Guest Authors

Valerie Joi and Cristian Macelaru

Music is a Heart Opener

Although I promised myself I would refrain from making any hackneyed puns, I can’t resist the truth: Valerie Joi is a joy. She works with generosity, illumination, and empowerment—a heart opener for everyone touched by her music as a rigorous practice of spiritual and social transformation.

ITW composers 2022

Recasting Self and Other

Guest Blogger Kendall Grady reflects on Cabrillo Festival’s 2022 In the Works composers, drawing connections between their respective world premiere works.

Singer with orchestra

The Muse Visits Santa Cruz

This essay is part of Marilyn DuHamel’s Wayfinder Series about people, art works, and events that can help us find our way in these lost times.

Violinists playing in orchestra

The Festival Through My Eyes: Works in Process

From Open Rehearsals to Student Staff projects, Megan Levad’s poetry workshop, and the astounding In the Works concert, this Festival is brimming with personal and collective creative growth.


The Festival Through My Eyes: An Introduction

Sienna Ballou blogs about working alongside the Festival Staff, assisting them in a myriad of ways before, during, and after the Festival—witnessing and being a part of Festival processes.

Pen writing

Field Notes: Poet in Residence Gary Young

Music marks time—gathers, embraces, endures it. Thunder in the tympani, nectar in the run of a flute; arpeggios of wonder, terror, and desire. When the orchestra plays, the world flies at us on a fierce wind.

Pen writing

What’s in a Name? Are Genre Labels Limiting?

For composers and musicians, labels can be limiting. They usually aren’t coined and settled until after a musical movement is past, but they stick around long after they would have been useful.

Pen writing

Reconsidering Our Assumptions About New Music

Ask your average classical concertgoer what they think of when they hear the phrase “new music” and after a moment of trepidation, their answers are likely to fall along a few well-worn narratives.

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