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Author Archives: WSS News

San Bernardino Symphony honors Musical Genius in America

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- February is going to be a busy month for local music lovers in the Inland Empire as the San Bernardino Symphony will be offering three consecutive days of uniquely American fare as part of their current season themes, “By Request: The Music You Want to Hear.”

The first notes will sound less than four weeks away on the evening of February 5 at a special event to honor local arts and education supporters, Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown and Mr. Hardy Brown, Sr.  Attendees will sample local restaurant fare and enjoy the smooth sounds of the Cal State San Bernardino Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Symphony Board Member Dr. Bob Knop.

“The Browns have actively supported the region for many years, setting the consummate example of selfless and focused community service,” said Symphony conductor Frank Fetta. “To be able to set aside an evening to say thank you to these pillars of the community is a true privilege.”

The following morning, Maestro Fetta will lift his baton for back-to-back student concerts as the Symphony performs “Musical Genius in America” including Ragtime selections from Scott Joplin, a medley of tunes from Duke Ellington, and William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony. This free student concert came out of a series of conversations with the San Bernardino City Unified School District as the two organizations sought to build an academically meaningful musical experience for the annual school event.

Said Symphony Executive Director Dr. Anne Viricel, “We felt this set of selections would both support and broaden the multi-cultural emphasis in the classroom during Black History Month.” As in years past, the schools will also be provided with corresponding teaching materials developed in line with California’s new Common Core standards. Students will learn about the composers, the historical context of each piece, and the contributions of American musicians to the various genres of orchestral music, as well as the historical venue.

Then, the evening of Saturday, February 7, the community will once again return to the California Theatre for the full presentation of Musical Genius in America, which will also include Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue interpreted by gifted pianist Yana Reznik.

The young Russian-born classical pianist has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Toyota Concert Series at Disney Hall, was the winner of the 2010 Artists International Competition, and gave a sold-out recital at her Carnegie Hall Debut in New York in 2004. As the only classically endorsed pianist for Roland Corporation US, Reznik has presented the World Premier concert of V-Piano Grand at Zipper Hall (Los Angeles) and Lincoln Center (New York). In addition to her solo appearances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Bowl Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra and Concert Symphony Orchestra, the Torrance Symphony Orchestra and the Stanford Wind Ensemble, she has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Santiago’s Gabriela Mistral and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Zipper, Thayer and Steinway Halls in Los Angeles, and has as well been presented by the Jacaranda, Los Angeles Bach Festival, the Maestro Foundation, Laguna Beach Live, Sundays Live at Four (KUSC), the Sunset Series in Los Gatos, Classical Underground, the Colburn Chamber Music Series, the Huntington Arts Festival in New York, Classical Music Encounters of Orange County and the Western Society of Chamber Music. In 2008, as a Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Brahms Festival, Reznik performed the complete piano chamber works of Johannes Brahms. An active collaborator, she is a regular guest artist with the Gold Coast Chamber Players in San Francisco, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet.

The presenting sponsor for these concerts is the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

“This wonderful organization never fails to support activities that benefit the vitality of our community and we are so thankful to have them as part of our Symphony family,” added Viricel.

Up-coming Concerts

April 11, two Symphony musicians – Concert Master Todor Pelev and First Chair Cellist Ana Maria Maldonado – will team up to play Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Violincello. The evening’s concert, “Beethoven, Brahms & Bartholdy” will also include Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Symphony No. 3, The Scottish Symphony. This event will also include an exhibition of artwork by gifted local students based upon their interpretations of the pieces to be played.

Wrapping an amazing season will be the “Triumphant Season Finale” on May 23.  The concert will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 featuring Icelandic horn soloist Joseph Ognibene. An internationally-known recording artist, Ognibene originally hails from Claremont and has been principal horn of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra since 1981.

“We are thrilled to provide this outstanding season full of beautiful music and exciting surprises,” added Maestro Fetta, “and we invite the community to come and enjoy all their San Bernardino Symphony has to offer.”

Tickets and Venue Information

All regular season concerts will be performed at the historic California Theatre, 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino.  Both season and individual tickets may be purchased by calling (909) 381-5388 or visiting the Symphony box office at 198 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino. General admission tickets are also securely available on line at www.sanbernardinosymphony.org, and with limited availability at the theater box office the evening of each event. (Students: $11; General: $20, $35, $45, $55.)

Loma Linda University School of Public Health Receives Award to Increase Access to Health Care

Drs. Ed McField (left) and Sherma Charlemagne-Badal.

