Simpson University Music Professor to Premiere Concerto in Portland

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University music professor Dan Pinkston will have an original composition premiered by the Tilikum Chamber Orchestra in Portland, Ore., on March 8.

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Dr. Dan Pinkston

He also will travel to Dakar Academy in Senegal, West Africa, in April, to speak during their spiritual emphasis week, give guitar lessons and coach their musical groups and worship teams.

The March orchestral piece—a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra—was commissioned by clarinetist Bruce Belton, a longtime supporter and performer of classical music in Northern California. Dr. Pinkston composed the piece during a weeklong residency at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden in October 2018.

Dr. Pinkston also is recognized as a 2019 semi-finalist for his excellence in composing orchestra music by The American Prize in Composition.

Dr. Pinkston, who grew up in West Africa and has taught at Simpson since 2001, chairs the Music Department. He has won numerous awards for his compositions, which include two symphonies premiered in the North State. He and his family live on campus as part of Simpson’s Faculty-in-Residence program.

Simpson University’s Music Department offers a bachelor’s degree in music with emphases in composition, music education, performance, worship ministries, liberal arts, and commercial music. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/music.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson has launched new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

Simpson University Offers New Commercial Music Emphasis

REDDING, Calif.—Taking advantage of its proximity to an international worship music conglomerate and a state-of-the-art recording studio, Simpson University is offering a new music major with a commercial music emphasis.

The emphasis is ideal for students who are interested in music industry careers, including recording engineer/producer, tour manager, artist/performer, and songwriter, said Dr. Dan Pinkston, chair of the Music Department and an award-winning composer.

“Because of our location in Redding, California, close to Bethel Music and Soundhouse studio, our professors are going to be drawn from people who are actually working in the music industry,” he said. “This is a very hands-on program.”

 
Courses include Music Business, Contemporary Songwriting, Introduction to the Recording Studio, and much more. Graduating seniors will record an EP of original music, paired with an album release concert.

Simpson’s Music Department also offers programs in composition, performance, worship ministries, and music education. Its faculty are highly trained musicians, conductors and composers who love what they do and love working with students. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/music. Follow the Music Department at facebook.com/simpsonuniversitymusic.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding almost 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated almost 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a highly ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Christmas Concert Fills Grant Center with Music, Hope

REDDING, Calif – Simpson University’s 16th annual Christmas concert drew more than 925 people for an afternoon of choral and instrumental holiday favorites, including Handel “Messiah,” one of the most widely sung choral works in Western music.

The Dec. 2 concert in the James M. Grant Student Life Center was nearly standing-room-only by the time the Shasta Symphony Orchestra—a collaborative effort between Shasta College and Simpson University—opened with “Sleigh Ride,” directed by Dr. Jeff Specht.

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After a welcome and opening prayer from Simpson University President Norm Hall, the audience was invited to sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” directed by Music Department chair Dr. Dan Pinkston.

The Simpson Chorale and Foothill High School Mixed Chorus combined for “A Christmas Praise,” featuring Simpson student soloist Bailey Agness and Foothill High School director Mitch Bahr on piano.

Simpson music faculty and alum Sarah Meng-Cummings and Dr. Pinkston sang “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” an arrangement by Dr. Pinkston, who also played guitar.

The audience rose to its feet after guest vocalist Kittinant Chinsamran of Thailand and Simpson music faculty member Carrie Grosch sang “The Prayer” by David Foster. Another audience favorite, “Mary Did You Know” was performed by Blended, a new a cappella group at Simpson.

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Grosch’s voice filled the gymnasium in her moving interpretation of  “O Holy Night,” accompanied by Simpson music faculty member and alum Lauren Dillon on piano.

Attendees enjoyed cookies in the lobby area during intermission before returning for the Christmas portion of Handel “Messiah,” with additional solos by Chinsamran, Grosch, Dash Waterbury and Raphaella Medina of Redding. As is traditional, the audience stood and sang along with the grand finale – “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Afterward, one audience member was heard to say, “The music thrilled us. The concert radiated a sense of hope and, in fact, the room itself seemed filled with hopefulness. How appropriate that it was presented on the hope Sunday of Advent.”

The concert was a highlight of Chinsamran’s visit to Simpson University as an artist-in-residence for 2018-19. In addition to performing in several venues, he also conducted masterclasses and gave private voice lessons.

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Simpson President Norm Hall, center, with Dr. Kieun Steve Kim, left, and Kittinant Chinsamran.

The recent devastating Carr and Camp fires in Northern California were very much on the minds of the vocalists and musicians as they rehearsed for the concert, noted Dr. Kieun Steve Kim, Simpson University’s director of choral activities. “We wanted to provide individuals and families with an afternoon of uplifting and hope-filled music after the heartbreak of this fire season,” he said.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Music Department at simpsonu.edu/music.

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Top photo by Chyna Xiong: Carrie Grosch and Kittinant Chinsamran sing “The Prayer” during Simpson University’s 2018 Christmas concert. // Slideshow photos by Chyna Xiong

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.