Features

Sound philosophy
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 7, 2009

In a digital age when 2,000 over-produced MP3s can be stuffed in a pocket-sized iPod connected to cheap earbud headphones, there is a haven where music is not just a plastic commodity — and it’s right here on campus.

Tucked away above a music department auditorium, a control room cramped with only seven people blasts the music of Lyle Lovett and Tom Waits. The instructor and students analyze the songs’ production, dissecting the slightest discrepancies in sound, unrecognizable to the average listener.Professor Dean Rood offers an alternative to a passive, digital world through three courses in analog technology and studio recording, within the specializations emphasis in the City College Music Department. His students learn to appreciate music not as some formless, downloadable file, but as a tangible piece of artwork.

“Music has become a commodity,” Rood says. “It’s no different than anything else — a Web page or an Adobe file.”In MUSM 354, the recording sessions workshop, students engineer weekly five-hour sessions with local bands. They get experience placing microphones, setting recording levels and giving artists feedback.

“By the end of it, you’ve created this something that never existed six hours ago,” Rood says. “It’s something new and it’s unique,…» Read More



Navy reservist, Hebrew linguist
By | Guest Writer
Dec. 7, 2009

The Hebrew word for life looks like this: ‘n. The word is tattooed on the inside of her wrist. Her license plate reads AHVA AHT, the phonetic spelling of “one love” in Hebrew. Why does Natasha Ortega have such a fascination for all things Hebrew?

Ortega took a trip to Israel with her parents when she was 13, and fell in love with the country, the culture and the language. When she joined the Navy as a linguist, she chose to study Hebrew.

“I hoped to return to Israel,” says Ortega, a City College nursing major. “So far it hasn’t happened, but I will.”

Ortega is a petite 27-year-old, with long brown hair, soft brown eyes and smile lines like quotation marks on either side of her mouth. Smiles punctuate her every word. She grew up in Elk Grove, joined the Navy and returned to Sacramento two years ago. She is a student, a reservist, a veteran, a daughter, and a sister, and takes each of those roles as seriously as the next. Well, as seriously as someone who smiles all the time can.

“Why did I put AHVA AHT on my license plate?” she repeats, smiling. “Because one love…» Read More



Student spreads gospel through rap
By |
Dec. 7, 2009

For many people, rap music is a way to express their personality. Rapping is a way to deliver their message to society to those who listen. Joseph Franklin uses rap music to preach the gospel.

For many people, rap music is a way to express their personality. Rapping is a way to deliver their message to society to those who listen. Joseph Franklin uses rap music to preach the gospel.

Franklin, also known as King Joseph, is a recording arts major who is the former president of DiverCity Music and Production at City College and has also performed on campus and at local churches. Since becoming a Christian in 2005, Franklin gives thanks to God for the dramatic turnaround of his life and has performed gospel rap since then.

“The way that God has blessed my life and took me from nothing (in) the world, a negative, criminal environment,” Franklin says. “Then (God) changed my life and just blessed me with a beautiful family and got me out of going to jail and the prison systems and not having enough to more than enough. So I have to do this in order to stay righteous with my father.”

Franklin, 29,…» Read More



By | Guest Writer
Dec. 7, 2009

A student sits in his wheelchair with his son on his lap, and just for one second, wonders how things could have been if not for the night of July 20, 2007.

It was a hot July night when Derrick Saenz-Payne made the decision to leave his friend’s house after having a couple of drinks. Thinking he was OK to drive, he got in his car and headed home. One mile away from his exit, Saenz-Payne swerved for one second, and next thing he knew, he was in the other lane and BOOM!

You would think Saenz-Payne needed tons of drugs to numb his emotional pain after the accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down at age 23. Instead, he’s happier than most people who have the ability to do something as simple as use their legs to walk.

Life situations are most times thrown at people who can handle them, people who will take a negative situation and somehow turn it into a positive one in the long run. Strength. That’s what it takes. City College student Saenz-Payne has the gift of brightening up a room full of angry people. Just being around him makes one’s little…» Read More




Music across the globe on our campus
By |
Dec. 7, 2009

Director Bob Wrenn and the City College World Music Ensemble presented a selection of international music on  Nov. 2 in the City College Auditorium.

About 100 people attended the event, which featured music from Ireland, China and the Caribbean.

The program began with traditional Irish music, including jigs, reels, Aire and polkas. Choreographer Allegra Silberstein choreographed the ensemble’s six Chinese selections, accompanying the music with dance and poetry.

Music of the Caribbean closed the event, with Wrenn and the Ensemble performing songs from Martinique, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti and Bahamas.    

World Music Ensemble by Randallbriggs

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Things they lost in the fire
By |
Dec. 3, 2009

Driving back home to Auburn from San Diego, City College dental hygiene major Alexandria Fishback received a call that would change her life forever.

“I got a phone call from my mom saying there was a fire by our house and my grandpa and my dog were evacuated,” Fishback casually explained. “My grandpa called my grandma and said that the house was gone … burned down.”

Fishback, who lived with her grandparents, unfortunately lost her home to the Aug. 30 fire in Auburn, now thought to be the result of arson. Dozens of homes were lost. Pictures show a vehicle completely charred in what was once a garage, layers of ash surround a heavily burned dishwasher and a spot where a home once sat is now an empty concrete foundation.

“The day after it happened, I was here [at City College],” Fishback said. “I found that going to school helped me not think about what had happened, just going to school kept me motivated.”

Dressed in navy blue scrubs and white Crocs, Fishback blends in among all the hopeful dental hygiene students.

“It’s been hard,” Fishback said. “Hygiene school is a tough program anyways.”

Not having a house, a car…» Read More



By |
Dec. 3, 2009

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the City College concert band took the stage in their second to last performance of the semester.

The ensemble, under the direction of Randy Stark, played a wide array of pieces ranging from works written by Wagner and Mozart, to more modern pieces written specifically for concert band ensembles.

The group demonstrated a strong sense of dynamics as each song was played, adding tension and excitement to the performance.

The band’s next and final performance is on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium.

citycollegeconcertband by Ian McDonald

» Read More