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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 2:45 am | Fair 50º


CSU Channel Islands Will Launch Festival to Honor Late Professor’s Love of Music and Travel

Daniel Lee

When CSU Channel Islands Professor of Sociology Chair Daniel Lee was alive, his Somis home was often a magnet for music.

“It was like a constant jam session in Somis,” said Chair and Professor of Sociology Dennis Downey, Ph.D., who was Lee’s friend. “He had colleagues and friends and students up there and they’d just kind of play together. It was all informal.”

So, his friends, family, fans and colleagues at CI thought it would be fitting that the four-day festival they are launching this year in his honor have a musical flavor.

Lee, who died in 2014 at the age of 47, also loved international travel, so the first International Week MusicFest in honor of Daniel Lee from Monday, Nov. 16 through Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, will coincide with CI’s International Education Week.

The festival on the CI campus will have everything from Celtic music to African drumming to ballet folklórico.

“Our vision was to tie together his love of music with his love of international engagement and this seemed perfect,” Downey said. “The centerpiece is always the big concerto Thursday evening.”

Participants will travel around the world beginning with an opening ceremony at 12 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, in the Student Union Courtyard, when a new scholarship opportunity called the Daniel Lee Memorial Scholarship for International Engagement will be announced.

“It’s based on an endowment provided by Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law, Andy and Ria Lee,” Downey said. “The idea is to support a student with financial need who wants the experience of study abroad or international engagement.”

Daniel’s first wife pre-deceased him in 2008, but the couple had three children. The youngest, Max, lives with his uncle and aunt in Northern California, but Sophie Lee, 23; and Jonas Lee, 21, are CI students.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree for either Jonas or Sophie. Jonas, 21, is a senior majoring in performing arts and sociology. He sings and plays guitar.

Sophie, who is also musical, is a CI consultant for students who want to study abroad through CI or the CSU programs. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is looking at returning to Germany, where she first fell in love with travel.

“I was 12 years old when my dad went to a symposium in Munich,” Sophie said. “It wasn’t like I was an American there. I spoke German.”

Sophie, Jonas and Max’s mom was Swiss, so even their home was international.

“We grew up with different traditions in the house,” she said. “And we were lucky enough to go to Switzerland every two or three years to visit family.”

Jonas will perform during the festival and Sophie will be on hand to advise interested students about international study.

At 1 p.m. Monday, CI 2013 Sociology graduate Cheney Caldwell will talk about her six-month trek through Chile on a quest for sustainable practices.

The event will also include movies with an international theme such as the “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, a music jam, an international mixer and the cornerstone performance by CI Music Assistant Professor Paul Murphy called the “Paul Murphy Celtic Project” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in Malibu Hall.

“I’m overwhelmed. It’s an honor for me to work alongside people for this, and to honor him in this way,” Sophie said. “It’s nice to see he’s not forgotten.”

For more details and a schedule of events, email [email protected]

Kim Gregory is a communications specialist for CSU Channel Islands.


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