KPCC-FM on the absent Claremont Nativity

On Christmas Eve, KPCC-FM’s Patt Morrison interviewed me, the artist and the pastor about the Claremont United Methodist Church’s decision not to install a Nativity this year that would have commented on gun violence. This had been the subject of my column the previous day. You can listen to the segment here. It was a small thrill being quizzed by Morrison, and the segment (17 minutes long) was generous in letting people talk. I’m in it twice, starting about halfway through.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Gun-protest Nativity canceled in Claremont

Remember the controversial Nativity scenes at a Claremont church in recent years, the subject of columns here the past two years? This year’s didn’t happen, a fate that became the subject of my Wednesday column — with a rendering of the startling scene the artist proposed. I can see the pastor’s point as well as the artist’s. Where do your sympathies lie?

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Claremont High’s unclaimed celebrity: Frank Zappa

This talent show photo from the 1954 Claremont High yearbook is said to depict Frank Zappa.  He is not officially recognized as an alumnus, but many in the Class of 1958 remember his having attended briefly. (Courtesy photo)

This talent show photo from the 1954 Claremont High yearbook is said to depict Frank Zappa. He is not officially recognized as an alumnus, but many in the Class of 1958 remember his having attended briefly. (Courtesy photo)

Did Frank Zappa ever attend Claremont High School? No official record has ever surfaced, and he’s not considered an alumnus. But Zappa once listed Claremont among the four schools he attended (his family moved frequently), and many 1950s classmates say they remember him. And have they got stories. My Sunday column explains.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Claremont music school’s recital brings cheer, cash

CCSM

The Claremont Community School of Music hosted its sixth annual Mayor’s Recital and dinner Nov. 21 at Padua Hills Theatre, an event to which yours truly was invited.

Some 200 people were there and more than $13,000 was raised for scholarships to defray tuition for lower-income students, who range from preschool age to senior citizens. The school also wants to expand that opportunity to chamber music, which gives students the chance to perform in small groups, something usually not available to them until college courses, executive director Matt Keating says.

We saw instrumental performances (and a couple of vocal turns) by students, usually children, and while I thought it might be a long night, the students were quite good and the pace brisk.

Oh, yes: Mayor’s Recital? Claremont Mayor Corey Calaycay was there — he’s pictured in the center, holding a proclamation, with┬áthe bushy-haired┬áKeating — but he didn’t perform. He could have, though: He said he studied piano at the school as a boy.

The venue, Padua Hills Theatre, was of course lovely. I’ve been there a handful of times over the years — for a luncheon and for a memorial service — but hadn’t seen a performance in the main room before, just like when the Mexican Players strutted the stage in the old days. I’m glad I attended.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email