Sonic Diasporas

UCSD Music Alumni Festival & Symposium


View the Concert Schedule

View the Program (PDF updated 1/18/2011)


Although the deadline for proposals has passed, alumni are encouraged to attend the festival and may register here.  RSVP here > >

The vibrant tradition of experimental music at UCSD is now almost half a century old. As the UCSD campus celebrates its 50th anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year, the Music Department is proud to announce its first ever Alumni Festival and Symposium, a three-day summit welcoming back generations of composers, performers, computer musicians, scholars, and improvisers.

We invite all UCSD Music alumni to submit proposals for performances, panels, formal papers, installations, jam sessions, or other events. The festival will feature your submissions--along with keynote presentations by alumni artists Paul Dresher and Diamanda Galas--to form a rich and diverse celebration of UCSD's pioneering musical legacy. This event will provide an opportunity to return to UCSD to present your latest work, reconnect with colleagues, and experience the department's spectacular new Conrad Prebys Music Center with its acoustically unparalleled concert hall.

The festival is January 20-22, 2011. The submission deadline is August 1, 2010. The aim of the festival is to be as inclusive as possible; we invite all UCSD graduates to attend and to consider presenting a work, alone, or better yet in combination with other alumni. We strongly encourage works or presentations of fifteen minutes or less in order to accommodate the broadest group of alumni.  The submission link appears below.

We also encourage you to join and participate in a Facebook group: Sonic Diasporas: UCSD Music Alumni Festival and Symposium, 2011. The UCSD music faculty have asked not to be involved directly in festival planning, but instead have appointed a steering committee of alumni to organize the festival in communication with the Department Chair.

In response to the first very enthusiastic wave of questions and submissions, the steering committee would like to clarify the following:

We have adopted the role of cheerleader, not gatekeeper. As such, we will do our very best to accommodate every proposal that is made. Our goal is to bring the full range of UCSD alumni back together to rekindle old connections, present all facets of the Department's legacy, and form new synergies among the many generations of artists and thinkers who have passed through the Music Department. Our role is to coordinate the event, not to define its content (that is up to you).

We will try to program everything that fits within our time and resource constraints. Put bluntly, if you can keep your submission under 10 minutes or so and coordinate the performers or presenters necessary to realize it, it will almost certainly be accepted. We regret that the current budget situation does not permit the funding of performers or the assignment of UCSD performers to projects. As such, composers must arrange performers for their own pieces. Please keep in mind that UCSD has generously provided its spectacular performance and presentation spaces, event staffing, and some deluxe hospitality (there should be some great receptions with delicious food and drink).

We are especially excited to have alumni performers present the works of alumni composers, panel presentations by a group of alumni, collaborations among alumni, and so forth.  Thus, group submissions are also possible.  (And, yes, if you are a performance ensemble playing the music of several alumni composers--particularly ones present at the reunion--then indeed, you can have more than 10 minutes!)

And don't forget: you are welcome to RSVP to attend the reunion and enjoy all of the activities (for free) without making a presentation; but if you are putting a proposal forward we kindly require the pleasure of your company.

Lastly, given that UCSD's mailing list may not be up-to-date, please do forward this widely to other alumni with whom you are in contact and encourage them to update their contact information with the Department.

Please find the RSVP and submission link below.  We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you at UCSD.

Steering committee:
Mark Applebaum,
Michael Dessen,
Aiyun Huang,
Shahrokh Yadegari,

Although the deadline for proposals has passed, alumni are encouraged to attend the festival and may register here.  RSVP here > >