Honoring the Last of Our Big Band Dinosaurs

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-07-13

Hal Geist (third left) posed with other Sacramento big band leaders at Carmichael Park in 2008. Geist was joined by Erv Boschee, Ted Morgan, Buddy Harpham, John Skinner and George Bruno. All have since died. Final survivor Geist will be honored at a July 28 memorial.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Yet another Sacramento Big Band leader has gone to the heavenly ensemble. Former Carmichael resident Hal Geist died of natural causes on May 29. The trumpet player was 81.

A celebration of his life will be held at La Sierra Community Center on Saturday, July 28. All are welcome to share memories and enjoy a performance by the Hal Geist Little Big Band. Downbeat is 1 pm.

A long-time booster of local music and a 26-year Carmichael Kiwanis Club member, Hal relocated to Santa Rosa in recent years to be near his wife’s family. “He always looked forward to his weekly Kiwanis Newsletter,” says Lynne Geist. “We often drove back to Carmichael for lunch with friends. He loved going to Noah’s Bagels for a chocolate chip muffin.”

Geist grew up on a Pennsylvania farm. At nine, he ditched piano for trumpet and was sent to practice in the barn. “His five brothers hated his practicing,” says his wife. “I guess the cows and horses were more tolerant.” During Korean War years, teenage Hal was often called on to play TAPS for fallen schoolmates. After graduation, he joined the US Marine Corps as a bandsman and served four years at Parris Island (SC). Corporal Geist played hundreds of parades, concerts and ceremonies. He first married at 19 years old and fathered two sons.

The ever-practical farm boy had a flair for math and engineering. After the military, he found heavy construction jobs in Long Island, NY. He later brought his skills to Northern California. As superintendent for several construction companies, Geist managed highway projects that included sections of I-5, US 101, US 207 and bridges in the Sierra and Cascade ranges.

He established Carmichael residency more than 40 years ago. He and his third wife met at the bank where she worked. “He was starting the River City Concert Band,” recalls Lynne Geist. “I’d studied flute in high school; Hal convinced me to get back into music.”

While active in local entertainment, Geist ran two air filtration businesses. He also restored classic cars and motorcycles. “My husband was always a farm boy at heart,” attests his wife. “He took country drives to see the livestock. He just loved animals and naturally, anything related to music put him in a good mood.”  

Beyond his own professional ensemble, Geist’s trumpet was a mainstay for Carmichael Kiwanis Big Band volunteers. He also led the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band on Chinese and Australian tours. Travelling had its challenges: “Hal wouldn’t eat anything that looked strange to him,” recalls Lynne Geist. “He was a Pennsylvania boy who wanted meat, potatoes and corn. He adored any sort of pie. He was a patriot: he teared up for any good rendition of ‘Star Spangled Banner.’”

Geist once boasted a horn collection that included more than 200 trumpets. “Everywhere I travelled, I had to buy one,” he laughed. “I never had to hock a horn and I never had my horn taken from me. Of course,” he added modestly, “some people might have wanted to take my horn from me…”  

During his life, rock began an unstoppable conquest. As Elvis and the Beatles transformed dancing and musical culture, brassy dance ensembles gradually faded to nostalgic Americana. Though Geist and most of his bandleader contemporaries are now at rest, their names and commitment to musical excellence are legend.

Anyone may attend the Hal Geist memorial event on July 28. La Sierra Center is located at 5325 Engle Rd. Bequests in his name may be sent to Carmichael Kiwanis or the Sacramento SPCA.

Greg Kihn Happy to be Back Out on the Road

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-07-19

Rock and Roller, long time radio DJ and author Greg Kihn is set to play the California State Fair on Friday, July 27 at 7pm on the Golden 1 Stage.

Set to Play State Fair

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rock and Roller Greg Kihn is a rarity among the music world. Sitting down to speak with the singer/songwriter, band leader, radio personality and author, it was interesting to hear his perspective of a successful career in both sides of the media and the evolution of music both on and off the stage.

Long time Bay Area radio host and DJ, Kihn made a name for himself as a media personality after a successful career as a rock and roll artist, reaching #2 in the US Top 100 charts in 1983 with his hit single Jeopardy. Throughout his five decade career, Kihn has recorded 13 Top 100 singles and eight Billboard Top 200 albums while playing alongside some of the biggest name in the world.

“When you’re writing a song, you can tell the ones that are going to be really good songs and you can tell the ones that are going to be throwaways,” Kihn explained. “The songs that write themselves are always invariably better.”

Despite his musical success, his 1990s transition into radio came at the right time. “When I got into radio I had been on the road for like a million years. It was time for me to kind of stay home,” said Kihn.

He found unique joy in his radio work because he was usually spinning records of artists that were his friends. “I was a classic rock DJ and some of the bands I played, I knew them personally,” explained Kihn. “I either played with them or toured with them or recorded with them. So every time I’d whip out a song, chances are I knew the guys and it was a lot more fun.”

Whether songwriting, recording, touring, working in radio or writing novels, the inspiration remains. “It was all part of being creative because whether you were writing a novel or writing a song, it didn’t matter as long as the creative juices were flowing.”

Kihn recently stepped away from radio after more than 15 years and he is once again enjoying life back in the studio and on the road. The release of his 2017 album Rekihndled and his current summer tour with good friend Rick Springfield have treated him well.

“I’m having a ball going back out on the road. I remember back in the old days it was a real pain in the butt...You’d go out and be gone for months and I didn’t like it that much. But these days I like it; it’s kind of like going to summer camp.”

Kihn has embraced the opportunity to be able to play alongside his son, Ry, who is the band’s lead guitarist. “If I didn’t have Ry in my band, my son playing guitar, I don’t know what I would do because he understands me and he knows what to play.”

Ry grew up in a world surrounded by great guitarists, most notably guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, who had a brief stint in the Greg Kihn Band during mid-80s before his own career took flight.

When asking Kihn if he is the only person to ever get the high wired Satriani to mellow out his playing style he recalled, “I think so . . . We used to change the set like every other day. I would throw in stuff that I knew would screw up Joe but of course you can’t screw up Joe because he’s already there, he’s already got everything down.”

Kihn continued to praise the talented Satriani: “You know how musicians are back stage. You’ll be playing every (Rolling) Stones song you knew or every Led Zeppelin song or whatever, so we’d be messing around with some songs and try to stump Joe and you couldn’t stump him - the guy knew every song in the world.”

Kihn’s appreciation for music is admirable. He has written several books surrounding the history of Rock and Roll including Rubber Soul: a murder mystery novel that takes place during the rise of the Beatles and most recently Painted Black: the tragic tale of the “death and misadventure” of Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones.

“The turning point in most musicians’ lives is the Beatles on Ed Sullivan,” proclaimed Kihn. “The Beatles and the Stones - that was it for me. That was my generation.”

Despite all of the different career paths and music industry changes over the decades, one thing remains the same: Kihn’s guitar rig. “Over the years I never changed. I still have the same Fender Telecaster - I’m just a Telecaster guy - and I’ve had the same one since probably the early 70s,” said Kihn proudly. “I’ve had the same guitar and the same amp, which is a Fender Super Reverb. It’s a Fender through a Fender.”

As Kihn explained, “Rock and Roll is a constantly mutating art form.” But some things are set in stone.

Greg Kihn is set to play the California State Fair on Friday, July 27 at 7pm on the Golden 1 Stage.

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“California at Bat” Chronicling the State’s Baseball History Opens July 29 at the California Museum

California Museum Release  |  2018-07-19

Highlights include San Francisco Giants home jersey game worn by Willie Mays in 1965, the season he led the NL with 52 home runs and won his second NL MVP Award. Considered the game’s greatest all-around player, Mays has lived in California since moving with the Giants in 1958.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California Museum announced “California at Bat: America’s Pastime in the Golden State” will open on Sun., July 29, 2018. The all-new exhibit chronicles California’s baseball history from the Gold Rush to present, revealing its legacy of all-stars and the contributions of female, African American and other players who broke barriers to broaden its enduring appeal. Featuring more than 200 rarely-seen artifacts, highlights include uniforms, equipment and ephemera from Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and others, along with objects from Pacific Coast League teams and from Edmonds Field, home of the Sacramento Solons until 1960.

“We are thrilled to present ‘California at Bat,’” said California Museum Executive Director Amanda Meeker. “Although the major leagues didn’t arrive until the 1950s, Californians have enjoyed baseball for 160 years. This exhibit offers an unprecedented opportunity to view artifacts representing the sweep of California baseball from 19th century town ball to the legends of baseball’s Golden Age and the heroes of the modern era.”

