Tuesday, April 24 , 2018, 6:53 pm | Partly Cloudy 56º


Bishop Diego Band Director’s Original Score a Hit with National Program

Beverly VanWingerden’s composition is picked up by the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project

What began as a favor for a friend has become a published work that will receive national exposure for Bishop Garcia Diego High School band director Beverly VanWingerden.

When VanWingerden was approached by Bishop’s drama director, Jordana Lawrence, about writing a musical score for the school’s upcoming production of Dead Man Walking, she thought, “Why not?!”

Since graduating magna cum laude in 1999 from UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in music, Van Wingerden had been teaching band and doing a little writing for local church groups. She took up the challenge and began composing in late September 2010. The one and only performance took place Dec. 3, marking the first time that Bishop’s band had accompanied a drama or musical production. It was very well-received.

The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project in Boston was informed that a musical element had been added to Bishop’s production and indicated it was interested in hearing the score. After a demo of various highlights was sent east, Steven Crimaldi, the national coordinator of the DMW School Project, contacted Van Wingerden and asked for permission to use the music in high school and college productions around the country, as well as in Great Britain and other English-speaking European countries.

The score will be posted on the DMW School Project website along with an introduction explaining her inspiration behind the work and suggestions as to how other schools might use it.

The book Dead Man Walking written by Sister Helen Prejean is a true story of violent crime, life in prison and the death penalty. VanWingerden resisted the temptation to view the Academy Award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn because she didn’t want to be influenced by that music.

“I wanted it to be completely original” she said.

The film was turned into a stage play by writer/director/actor Tim Robbins in an attempt to foster meaningful dialogue about the death penalty. Click here for more information on the DMW School Theatre Project.

A CD with highlights of the score is available for sale at Bishop Diego for $15, with proceeds benefiting the band program. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

— Ashley Snider is the director of admissions and public relations at Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >