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Switchboard Music Takes a Musical Stroll

Switchboard Presents, regularly pushes the boundaries of classical music with Bay Area composers and ensembles, and the Hayes Valley Audio Tour lived up to that quality. On October 10, concertgoers gathered at SFCM’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall to begin a tour that pushed its way right out of the concert hall and into the streets, putting on display 13 short pieces inspired by different locations in Hayes Valley. Participants heard pre-recorded music through their mobile devices as they passed by select locations that composers wanted to call particular attention to. All works were written by SFCM alumni, current students, and faculty members (including Switchboard Music founders Ryan Brown, Jeff Anderle, and Annie Phillips), bringing generations of musicians together in historic spots that remain timeless.

See the tour at switchboardmusic.com and listen to the music on your phone as you see Hayes Valley from new perspectives.

Working with the Switchboard team was an invaluable experience for students and alumni. Composer Riley Nicholson (‘16) said, “Jeff, Annie, and Ryan are wonderful music professionals and generous people; they are always a pleasure to work with. Also, Ryan Brown in particular has been a huge help to me as a mentor professionally and compositionally, both on this piece and on many other projects.” Nicholson’s piece, Go, uses audio clips recorded from San Francisco’s MUNI and BART public transportation systems to create a work that “represents the everyday hustle, drive, and rush, highlighting its soundscape and bringing poignancy to its experience.”

Some works, like Nicholson’s, were relatable to everyone living in San Francisco while other pieces, like Luke Mayernik’s (‘17), told more personal stories. Mayernik’s piece, Breakfast in the Morning... and Tea and Cookies at Night, which won the student competition featured in the program, uses voice clippings from the innkeeper at the Hayes Valley Inn and clips from one of his unaccompanied choral works to create the work. Mayernik stayed at the Hayes Valley Inn when he auditioned at SFCM and always remembered the friendly Nordic innkeeper who welcomed him to San Francisco with “Breakfast in the Morning... and Tea and Cookies at Night.” On being a part of this project, Mayernik says, “What a remarkable honor and a sincere privilege it was to be a collaborative, creative, and supportive part of Switchboard Presents - Hayes Valley Tour! I personally want to extend unfeigned gratitude to Switchboard for creating and producing such a unique event!”

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