|Office of the Chancellor / Public Affairs||
Friday, July 9, 2004
Monterey Herald 7-8-04
Degree of success
When Richard Bains took the job as director of CSU-Monterey Bay's Music and Performing Arts Institute, he saw it as an opportunity to leave a legacy.
Bains, a seasoned guitarist, ethnomusicologist and music instructor, built the program from scratch. He hand-picked the staff and, with their help, created an institute that attracts world renowned guest artists.
But one thing was missing: the program only offered a non-degree music minor. While music classes have been offered for several years, students have been eagerly waiting for the program to offer the major, Bains said.
After years of intense work to get the institute up and running, CSU-Monterey Bay offers a music major beginning this fall.
"It's been a long time developing, but I think we have a good program that will interest a lot of people," Bains said.
The music degree offers four concentrations in contemporary music, jazz music, vocal music and music recordings/technology.
Paul Contos, a jazz studies and music technology instructor at CSU-Monterey Bay, helped develop the music program over the last seven years.
"We're excited about it," Contos said about the new major. "We worked really hard to get it." Contos, also involved in the Monterey Jazz Festival's jazz education program, said, "I'm really hoping to be able to offer talented young musicians who have come through the Monterey Jazz Festival program an alternative, so that if they aren't going to leave town for college, they'll be able to play here."
The new major program prepares students for careers as performing artists and music teachers. The curriculum includes jazz, ethnomusicology, dance, music technology, computer training and vocal training.
Although the music department's announcement comes too late to attract incoming freshmen, Bains said he expects many current CSUMB students to apply for the major.
Bains, also former education program director for the San Francisco Symphony, started playing the violin in the fourth grade and went on to play other instruments including the guitar, his primary instrument. For Bains, an early exposure to music helped form his music career. He said CSUMB tries to support elementary and middle school music programs, which give students an important foundation for future music studies.
The music and performing arts program has bloomed since Bains became its director. He plans to continue to usher the program on to new levels, he said.
"We don't expect everybody to be the next John Coltrane," Bains
said. "We just want them to develop an appreciation for music and
pass it on to others."
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