Vivian Fine

A work by the American composer Vivian Fine (1913-2000) will close the first UCSB “Spotlight” concert.

For the next year, the Department of Music at UCSB will be trying out a new series of concerts called “Spotlight,” under the capable and enthusiastic direction of Jeremy Haladyna, which promises to work a dramatic change in the way that student and faculty performers — and composers — are presented to the public.

The inaugural Spotlight event will be offered at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (Music Building). Admission is free.

Something like the Spotlight has been a longtime dream of Haladyna.

“What we are doing, four times a quarter — odd-numbered weeks — are afternoon ‘sampler’ concerts showcasing the students and faculty in the Department who are All About Performance,” he said. “The atmosphere is relaxed and fun and the programs are short — 50 to 55 minutes max. We would love for students, university people (who can spare the hour) and the public at large to wander in and sample these free artistic offerings to the community.”

The first program has two works that one knows and loves, and two works one knows nothing about, to wit: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata in C-Minor, BWV 911 (Mark Gutierrez on piano); Katherine Hoover’s Divertimento for Flute and String Trio (Adriane Hill on flute, Matisse Geenty on violin, Jordan Warmath on viola and Zachary McGee on cello with Haladyna conducting); François Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1962) (Jesse Katsumata on clarinet and Natasha Kislenko on piano); and the Duo for Flute and Viola by Vivian Fine (Hill on flute and Warmath on viola).

In addition, Haladyna has incorporated most of the performances by members of his Ensemble for Contemporary Music into the Spotlight concerts: “With the exception of a special evening concert [in] April, in the old established nighttime mold, ECM content this year is being streamed into Spotlight.”

This suits Haladyna down to the ground, since it enables him to sprinkle new works through the season, as each work is completed: “I can serve up something when it is actually just then ripe, instead of having to whip up an entire menu of new music all in a single week at the end of a quarter.”

Again, the Spotlight concerts are free to all, and the public is invited.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at gerald.carpenter@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.