Curated by the California Museum, “California at Bat” was developed in collaboration with Stephen Wong, author of three Smithsonian Books, including “Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game's Greatest Heroes and Moments” (2016). A renowned baseball historian and collector, Wong contributed expertise and more than 80 artifacts from his personal collection illustrating many of baseball’s most famous players. Highlights include:

•             New York Yankees rookie uniform game worn by Joe DiMaggio (1914-2000) in 1936, the only season of he wore number 9. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, DiMaggio is best known for his 56-game hitting streak in 1941, a standing record in 2018.

•             Boston Red Sox home uniform game worn by Ted Williams (1918-2002) in 1950, the season his career nearly ended after breaking his arm in the All-Star game. The San Diego native was the last player to bat over .400 in a season (.406 in 1941).

•             San Francisco Giants home jersey game worn by Willie Mays (b. 1931) in 1965, the season he led the NL with 52 home runs and won his second NL MVP Award. Considered the game’s greatest all-around player, Mays has lived in California since moving with the Giants in 1958.

•             Los Angeles Dodgers road jersey game worn by Sandy Koufax (b. 1935) in 1966, the last year of his MLB career and the year he won a third Cy Young Award. A resident of California since moving with the Dodgers in 1958, Koufax is also remembered for sitting out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series when it fell on Yom Kippur, and for pitching baseball’s eighth perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965.

“As a native Californian who is deeply passionate about baseball and the history of the game, I’m proud and honored to have been a part of ‘California at Bat,’” said Stephen Wong. “I’m delighted to share my collection with members of the public in this extraordinary new installation revealing the state’s significant contributions to baseball.”

Contributions of Californians who broke barriers are also explored. For example, Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the first African American to play MLB in the modern era, is heralded through a 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers team-autographed ball, along with a ticket and program from his April 15, 1947 debut. In addition to ending the segregation that had relegated African Americans to the Negro Leagues since the 1880s, Robinson was also the first to win a NL MVP Award, reflected by his 1949 trophy on display.

Accomplishments of California women are shown through uniforms from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s and modern softball Olympians, while artifacts from Japanese American and Mexican American leagues emphasize the sport’s role in facilitating social and political networks in disadvantaged communities.

In addition, the exhibit surveys the state’s baseball history before the arrival of the majors in 1958. Uniforms, equipment and ephemera revisit the Pacific Coast League’s Sacramento Solons, San Francisco Seals, Oakland Oaks, Hollywood Stars, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels, while objects from Edmonds Field, home of the Sacramento Solons until 1960, recall the local baseball park experience.

“California at Bat” will open in a public event on Sun., July 29 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Highlights include $5.00 reduced admission; presentations by Stephen Wong, Matt Stone and Alan O’Connor; 19th century “base ball” demonstrations; Home Run Challenge and Speed Pitch games; baseball card evaluations; beer garden (21+); food trucks; hands-on kids’ activities and more. For details on the exhibit continuing through Dec. 30, 2018, visit http://www.californiamuseum.org/baseball.

Source: California Museum

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Did you know that residential water use in the United States accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day and most of it goes toward watering our landscapes? And that as much as half of it is wasted?

You can help make a difference and water more efficiently by installing a WaterSense-labeled weather-based “smart” sprinkler controller.

Instead of running according to a preset schedule, weather-based sprinkler controllers adjust for local weather conditions and run based on the needs of your plants and soil conditions. The controllers use real-time measurements, historic weather information and information about your yard to determine the precise amount of water that is needed.

Replacing a standard clock timer sprinkler controller with a WaterSense-labeled weather-based controller can save you over 8,000 gallons of water annually. And there are even models available you can control from your phone and sync up with your other “smart” devices at home.

You’ll have a healthier yard, use less water and you’ll no longer have to worry about setting it.

You can find out more at: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/irrigation-controllers

And be sure to visit http://www.sswd.org/departments/conservation/rebates to apply for a rebate for a new controller.

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Former River Cats Outfielder Eric Byrnes Returns to Raley Field Tuesday, July 24

Sacramento River Cats Release  |  2018-07-19

Former River Cats outfielder, Eric Byrnes.

11-year Major League Veteran Visits Sacramento to Promote Let Them Play Foundation

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - Former Sacramento River Cat and 11-year Major League outfielder Eric Byrnes will make a stop at Raley Field on Tuesday, July 24 as he promotes the Let Them Play Foundation and his attempted Triathlon Across America. Byrnes played parts of three seasons in Sacramento from 2000-2002, and will be at Raley Field to throw the ceremonial first pitch, sign autographs for fans, and present a grant to a local youth sports organization on behalf of the Let Them Play Foundation.

