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SCU Presents ‘In the Heights,’ Laptop Orchestra Coming this Spring

What does it mean to be the first in one’s family to get a better job, go to college, or leave the neighborhood?

‘In the Heights,’ Laptop Orchestra Coming this Spring

The Theatre and Dance Department’s spring musical, “In the Heights,” explores issues of identity, upward mobility, and community. An original musical that premiered on Broadway in 2008 and won four Tony Awards, it is set in Washington Heights, N.Y., a neighborhood that is becoming gentrified.

“Everyone is trying to figure out, should I leave or should I stay?” said Kimberly Mohne Hill, assistant professor of Theatre and Dance at Santa Clara University.

The musical is fast-paced and emotional, Hill said, with salsa, hip hop, and rapmusic. Although it takes place in a specific place and culture, “it’s universal in touching on the effects of family and what we consider home,” Hill said.

The cast and crew will be mostly students. The show will run from Friday, May 30 through Saturday, June 7, in the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. For show times, prices, and tickets, go to scupresents.org or call 408-554-4015.

SCLork

Santa Clara University’s Laptop Orchestra, affectionately known as SCLOrk, will perform on Wednesday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. The orchestra started about a year ago under the direction of Bruno Ruviaro, assistant professor of music. Each laptop has its own speaker to replicate the orchestral model, in which each instrument’s sound comes from a different place.

The musicians do more than “just hit ‘Play’ and ‘Enter,’” Ruviaro said. “If I have 16 people playing, I give each of them a meaningful part of their own.”

Ruviaro said laptop orchestras are “reinventing chamber music,” moving from lone individuals creating music on a computer to having groups of people play together using their computers as live instruments.

“The connection between musicians and technology has always existed,” Ruviaro said. “There was a moment in society when laptops became really cheap. Musicians were jumping on it and saying, ‘How can I make music for this machine?’ When the piano was invented, Beethoven was one of the first people to jump on it and say, ‘I want to create music on this new machine.’”

For tickets, go to scupresents.org or call 408-554-4015.