Monday, July 27, 2015



Our January 20th Music Section meeting was created by and hosted at Arlene and Francois Vaillancourt in Santa Monica. Their program consisted of organ works performed on the Hauptwerk Virtual Organ (by Francois) by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1947) and by J. S. Bach (11685-1750). Francois also played piano in the Second Part of the Concert. Arlene sang and provided historical background for the works and the two selected composers.

Part I:
Prelude and Fugue in c minor op 37 by F. Mendelssohn
Andante from the III Sonata for organ by J.S. Bach
Toccata and Fugue in d minor by J.S. Bach

Part II: Francois played Allemande, Menuet II and Gugue from the First French Suite (J.S. Bach)
on a Steinway Grand Piano

Arlene and Francois performed selected pieces from Songs Without Words
by Felix Mendelssohn
Our audience included (from left): Margorie Friedlander, Debby Kennel, Joy Frank,
Rochelle Caballero, Shirley Ho, and Mireya Lund
Zorana was away recovering from her hip replacement surgery. I want to thank all in attendance, our hostesses Arlene and Francois, and our Section members for bringing refreshments to the January 20th concert and our kickoff 2016 Music Section meeting.

Our December 16th Music Section meeting was a wonderful Holiday Party filled with Christmas Caroling, great company of our members along with husbands: Tom (the co-host), Francois (our resident pianist), and Ross (our FWC member). A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few photos of our yesterday holiday gathering.

From right: Ross, Debby, Jarka (the hostess), Shirley, Francois (pianist),
Arlene (lead singer), Simone, Helen, Rochelle, Mireya, and Zorana (chair)
[Photo Credits: Zorana]
A special treat was our own Music Section member Shirley who performed for us, accompanied by Francois. We will make this our Music Section Holiday tradition and expand, by inviting other members to the Music Celebration of Joy, Peace, and Love.

Shirley accompanied by Francois. Next time we will record and preserve!
[photo credits: Zorana] 

Some of carols we sang included: Silent Night, The First Noel, Deck the Hall, Joy to the World, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Little Town of Bethlehem, and Good King Wenceslas (in Bohemian Vaclav).

Here we prepare for some new Carols, including Good King Wenceslas
honoring our Czech hostess Jarka
[photo credits: Zorana]

We toasted with champaign, yes, at 1:30 PM for another year to be filled with music, hope, joy, love, health, and good friendship.

Our group photo, Tom (co-host) taking the group photo

We started off our 2015-2016 Music Section Season on October 21st with Debby Kennel leading the discussion on Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864). To get some background reading, visit BLACKFACE MINSTRELSY and Mel Watkins narrating on the American craze in the 1840s. I recommend visiting the American Experience site on Foster.

As a Music Section group, we socialized, planned the calendar year 2015-2016, toasted with champaign (brought by Roma -- not in the group photo below), sang, and discussed Foster's various genres of songs in the context of early 1820s in this country.
From left: Debby (presenter on S.C. Foster), Zorana (Chair, Music Section),
Simone (our new member), Arlene, invited guest Jo, Rochelle, Ida,
Shirley, Mireya, Madonna, and Helen
As above, with Jarka (next to Debby Kennel)

Photo credits: Zorana Ercegovac

Over the past summer, we have been actively working on several fronts.

Firstoff, we have designed this page where we can all go to in order to find HAPPENINGS in the town. Several links are included with an idea to expand in collaboration with you MUSIC LOVERS and ENTHUSIASTS. For example, go often to the Fowler Museum, Hammer Museum, LA Phil, LACMA, MOMA, Los Angeles Theatre Works, Center for the Art of Performance (CAP) at UCLA, Los Angeles OperaGetty Museum for their programs and special events, as well as the UCLA 17th and 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (310.206.8552). Each of these organizations has already announced their programs for the entire 2015-2016 Season, so visit the links above and enjoy music programs and events at UCLA and beyond. Don't forget MET live in HD at the UCLA's James Bridges Theater. The performances typically start at 1 PM on weekends.

--OCTOBER 21 at 1 PM WED FWC MUSIC SECTION -- our first meeting, at Deborah Kennel's place. Debby will be leading a discussion of Stephen Foster (1826-1864) contributions to American music. Will be reminded of his songs and minstrels as well as about the cultural and historical context in which he worked.
Stephen Foster (1826-1864)

My Old Kentucky Home

--NOVEMBER 18th at 1 PM WED FWC MUSIC SECTION at Madonna's place, with Joy and Shirley providing refreshments for our Music Section attendees.

