Plus Letters To the Editor
Marin Alsop took over as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 1992, just a couple of years after I came to Santa Cruz, and I wrote about her in one of my first music stories for the Register-Pajaronian not long after. It was very early in her career, and back then, none of us knew she was on her way to becoming the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, and the first conductor to receive a MacArthur Genius Grant. But we were certainly fascinated by the direction in which she pledged to take the festival, focusing it solely on living composers. The pattern that would become her life’s work—making classical music relevant and real to contemporary audiences—was already emerging.
Personally, I’ve never encountered anyone who in her interviews, writings and podcasts has given me more insight into the genre—which, as a musical heathen growing up on punk and indie rock, I never even knew I could care about. But whether it’s making me understand why the music world thought Mahler was insane when he debuted his first symphony, or how the range of the human ear affects the way we react so profoundly to Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, Alsop has a way of imbuing the music with cool, and her passion is infectious. I’ve been impressed that as her career has blown up over the last two decades, she’s maintained her connection to the Cabrillo Festival, where it all began. In this week’s cover story, Christina Waters welcomes her back after her health issues last year, and explains what cool craziness—Bela Fleck’s banjo concerto?—we can expect from her and the Cabrillo Festival this year.
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
Re: “Tainted Waters” (GT, 7/16): As a long-time surfer, father and grandfather, I find it an incredulously interesting contradiction that the City of Santa Cruz posts signs warning people about the poor quality of the water at Cowell Beach, while at the same time running their very popular and necessary Junior Lifeguards program in the same tainted water. So does that mean we care less about our current and future lifeguards than we do about the public?
—Jack Young | Scotts Valley
THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
I am in complete agreement with Jim Lewis, who objects (Letters, GT, 7/9) to the handful of morons who hold Santa Cruz hostage each weekend with the loud ugly noise of their motorcycles.
What mental dissonance Harley riders must experience, imagining themselves as heroes, while forcing onto all around such hideous sonic blight. The bloated disease of bikers’ fart fetish pollutes the air, an attack on the freedom of any who value tranquility or indeed, their hearing. The police do nothing to prevent this health and safety hazard, yet they have forced the great Morgani off the streets... for playing accordion?
It is entirely possible to find happiness without annoying everybody around you. Failure to do so is not heroism, but laziness and selfish lack of imagination. One might call it cognitive flatulence.
—Miles Zarathustra | Santa Cruz
Re: Jordan Graham
Back in the day, my friends and I slaved over Super 8 backyard masterpieces, editing with razor blades. We just did it for ourselves.
So I'm glad that today’s tools and markets allow young people with ideas like Graham to take these projects all the way into distribution—with tons of hard work, true, but almost no money! A market for DIY B-movies actually exists. This is great news.
— Jim Jones
Re: Cowell Beach
The sewage outfall pipe needs to be extended to the deep canyon underwater. Until this is done, the water will continue to be polluted by the sewage outfall...and the Westside will continue to smell like an outhouse at low tide.
— Bruce Peddy
GENERATING SOME BUZZ Red dragonfly at the BlackMouse Disc Golf Course in Felton. Photograph by Mark Schleicher.
Janet Hoover, the lactation consultant laid off by Dominican Hospital, has launched her own private practice with a new Facebook page called Breastfeed Santa Cruz. Hoover is offering to come into mothers’ homes for prenatal and postpartum breastfeeding help. Meanwhile, her posts offer useful tidbits on everything from baby stomach size to what drugs are safe for breastfeeding moms.
Art for Kids
Santa Cruz has a lot of art, but getting started often comes with a hefty price tag. That’s where Santa Cruz Performing Arts makes a difference. The nonprofit offers affordable classes and scholarship programs to help kids get involved in music, theater and dance. With summer productions Alice in Wonderland and Bat Boy: The Musical—at the Santa Cruz Vets Memorial Building, the SCPA brings art back to the people.
There is no logical reason to stop women from conducting. The baton isn't heavy. It weighs an ounce. No superhuman strength is required.
- Marin Alsop
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