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Saïd Ramón Araïza to Conduct Crash Course on Alta California Music at Genealogical Society Meeting

Saïd Ramón Araïza Click to view larger
Saïd Ramón Araïza (Courtesy photo)

Musician, music scholar and Santa Barbara Symphony lecturer Saïd Ramón Araïza, will present “Musical Cultures of Early Alta California” at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting, which will take place Saturday, June 18, 2016, at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, located at 21 E. Constance Ave., from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Araïza will present a one-hour overview of the various historical and cultural influences that informed the vibrant musical cultures of early Alta California.

Topics include indigenous traditions, secular music from the courts of Mexico, popular folksongs from east of the Rockies, vernacular music from foreign countries and, of course, a discussion of the remarkable legacy of sacred music from the Spanish Mission period (1769-1833).

Beginning at the age of ten, Araïza taught himself to play the piano and read and write music by studying scores and music theory texts, improvising and listening to classical music recordings after school.

Araïza gave his first solo piano recital at 16 years of age. An opportunity to perform at the acclaimed Interlochen Summer Music Camp led to his subsequent appointment as resident accompanist at The Interlochen Center for the Arts, a position that he held for five years.

Araïza​ was music director of The National Theatre for Children and also composed original scores for the Ensemble Arts Theatre, the AVOCE Ensemble, the Bill Evans Dance Company, the Lenna De Marco Dance Company and the SGI-USA American Victory Symphony.

He has performed many piano recital programs and solos recitals nationally and internationally.

Prior to Araïza​’s talk, the Genealogical Society’s special interest groups — such as beginning genealogy, civil war genealogy, writers’ support group, German ancestry, Italian genealogy, French-Canadian genealogy, computer genealogy, DNA and Jewish genealogy — will meet at 9:30 a.m.

The society’s monthly meeting starts at 10:30, and Araïza will present at 11 a.m. 

You do not need to be a member to enjoy this wonderful free presentation. 

A calendar of genealogical events can be found at the society’s website.

— Glenn Avolio is the public relations chair at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

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