Abhiman Kaushal (TABLA) and Rahul Neuman (SITAR) were performing July 26th 2015 at
The Fowler Museum

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Concert by Ivan and Tzvetanka Varimezova

The UCLA's Faculty Women's Club was honored earlier today by the presence of Ivan and his wife Tzvetanka's live concert. Here's a very brief sample of their superb performance of a Bulgarian folk song accompanied by bagpipe and tamboura.

Tzvetanka and Ivan sang, played, and answered questions regarding oral tradition as a way of learning folk heritage including songs and dances. Tzvetanka commented on lyrics, explained rhythmic structures, and melodic characteristics of different regions.
Tzvetanka Varimezova, May 20th 2015

Ivan and Tzvetanka were dressed in authentically embroidered costumes of the region their music originated from. Here is the article which was published in Daily Bruin on December 3, 2015 under the headline of "Sounds of Schoenberg"

Ivan Varimezov, May 20th 2015

Music Section attendees (from left):
Noel, Rochelle, Fabio (guest), Jo Knopoff (special guest)
Zorana (music section chair), Arlene, IVAN, TZVETANKA,
Jarka (Hostess), Debby, Sandy, Shirley, Madonna, Joy
Here are a few additional photos of the Music Program -- 2014-15 inaugural season:
Jarka, Zorana, Ivan, Tzvetanka

Much appreciated bottle of Czech's "becherovka" strong herbal liqeurs)

Madonna's Birthday! She created a time to beautifully express her feelings in a letter below.

We also danced "kolo": Shirley, Madonna, (not in the photo are also Jarka and Zorana)
Arlene and Shirley

Rochelle, Sandy, Joy

Jo, Zorana, Arlene, Rochelle, Sandy, Joy, Shirley

Superb artists
Someone has said that an image is worth a thousand words, so yesterday May 19th, we celebrated our Spring Luncheon 2015, and here are just a few photos from that celebratory event and program, ENJOY these unique moments:
Carol Betti, UCLA FWC President 2015-2016

Claudia Mirchell-Kernan, VP-Programs, introduces our speaker Marla C.Berns

Claudia and Marla at the UCLA's FWC 2015 Spring Luncheon

Jo Knopoff (middle) with Penny Hutchinson (right) and Maria Runnegar

The roses are presented to the FWC past presidents

Sonny Harris is named Outstanding FWC member

Table #3: Debby, the Bettis, Geraldine, Joy, Jarka, Zorana, Marla, and Claudia

Marla C. Berns--our invited speaker (from right), Zorana (President 2012-2013), Jarka, Joy

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arlene, Francois and the Phantom of the Opera

During our Music Section #5 Meeting, we were treated to a very special collaboration between our own Arlene and her husband Francois. We got a first hand awareness and experience of voice preparation, warming up, and training. Here are several photos of the core MUSES who attended our february 18th 2015 meeting.

The UCLA's Faculty Women's Club Music Section.

Jarka, Zorana (chair), Noel, Mireya, Arlene, Sandy, Joy, Olga, Rochelle, Roma, Rosemary

Arlene did a fabulous job as a hostess, performer, and leader !
Note: Arlene is posing next to the portrait her mother commissioned years back
Noel and Jarka socializing, an important part of the MUSES
-- in front of Arlene's portrait

Arlene in conversation with Olga and Joy

Virtual organ amplified by a software emulating pipes
Here's a copy of an article in today's Daily Bruin, "UCLA prof Gary Gray on his music, Oscars performance," contributed by Ishan Rampuria, who spoke with Prof. Gray, and photo by Evaneet Sidhu: The article also mentions Prof. Sheridon Stokes, with the Herb Alpert School of Music; Mr. Stokes is husband of the FWC member Ann Stokes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Broadway Shows Revisited, and aria Lascia Ch'io Pianga

The Music Section group was treated today (January 21st 2015) with two programs. After a lovely social at Joy's house with refreshments offered by Shirley and Roma, we first tried favorite Broadway Show lines (led by Mireya). The group, photographed below, enjoyed a wonderful California January sunny afternoon.
From left: Rosemary, Helen, Arlene, Debby, Roma, Joy, Olga, Shirley,
Glorya, Mireya, and Zorana (Chair of the UCLA's FWC Music Section)
The repertory was varied and demanding, as you can tell by the following photographs.
Arlene and Jarka warming up

Arlene and Shirley singing "Sixteen going on Seventeen"
Switching gears: On to Handel's aria

Olga getting ready for the Show