News Vol. 20


World Languages and Literature: Kyoto Faculty-Led Program Summer Recap Newsletter

Midori Ishida, an SJSU lecturer in the Japanese program, led this year’s Kyoto program. From June 22 until July 15, twenty-one students dived deep into life in Japan. The faculty-led Kyoto program has been offered by the Japanese program in the World Languages and Literature department for over a decade. To read more about this amazing opportunity, visit the WLL Newsletter at



School of Music and Dance: Album of John Shifflett music released

Recent Jazz Studies Master’s student, Kristen Strom, just released an album of new arrangements entitled “Moving Day” which features music composed by the late bassist, John Shifflett. Shifflett, who was a mainstay of the Bay Area music scene, passed away in 2017. In addition to Strom, the album features School of Music faculty Aaron Lington, Jason Lewis, Jeff Lewis, Dan Robbins, Dahveed Behroozi, and SJSU music alumni Jeff Cressman and Scott Sorkin.

School of Music and Dance: Galen Lemmon, percussionist on the move

Galen Lemmon, Director of Percussion Studies here at SJSU will travel to Shanghai, China to judge the Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Percussion Festival sponsored by the International Percussion Education Association the week of October 1st. In addition to judging, Mr. Lemmon will present a masterclass for percussion teachers on “Educating Our Young Percussionists.” On November 18, 2018, Mr. Lemmon will be the featured soloist with the Diablo Wind Symphony. The concert starts at 5:00 at Campolindo High School in Moraga. Mr. Lemmon has been asked by the California Band Director’s Association to be the CASMEC Percussion Coordinator for their statewide event in Fresno, CA in February. He will be responsible for coordinating percussion equipment for 5 state honor groups and one orchestra. This opportunity will create an opportunity for SJSU students to be more involved with state band directors.

School of Music and Dance: Computer Music Symposium Participation

Brian Belet’s composition “A Strange Diversion” (co-composed with Stephen Ruppenthal in 2017), was performed at the Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS2018), in Santa Cruz, California on September 9, 2018. Belet performed using the Kyma digital computer music system, and Ruppenthal performed using vintage Buchla analog synthesizers. Also at KISS 2018, Belet and visual artist Marianne Bickett presented a paper/demo titled “Drawing Sound: Using a Wacom tablet as an independent drawing surface while also controlling Kyma,” outlining their research using a Wacom tablet to simultaneously drive a graphic art program and Kyma sound synthesis in real-time performance. More details are found on Belet’s web site:

School of Music and Dance: “Historical Dance at Play” conference—August 2-5, 2018

Last summer’s interdisciplinary conference, “Historical Dance at Play,” snowballed from an idea into a vast, multi-departmental SJSU experience. Guest teacher Catherine Turocy, an internationally known expert in Baroque dance, directed the workshop, with Joan Walton as Faculty Liaison. Along the way, we added Dr. Theodorea Berry from the African American Studies Dept., who gave an insightful lecture on Black Cotillions. Dr. Gordon Haramaki from the School of Music brought in his Collegium Musicum students – along with a harpsichord – so that we would have live music for our dance classes. The IRC provided equipment.  The Dance Dept. provided studio space and two student interns. University Housing provided dormitory space and meals in the Dining Commons.  Voila! ~ Joan Walton



Humanities: Creative Arts alumni publishes new arts book

Matthew “Levee” Chavez, creator of Subway Therapy (Creative Arts BA, 2013) just published his second book with Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Titled “Art in Action: Make a Statement, Change your World,” the book offers project ideas and tips for creating art projects that engage in social practice and community involvement. Chavez first developed a reputation in arts as social practice on the day after the 2016 presidential election when he invited people to create what became a headline-making wall of anonymous 3-inch×3-inch sticky notes in the New York City subway system. His first book documents that project and is titled “Signs of Hope: Messages from Subway Therapy (2017, Bloomsbury). With this second new book, Chavez continues his use of the arts to make a change in our daily lives and communities.