Byrnes made his River Cats debut during the teams’ inaugural season in 2000, and played a total of 198 games across three seasons in Sacramento. He was a career .298 hitter in Triple-A and is honored on the River Cats’ Wall of Fame at Raley Field. Byrnes went on to play 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Seattle Mariners. He is known best around baseball for his high energy, speed, and hustle.

Since his retirement from baseball in 2010, Byrnes has stayed active as a world-class endurance athlete, a television broadcaster, author, and philanthropist. He will be stopping in Sacramento on July 24 during the second leg of his Triathlon Across America in which he will swim the seven miles from AT&T Park in San Francisco to Oakland, then bike 2,344 miles from Oakland to Chicago, and finally run the final 846 miles from Chicago to Yankee Stadium in New York.

The mission of the Let Them Play Foundation and Triathlon Across America is to raise awareness and funding for national and local organizations that are committed to expanding youth physical education and after school activity programs. For more information about the Let Them Play Foundation or to donate, please visit letthemplayfoundation.org.

Tickets are still available for the July 24 game against the Omaha Storm Chasers. For more information, please call the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email tickets@rivercats.com.

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A Notice from the Delta Stewardship Council Regarding the CA WaterFix Project

By Delta Stewardship Council  |  2018-07-19

For more information visit the Delta Stewardship Council at http://deltacouncil.ca.gov.

INFORMATION UPDATE REGARDING THE WATERFIX PROJECT’S DRAFT CERTIFICATION OF CONSISTENCY EX PARTE COMMUNICATION PROHIBITION NOW IN EFFECT

To All Interested Persons:

The Delta Stewardship Council (Council) is aware that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has identified the WaterFix project as a covered action, and posted a draft certification of consistency with the Delta Plan on its WaterFix website: https://www.californiawaterfix.com/resources/delta-plan-consistency-determination/.

As a result, the Council has ended early consultation efforts with DWR (see Water Code section 85225.5). Out of an abundance of caution, the Council (including its staff and consultants) is now placing itself under ex parte communication restrictions in anticipation of its quasi-judicial role with respect to the WaterFix project (see Government Code section 11430.10). This means that Councilmembers, Council staff and consultants cannot and will not communicate about or discuss the WaterFix project with any person outside of the Council.  The one exception is a communication concerning the administrative or procedural status of the WaterFix project. Those inquiries shall not be regarded as ex parte communications, and may be directed to this email address: waterfixcert@deltacouncil.ca.gov.

If you have any questions about the covered action process, please visit the Council website at: http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/covered-actions. If you would like to receive listserv notices about the WaterFix certification of consistency if/when DWR files it with the Council, you may subscribe to that listserv here (scroll to "Get Updates" and click "Subscribe"): http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/. The Council’s covered action appeals procedures may be found here: http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/docs/covered-actions-delta-plan/appeals-procedures.

 

Kind regards,

Jessica Pearson, Executive Officer

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ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Michael Ray to Play California State Fair

Special Release  |  2018-07-19

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, ZZ Top will play Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo with very special guests George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Michael Ray on July 26.  Tickets range from $49.50 - $86.00 and includes entrance into the California State Fair on July 26.  

ZZ Top holds the distinction of being one of the longest running bands with the original line-up.  Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard reflect their Texas roots in everything with their non-stop rock and blues, resulting in over 50 million albums sold worldwide.  “Yeah,” says Billy, guitarist extraordinaire, “we’re the same three guys, bashing out the same three chords.”  With the release of each of their albums the band has explored new ground in terms of both their sonic approach and the material they’ve recorded. ZZ TOP is the same but always changing.   Their latest release, Live - Greatest Hits From Around The World, is a reflection of their enduring presence as a top tier live attraction.  It was recorded at locations on three continents and includes Jeff Beck guesting on the classic “Sixteen Tons.”

Over the course of the last four decades, George Thorogood, with his longtime legendary band, The Destroyers -- Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) -- has sold more than 15 million albums, released 16 studio albums – including six gold and two platinum discs -- and performed more than 8,000 live shows. George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ catalog of hits include: “Who Do You Love?,” “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Move It On Over,” “Get A Haircut,” and the anthemic “Bad To The Bone.”   In 2017, George Thorogood’s released his first-ever solo album, PARTY OF ONE, which landed in the Top 10 on Soundscan’s “Top Current Blues Albums” chart, marking George’s fastest-selling album in nearly 20 years. 

