Events | 21 July 2019

Join Us For Community Night at The Cabrillo Festival


The Humanities Institute and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Invite You to Community Night on August 8, 2019


The Cabrillo Festival Music Director Cristi Măcelaru and members of the Festival Orchestra have designed a captivating concert for Santa Cruz community members: Community Night, on August 8th, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The concert features new and recent chamber works that showcase festival musicians as soloists and in small ensembles. In partnership with The Humanities Institute, the Cabrillo Festival invites long-time Festival attendees and first-timers alike to get a more intimate perspective on the talented artists who come from across the globe to be a part of the Cabrillo Festival orchestra.

Executive Director of the Festival, Ellen Primack, says that this year’s Community Night holds special excitement for the festival staff, orchestra, and community, as it features two world premieres written and performed by two of the Festival’s orchestra members. Together with The Humanities Institute, the Festival is pleased to offer a limited number of free tickets to the UC Santa Cruz and wider community—ensuring that all community members have the opportunity to taste the global talents of the Festival orchestra.

Community Night is unique, says Primack, in the way it brings together the Festival’s strengths and its core values. “Cabrillo Festival stands on two pillars of strength: our artistic soul that lies with the incredible orchestra musicians who come from across the globe, and the culture of the organization that is born of this special community. When we can create an opportunity for our musicians to shine as individual artists (a bit more akin to rock stars), and at the same time open our doors more broadly to community members (with a pay-what-you-can sliding scale, as well as our free ticket offer), we’ve married the best of our strengths and our values.” Primack continues, “That marriage was clearly reflected in last year’s Community Night and it’s why we’re looking forward so much to this year’s program.”

Cabrillo Festival Executive Director Ellen Primack and The Humanities Institute Managing Director Irena Polic

Community Night also reflects the Festival’s ongoing partnership with The Humanities Institute. This partnership has lead to collaborative programming and festival events, such as a Ruth Bader Ginsburg tribute “My Own Words: The Law and Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” in May this year, and the upcoming Community Night on August 8, 2019.

Additionally, the THI-Cabrillo Festival collaboration affords opportunities for public humanities research and work experience through the Public Fellowship Program. This summer Sienna Ballou, a Graduate Student in the Literature Department at UC Santa Cruz, is working with Festival organizers on the logistics of the two-week long contemporary music festival as a Summer Public Fellow. Ballou has begun chronicling her adventures on a blog on the Cabrillo Festival website. Her first post, “The Festival Through My Eyes,” describes the Festival offices and her experiences as a production assistant. You can also read THI’s own interview with Ballou, where she talks in detail about the festival events that she’s most anticipating.

Ellen Primack finds the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations is nourishing for both partners. “Through their sponsorship of Community Night, THI has helped introduce new audiences to the Festival, allowing us to better share our unique musical experience with the university community,” she says. Irena Polic, Managing Director of The Humanities Institute adds: “At the Humanities Institute, we believe that art and the humanities are not a luxury, but a necessity.  That is why we are committed to engaging with the broadest community possible – from first-generation students and scholars in every discipline, to local residents, and anyone interested in making sense of our complex world.  We are thrilled to be partnering yet again with Cabrillo Festival, an amazing organization at the heart of our community.”

Primack agrees: “This partnership has been extraordinary in building connections between the community and the university and sharing our respective commitment to the arts and Humanities.”


For a limited time The Humanities Institute is offering free tickets to Community Night on August 8, 2019.

Book here and use the code: 2019THI.

All seating is general admission. Tickets are required, but six free tickets are allowed using the discount code above. Additional ticket pricing is on a pay-what-you-can basis to ensure access for all.

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Community Night
Thursday, August 8
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

2019 Community Night Concert Program:

Philip Glass: Melody #10 (Craig Morris, trumpet)
Philip Glass: Melody #8 (Craig Morris, flugelhorn)
Emily Wong:  Light Whisperings (Emily Wong, piano) [World Premiere | Festival Commission]
Michael Kurth: I. Beggingish; IV. Caderamente
(Justin Bruns, Madeline Sharp, violins; Thomas Carpenter, cello; Joe McFadden, bass) [World Premiere of quartet version]

Alexander MillerNature Trails (Alexander Miller, oboe) [World Premiere | Festival Commission]
Leigh H. StevensRhythmic Caprice (Svet Stoyanov, marimba)
Jim StephensonColors
    Cristian Macelaru, Conductor