Drs. Ed McField (left) and Sherma Charlemagne-Badal.

LOMA LINDA, CA- Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH) received a $1.158 million award from the County of San Bernardino to implement an 18-month initiative to improve health equity by increasing access to health care.

The project, titled “San Bernardino County MediCal Outreach, Retention, and Enrollment” (SBC-MORE for short), was developed and proposed by Sherma Charlemagne-Badal, PhD, assistant professor at LLUSPH, who will serve as principal investigator/project director, and Edward McField, PhD, associate professor at LLUSPH, who will serve as co-investigator/project associate director.

“We can all agree that San Bernardino County can be ‘MORE,’ and with this in mind, we have selected a name and a corresponding acronym which aptly conveys our expectations for our county,” says Charlemagne-Badal, who also serves as special advisor for health equity at LLUSPH.

On Jan. 6, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved the award, which aims to improve health equity in the region by increasing access to health care among underserved and low-enrollment populations.

The target population includes persons with mental health disorder needs, persons with substance use disorder needs, individuals who are homeless, young men of color, families with mixed immigration status, persons with limited English proficiency, and individuals who are in county jail, in state prison, on state parole, on county probation, or under post-release community supervision.

Students and faculty will actively engage the community utilizing principles of community-based participatory research while partnering with local community organizations such as 2-1-1 United Way, the African American Health Coalition, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement and El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center.

McField shares that, “while the focus is on outreach and enrollment efforts, the project will explore individual-level factors as well as systems or policy-level factors that influence behaviors associated with health choices, including factors influencing decision to enroll into health plans — an increasingly critical issue particularly in the context of the Affordable Care Act.”

Another unique feature is the collaboration with a historical coalition of San Bernardino County departments and agencies, including the Department of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Health, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Probation Department, Sheriff’s Department, and Transitional Assistance Department.

SBC-MORE was developed in the context of the reorganization of LLUSPH into multi-disciplinary academic centers focused on regional and global health equity. Charlemagne-Badal and McField are affiliated with the Center for Leadership in Health Systems, but SBC-MORE was designed to involve at least two LLUSPH centers, as Samuel Soret, PhD, executive director of the school’s Center for Community Resilience, will have a role for program evaluation.

“We are very proud of the outstanding team and the equally outstanding proposal,” says Anthony J. Zuccarelli, PhD, associate vice president for research affairs.

SBC-MORE stems from the commitment of Loma Linda University Health to build sustainable community partnerships and actively promote health and wellness.

San Bernardino Has a New King and Queen for 2015!

San Bernardino King and Queen

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation is happy to announce the 2015 Senior King and Queen.  They are Joyce Payne and Mansie Booker and they will be crowned Friday, February 6, 2015.  This is an invitation only event, so if you would like to attend, please contact Margaret Hill at (909) 864-3267.


Joyce Payne was born in Los Angeles, CA, and attended school there.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in History and her Administrative Credential from California State University, San Bernardino, Pre-Doctorial Studies at Mercer University, Macon, GA and Master of Educational Administration from Boston State College.

Joyce has been a teacher, vice principal and principal for the San Bernardino City Unified School District and recently retired.  She was a long time principal at Dr. Howard Inghram Elementary School but completed her career at Davidson Elementary School.  She also taught in Peach County, Georgia, and Middlesex Community College, Burlington, Massachusetts.  She also served on the school board in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Joyce is very active in the community.  She is a member of Temple Missionary Baptist Church where she is the director of Christian education.  Other activities includeCharter member of National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Delta Rho Chapter, Our Children Sing, Board of Directors, Former Member, California State University Alumni Board, Lifetime Alumni Member, California State University, San Bernardino. She also participates in Community Outreach Programs addressed parenting, literacy, career development and goal setting.


Mansie Booker, Jr. was born in Burlington, North Carolina on March 18, 1944 to Rev. Mansie Booker, Sr. and Gladys Marie Booker. He is the youngest of two children. At the age of four his family relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina where he received his elementary education at St. Monica’s Catholic School. He graduated from J.W. Ligon High School in 1962 and entered the United States Air Force.

In addition to the above, Mansie has been an active member of the Highland Family YMCA and Temple Missionary Baptist Church where he continues to use his production skills. Annually Mansie provides the Black Culture Foundation a video profile of the Humanitarian of the Year awardees. He also videotapes the annual Black Rose event.

Mansie is widowed and is the father of two children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He attended Yuba College, The University of Maryland, University of Oklahoma and The University of Minnesota and is a graduate of the Community College of the Air Force.