July 26 at 6:30 PM

Papa Murphy's Park

At Cal Expo

TICKETS ON SALE NOW VIA TICKETMASTER.COM

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Labor Agreements Reached with Bargaining Units

By SacCounty News  |  2018-07-18

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The County of Sacramento and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 39, which represents the Water Quality/Stationary Engineers Unit, have reached a tentative agreement for a three-year contract. The agreement is pending ratification by Local 39 membership. The agreement is expected to go to the Board of Supervisors on July 24, 2018.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 146 also reached a three-year tentative agreement with the County. AFSCME membership has ratified the agreement and it will go to the Board of Supervisors for approval on July 24, 2018. Local 39 and AFSCME bargaining units represent roughly 500 employees each of the County’s approximately 12,000 employees.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 2015, which represents the In Home Supportive Services employees previously reached an agreement which was approved by the Board of Supervisors on July 17, 2018. 

In addition, the County has reached agreements with 13 other bargaining units and negotiations are in progress with the 13 remaining bargaining units. Each of the County’s agreements are for three ​years along with an unrepresented employees pay plan that went into effect July 1, 2018.

To date, the County has agreements with the following bargaining units:

  • 002/004 (SCALE): Law Enforcement Support
  • 003 (DSA): Deputy Sheriffs
  • 006 (Local 39): Operations & Maintenance
  • 010 (SCPAA): Accountants
  • 013/014 (EMSSC): Environmental Management Specialists  Sacramento County
  • 019 (SCPA): Probation Non-Supervisory
  • 026 (ETTI): Engineering Technicians and Technical Inspectors
  • 027 (UAPD): Physicians and Dentists
  • 028 (UPEC): Information Technology Systems
  • 029 (LEMA): Law Enforcement Management Association
  • 034 (SCAPA): Sacramento County Administrative Professionals Association

Sacramento County has a total of 30 bargaining units.

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The Espresso Book Machine: A Savory Vehicle for Sacramento Area Authors

Story and photo by Andrew Rose  |  2018-07-13

Watching the EBM, one is reminded of the Everlasting Gobstopper machine from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Three hundred eighty authors and counting have published their works through I Street Press at the Sacramento’s Central Public Library.  On the second floor one will find the Espresso Book Machine (EBM).  This isn’t a venue for selling lattes to local bookworms.  On the contrary, the EBM is state of the art machinery, and is budding writers’ self-contained means of making their work known.

The first EBM was unveiled at the New York Public Library in 2007.  Now more than fifty such contraptions exist in such far flung locations as Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi.  Sacramento’s unit, installed in 2011, is one of only two EBM’s in California.

The machine occupies the space of two storage freezers one might have in their garage.  But it’s a heck of a lot more interesting to watch.  Witnesses marvel as a book is molded and formed before their eyes.  This includes binding the text to a cover with hot glue.  Watching the EBM, one is reminded of the Everlasting Gobstopper machine from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  A 300-page volume takes about five minutes to print.  Like the Everlasting Gobstopper, a single, self-contained unit comes out at the end.  It’s literally hot off the press.  Wonka’s magical candy was designed to last forever.  Similarly, a new paperback is there for the ages.

On the introductory video for the I Street Press, Rivkah Sass, Director of the Sacramento Public Library, describes the appeal of the EBM.  “Most of us have a book inside us,” she proclaims.  “And I Street was really about how do we, as the library, become that center of community-based publishing for the Sacramento region.”

Through I Street Press, authors can self-publish.  Before such technology existed, a writer would traditionally send his/her work to a publisher, or possibly fifty publishers, with hopes that one of them would pick up their book.  The sole way for a writer to earn his/her stripes was through a publishing house.  A would-be author could do it alone, but hiring a bookbinder was a costly vehicle.  So-called vanity publishing had a negative implication in its very name.  But now, the ball is in the author’s court, as technology such as the EBM is allowing these individuals greater flexibility with their printed words.  It’s truly changing lives for authors of all levels. 

One individual whose life was enhanced through the I Street Press is Lance Pyle.  Pyle employs the nom de plume Peter Blueberry as the author of The Agency of Obnoxious Laughter.   In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, Pyle combines humorous poetry with illustrations.  I Street Press got Pyle started, and now he has a series of more than twenty poetry books.  Pyle’s career as an architect flourished, and then his life took a dramatic turn when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.  He was forced into retirement and “didn’t have anything to do.”  That’s when Pyle started dabbling with rhymes, accompanied by drawings.  The prolific poet and artist has created his volumes without benefit of writing or art classes.  Pyle says of newfound creativity, “I didn’t know I had it until I had to go find it.”  He has now sold more than 3,000 of his books independently. 

