Press Release



APRIL 1, 2003
CONTACT:Mike Stepanovich at 661/664-2456 or

Fans of California State University, Bakersfield's Musica da Camera chamber orchestra will get a double dose of concerts this coming week (April 6-12).

  • On Sunday, April 6, Musica da Camera presents "The Seven Last Words of Christ" at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (corner of 17th & B streets), beginning at 7 p.m.

    The work, composed by Josef Haydn, will be performed by the Musica da Camera String Quartet in recognition of the upcoming Easter season, said CSUB music professor Gordon Mehling, Musica da Camera's music director and conductor. "This piece is intended as a musical/meditative, nondenominational, presentation," Mehling said. "The words are read, then Haydn's musical portrayal will be played for each statement. The words have been taken from all the Gospels of the New Testament."

    Members of the quartet are Mehling, violin; Elizabeth Kinney, violin; Paulette Shires, viola; and Karen Blockley, cello. Admission to the performance of "The Seven Last Words of Christ" is free.

  • On Saturday, April 12, Musica da Camera presents "The Music of Felix Mendelssohn" at 8 p.m. in the Doré Theatre on the CSUB campus. The evening will open with a performance of Mendelssohn's tone poem "The Hebrides" also known as "Fingal's Cave," followed by "Capriccio Brillant," featuring a solo performance by CSUB junior music major Mary Bellah. The program will conclude with the composer's Symphony No. 5 in D minor, "The Reformation."

    Like Mozart, Mendelssohn was a child prodigy, Mehling said. "He composed the amazing 'Midsummer Night's Dream' at age 17."

    About "The Hebrides," Mehling said, "Although there is no specific program attached to the music one cannot help but feel the ebb and flow of the ocean and the crisp clean air."

    For the second work, the orchestra will be joined by Bellah for a performance of Mendelssohn's "Capriccio Brillant." "This is a tour de force for the soloist requiring lighting fast fingers and great expressive qualities," Mehling said. "The audience is in for a real treat as Mary is one of our top students. She brings tremendous talent and energy to this performance."

    For the concert's final work, Mehling chose one that he felt was in keeping with the season. "In these troubled times, and as a prelude to Palm Sunday and Easter, I thought it most appropriate to play this particular work since as the last movement is based upon the Martin Luther hymn 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,'" Mehling said.

    Advance tickets for the April 12 concert are available at Russo's Books in The Marketplace shopping center, and will be available at the door the evening of the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors, $3 for children under 10.

    For more information please call the Performing Arts Department at CSUB, (661) 664-3093.