Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, April 2, 2016. Just a wonderful day to be a Renegade!
I have been awake the last two hours just reading and thinking about the week, and as I started working on this blog I realized that maybe I needed to break it into two posts. Certainly a good problem to have….
Let me start with a memorial service I attended during the week where the remarks of several speakers have stayed with me, and I suspect will continue to stay with me for a long time. The service was held in a beautiful hilly area and there was a strong breeze that rustled thought the tent-like pavilion as the story was told of the one who had passed. A story of courage, love, beauty, resilience, commitment and action. Not one of indifference. During the service, one of the speakers introduced the Old Testament story of Ester, considering the question of who is the real villain of the story. The speaker explained that the traditional response to this question is Haman, guilty of genocide. However, one could argue that the “indifferent” Ahasuerus was probably more of a villain than Haman. The collective damage of indifference is greater.( This reminded me of Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” where he says of racism that “Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection” of racism.) The speaker concluded that the person who passed was the antithesis of Ahasuerus, for she had lived her life fully in action, overcoming her difficulties to fight for the right thing.
I experienced that one hour as if I were cocooned in another world, and the story of her life has inspired me to shift and live life just a little bit more. Here is a poem that I received from a friend on Monday, 3/28, that epitomizes her life.
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Speaking of living life fully, BC has a magnificent choir and choir director, Jen Garrett.
Friday night I attended the our choir’s spring concert A Celebration of Folk Songs. The evening was magnificent. The concert was sold out and ended with a standing ovation from the audience. Jen had included guest performers, the West High School Chamber Singers and the group Wrenwood Sessions. Now Wrenwood Sessions has been a great partner and has performed with the BC choir on more than one occasion. Thank you Wrenwood Sessions. Check them out at http://www.wrenwoodsessions.com/. Here is a blurb from their website:
Wrenwood Sessions was formed in 2010 when five musicians playing in church discovered their mutual love for Irish and Scottish folk music – the traditional “Celtic” music of the Isles. Today, the group consists of six members: David Barringer (keys, accordion, vocals), Jeff Cram (whistles, bodhran), Anne Grogan (vocals, fiddle), Valerie Lewis (harp), Steve Lewis (guitars, octave mandolin), and Jeremy Swanson (fiddle, mandola). Based in Bakersfield, California, the ensemble performs at festivals, gatherings, private functions, weddings, churches, and restaurants.
The concert featured folk songs from around the world and each piece was introduced with a little bit of history and culture. I loved all the pieces and here is one:
Tshotsholoza a traditional South African song that featured soloists Christian Caraveo, Mason Edwards, George Gutierres; and percussionists Maria Albares, Michael Juarez, and Ron Kean. Sample the song from this video excerpt from my iphone.
And this morning I read a Facebook post from Jen Garret.
I am constantly amazed by the power of prayer and priesthood blessings. Yesterday I had a terrible flare up and by last night I was a mess. It was the worst flare I’ve had in over a year. I came home and got a blessing from Matt and my Dad asked Chamber Singers to pray and/or send happy thoughts. I do not ever bounce back this fast so I know it was a miracle. I am so grateful to everyone that was so supportive. What a concert!
Miracles happen every day! Jen, BC is fortunate to have you.
Two events bookended March 31st — breakfast with pastors from our community, and the Sterling Silver appreciation dinner.
We had a great breakfast discussion with the pastors on how BC could partner with them and their churches to promote the value of higher education to our community. The ideas circled around, starting early with getting students to think about college, creating a path for students that has guides along the way to make sure that they are moving along and not getting stuck or dropping off, and reaching out to families to include them in this network of support. Pastor Hayward Cox, Pastor Oscar Anthony, Pastor David McGee, Pastor Toure Tyler, Pastor Martha Johnson, and Marisa Banks, thank you for taking the time to connect with us at BC.
Here is a sneak peak at BC’s eight annual Sterling Silver. I am waiting to get the photos and will publish a dedicated Sterling Silver blog in the next few days. So stay tuned. Two posts in one week!
Some additional highlights from the week.
This week Nicky Damania was awarded the Outstanding Professional Award from ACPA. Way to go Nicky! I am so glad you are at BC. Working hard and doing wonderful things for our students, our campus, our community.
BC’s Drumline Shines:
Our Drumline students took First Place this past Sunday, March 27th, at the WGI competition. The Western Guard International (WGI) Sport of the Arts is the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Last year, there were more than 36,000 participants at the regional level, and more than 12,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships. The numbers for this year are not yet posted on the website.
BC took 1st place in prelims, advancing us to finals on Sunday where we were again awarded 1st place by an entirely new (double) panel of judges with a score of 88.425. Winning this show is a milestone for our program, and with nearly a 10-point jump from last year.
The weekend overall was a success, from our outreach performance and clinic with students from the California City HS band followed by a productive rehearsal, to our prelims and finals performances at CSU San Bernardino. But it’s icing on the cake that we can also say that we’re the number one open class drumline in the western states!
Informally ranked number one overall in our division right now, the focus is on WGI World Championships coming up this April 14-16. Time Heasley and the coaching staff are maximizing the show and their remaining practice time, as well as working on the logistics of getting the drumline and the equipment to Dayton, OH and back. The entire group is working hard both on and off the court to prepare for this huge opportunity.
Thank you Tim Heasley for setting the bar high for our students and for dedicating countless hours to BC’s drumline students.
BC’s Prelaw Program
The Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance of Kern County invited our Pre-Law students to their Women’s History Month event on March 21st. Four students attended the event; Princess Herrera, ShaQuia Jones, Brian Prieto, and Amritpal Kaur. The students were treated as special guests of Cynthia Loo, Commissioner for the Superior Court of California County of Kern. They had the opportunity to meet and network with local attorneys, judges and other individuals in the legal system. They were all inspired by the panelist and their stories.
Thank you Manny Mourtzanos for leading this program pathway and Pearl Urena our Pre-Law Educational Advisor. BC is celebrating a milestone this year…our first graduates from the BC Pre-Law pathway! We are hosting our first annual reception in honor of our students’ accomplishments on April 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Life at BC is living life fully. It is a good time to be at BC!
Tagged: Anthony Cuplepper, Bakersfield College, BC Choir, BC Drumline, Carla Musser, Chevron, Cynthia Loo, Francis Mayer, Jen Garrett, June Charles, Lisa Green, Marisa Banks, Mary Trichell, Nicky Damania, Pastor David McGee, Pastor Hayward Cox, Pastor MArtha Johnson, Pastor Oscar Anthony, Pastor Toure Tyler, Scott Cox, Sonya Christian, Sterling Silver, Steve Watkin, Tim Heasley, Wrenwood Sessions, Zav Dadabhoy