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Big, bold, dramatic - 'Carmina Burana' performed with high schools, other colleges


Alumnus Rodrigo Cortes, left, and senior David Zelenka will do solos in the concert. (Photos: Ben Ailes)

  • April 26, 2011

Portions of Carl Orff’s dramatic “Carmina Burana” are familiar to audiences of such movies as “Excalibur” and “Hunt for Red October" -- even those who know The Door’s soundtrack. The Cal State East Bay Music Department will treat the public to Carmina Burana's entire 24 movements.

The composition will be performed at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Cunningham Memorial Chapel on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Also featured at the concert will be “Cloudburst,” by Eric Whitacre, and “Blue Skies,” a premier piece by music student Jack Worth Henry that will be dedicated to the late Cal State East Bay psychology professor Daniel Cerrutti, who died earlier this year.

Those pieces also will be performed at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts.

"It's dramatic, exciting, and our student singers need to have the experience singing it," said Buddy James, CSUEB associate professor of music and co-conductor of Carmina Burana along with Michael Najar, a music teacher at Palo Alto High School.

The collaboration will involve approximately 250 persons from the Cal State East Bay Choral Union, Cal State East Bay Dance Ensemble, Najar’s Palo Alto High School Concert Choir, Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, Las Positas College Chamber Choir, and the Oakland Youth Chorus Middle School Magic. It also will include pianists Kathleen Rountree and Jeffrey Sykes, and soloist Pamela Hicks. Rountree is interim dean of CSUEB's College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The three selections will be diverse. “Carmina,” written in 1930s in Germany, is loud, familiar, and massive. “Cloudburst,” conducted by graduate student Alba Gonzales, was written using the text of Mexican poet Octavio Paz.

Tickets for the May 21 performance at 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, 94002 are $5-15 and may be purchased at:

Tickets for the May 22 performance at 19501 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, are $5-7and may be reserved at or by calling (510) 885-3167.

Questions should be directed to (510) 885-3167 or

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor in advance at (510) 885-3167 if accommodation is needed.

Read more about "Carmina Burana" participation by Kathleen Rountree, interim dean of CSUEB's College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

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