Pyle, as all I Street Press authors, got started through an initial meeting with librarian Gerald Ward.  Ward maintains the I Street Press as a one-person operation.  While each book on the EBM is printed the same way, Ward recognizes that every author’s needs are different.  Some are accomplished writers, while others come to the I Street Press with merely an idea.  No matter where one is in the writing process, Ward is happy to encourage the writer’s endpoint of holding their very own book in his/her hands. 

The initial librarian’s consultation is free of charge.  After assessing the would-be author’s needs, Ward will point the individual in the right direction to get started on their book.  This might include hiring an outside editor or taking a writing class.  Ward states, “Whether 40 or 700 pages, there is a $6 charge per book and 3 cents per page.”  The writer may complete a proof copy as part of the package.  The fine-tuning process continues until the final copy is completed.  The end product is an actual published book, complete with ISBN, copyright, and bar code.  Additional fees for set-up and revisions are arranged between Ward and the author.  The I Street Press is a nonprofit organization.  Fees paid by authors using the EBM are contributions to the library to help maintain its services.      

Those interested in the I Street Press are encouraged to see the process first hand.  For more information, go to www.saclibrary.org/istreetpress.

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Big Sing California

By Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra  |  2018-07-12

You can register online for the Big Sing via the SCSO’s website sacramentochoral.com.

Making Statewide History

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick to serve as the Sacramento region conductor for a mammoth statewide singing event, Big Sing California. This thrilling event is due to set a record statewide on July 21 in California for drawing together one of the largest, free group singing performances in our history.

American superstar composer Eric Whitacre will help lead this exhilarating event which will be simulcast out of Disney Hall in Los Angeles to five California hubs: Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno, Riverside and San Diego.

The singers in the five California hubs will join the performance experience by viewing the concert on large screens and singing from the audience.

“Singing is just a healthy thing to do individually,” says Kendrick, “but group singing is very uplifting in that it really draws the community together and creates such a strong feeling of well- being, of belonging. We are reaching out to tons of area choirs and individual singers to share this experience with us. We would love to fill the large Sacramento Community Center Theater with 2,400 people for our Big Sing event on July 21.”

“Singers participating in the Sacramento region will have an option of attending an optional free open rehearsal on Thursday, July 19 from 7 – 9:30 PM at the Sacramento Community Center Theater,” says Kendrick. The doors will open at 6 PM for this rehearsal. Free Big Sing music books will be provided at this rehearsal and at the July 21st performance for all attendees. Singers also have the option of ordering their music book in advance for a modest fee of $3.00.

People can register online for the Big Sing via the SCSO’s website sacramentochoral.com. They can also order their music in advance there and also enjoy some outstanding tutorials on the music itself. This amazing statewide concert will be live-streamed on the Big Sing California website.

Big Sing California is open to the general public. “We want people who love singing to join us and sing as much of the music as they can. We hope that this event will inspire people to make singing, and the joy it brings, a regular part of their lives,” says SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick. “The program is open to all ages ranging from young students to seniors.”

The songs selected for the participants range from straightforward sing-alongs such as Lean On MeThis Land Is Your Land, and Hey Jude, to choral works by Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen. The program also features an exclusive arrangement of Pentatonix’s Sing by Grammy Award-winning arranger Ben Bram created especially for Big Sing California. 

 “We know that singing releases endorphins, causes a sense of joy and euphoria and creates a bonding with our Community members, says Kendrick. “To be able do this on the scale of Big Sing California in Sacramento is nothing short of thrilling.”

TICKET INFORMATION:
Participants who want to attend Big Sing California should register individually through the website. People can register at the last moment and even score their free ticket vouchers and music books the day of the concert beginning at 1 PM on Saturday, July 21st at the Sacramento Community Center Box Office.

Ticket vouchers to all locations will be distributed via email 10 days prior to the event. Music books will also be distributed for free at the venues on the day of the concert and at the Thursday, July 19th rehearsal at 7 PM at the Community Center Theater.

“Come and be part of California history in Sacramento by joining us at Big Sing California, on July 21st in downtown Sacramento” says Kendrick. “We promise to make it a memorable experience as we work together to make Sacramento a world-class city.”

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