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Riverside pianist from Scotland bringing enthusiasm to Cal State San BernardinoThe Press-EnterpriseFeb. 28, 2018

Alastair Edmonstone says that people are always surprised when he tells them his job is to play piano for eight hours every day.

“For me, it’s my dream job,” says the 35 year-old Riverside resident.

As the Collaborative Pianist in Residence at Cal State San Bernardino, Edmonstone works with each music student in the department, rehearsing and coaching them every week to prepare for performances, juries and auditions.

“I am also the Music Director for the CSUSB Opera Theater,” he says. “This involves teaching all of the music in the opera to our student singers, and then playing the full opera score on the piano during 15 weeks of rehearsals. My job is to simulate the orchestra as closely as possible on the piano so that when we bring the full orchestra in there are no surprises for our singers.”

Edmonstone also plays for the two university choral ensembles, as well as any guest artists that visit the department.

Read the complete article at “Riverside pianist from Scotland bringing enthusiasm to Cal State San Bernardino.”

Professor Emerita Mildred Dalton Henry: Substance for the SoulInland Empire Community NewsFeb. 28, 2018

In a column, Mildred Dalton Henry, CSUSB professor emerita in the College of Education, wrote: “There is a tremendous need to continue the endless process of learning about the contributions of Black pioneers. There is a need as long as Henry Elementary scholars thirst for knowledge, as long as Cal State University honors local Black Pioneers each year, as long as PAL Center staff and students at three sites study and portray Black heroes and “sheroes”, and as long as schools, churches and organizations everywhere show that pioneers chartered a path that saw challenges rather than roadblocks.”

Read the complete article at “Substance for the Soul.”

History of KKK in Orange County from CSUSB professor included in article about effort to rename an elementary schoolThe Orange County RegisterFeb. 28, 2018

Brian Levin, director of the CSUSB Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, is quoted in an article about the effort of a group of parents who, for the past six months, has been petitioning the Brea Olinda school board to change a school name they say represents a racist past.

But the grandson of former Superintendent William E. Fanning disputes the assertion his grandfather – for whom the elementary school is named – belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, and a report from the Brea Historical Society’s curator argues there’s no evidence Fanning shared the group’s bigotry or did anything discriminatory.

Fanning Elementary – named in the 1970s for a principal and superintendent who served the district from 1914 to 1942 – is the only campus in the Brea Olinda Unified School District named for a person. Others are named for geographic or historic places.

Around the 1920s, “the Klan hit its zenith in the United States,” with more than 4.5 million members, said Levin. The KKK was also prominent in Orange County.

The group billed itself as a civic organization that would bring morality back to society, Levin said.

The Klan “stood as self-proclaimed bulwarks against rising immigration, particularly of Catholics and Jews, but also with respect to cultural changes as well as political changes,” he said.

The Klan was once prominent – one Anaheim rally in the 1920s reportedly attracted 20,000 people – but also hidden, as shown by the nickname “the invisible empire.”

Levin said not everyone was vocal about their membership. “Oftentimes families have found up in the attic, ‘Oh, Grandpa was a member of the Klan.'”

Read the complete article at “Parents group asking Brea Olinda school district to change campus name over questions of KKK connection.”

These news clips and others may be found at “In the Headlines” on the Inside CSUSB website.