like Us? If so, come out to the Performing Arts Center on March 1 and watch Russia’s Red Star Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble.

According to a press release, the group will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, in which performers will “showcase the consummate glory, tradition, and national pride of Russia with a dazzling display of musicians and dancers.”

On March 4, Cal Poly Symphony’s Winter Concert will celebrate the talents of student soloists and showcase the group’s upcoming tour repertoire in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

The Student Soloist Showcase will feature performances by winners of the Music Department’s Solo Competition. Computer engineering major Douglas Gallatin will play Howard Hanson’s “Serenade for Flute, Harp, and String Orchestra.” Music major Nicholas Garrison will play Jean-Baptiste Singelée’s “Septième Solo de Concert” for baritone saxophone and orchestra. Music major Alessandra Shanus will play Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, first movement.”

Two vocalists will perform music from Mozart operas. Katelyn Holliday will sing “Deh, vieni, non tardar” from Le Nozze di Figaro. Brittney Zearfoss will sing “Batti, batti” from Don Giovanni.

As always, Cal Poly is offering a full buffet of assorted cultural delights. So get out. Stay positive. Meet the world with open arms.

Intern Jason Keedy compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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