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Silk Road Ensemble Discovers Route to Santa Clara
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Seven musicians from the eclectic Silk Road Ensemble, formed by world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000, traveled to Santa Clara University (SCU) for the New Music Festival Jan. 30 to Feb. 4. Their week of music classes, collaboration, and concerts culminated Feb. 3 in the free public concert "Exploring Home."

Perhaps the biggest concert surprise for those not familiar with the Silk Road Ensemble was the atypical pairing of instruments in the opening piece. First came a background buzz, as if the sound equipment were malfunctioning. Next came the sound of Kojiro Umezaki's shakuhachi, a Japanese flute.

Then the buzz got louder, becoming the distinctive drone of a Galician bagpipe as Cristina Pato piped her way onto the stage, joining Umezaki for an energetic east meets west interplay bridging their cultures.

The bagpipe is a traditional instrument not only of Scotland but of Galacia, the area of northwestern Spain where Pato was born. The shakuhachi is an end-blown, bamboo flute.

"And that was only the beginning of the concert, not the end," said Ensemble violist Nicholas Cords, from the U.S., once the applause finally died down.

The Silk Road Ensemble is a collective of musicians–composers and performers–from all over the world who come together to create innovative music in the hope of promoting cross-cultural understanding. The ensemble was invited to SCU as part of the 2016 - 2017 Frank Sinatra Artists-in-Residence program.

The opening excitement of the almost 90-minute concert never let up as the other Ensemble musicians added their instruments to the musical caravan along the Silk Road...

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Pedal to the Metal: Santa Clara Cruises to Another Win
By: Andrew Bensch

Pedal to the Metal: Santa Clara Cruises to Another Win

Santa Clara High’s girls basketball team is just three games away from potentially finishing an historic regular season. On Friday night the Bruins extended their perfect record to 21-0 with a 45-17 thrashing of the Lynbrook Vikings. Even with one of their starters coming off the bench due to being out sick earlier in the week, Santa Clara didn’t miss a beat as they cruised to a 37-11 advantage through three quarters...

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Arielle’s Reading Corner Provides Cozy Lounging Area Inside Library
Story by Cynthia Cheng and Photos by the Santa Clara City Library

Arielle’s Reading Corner Provides Cozy Lounging Area Inside Library

“Our favorite place [to read] might be in front of our gas fireplace in the family room,” wrote Judy Nadler, an ethics consultant and a former Santa Clara Mayor, in an email. “We have been known to read at the kitchen table, on the hammock in the back yard. We love to read so we consider every place a good place to pick up a book!”

Thanks to a donation from Nadler and her husband Jerry, a retired judge, the Central Park Library now houses Arielle’s Reading Corner, situated in a children’s...

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Library Foundation Throws Breakfast at Tiffany’s Librarypalooza
By Cynthia Cheng

Library Foundation Throws Breakfast at Tiffany’s Librarypalooza

Inside Central Park Library on the evening of Feb. 4, a jazz trio from the Santa Clara Vanguard played Henry Mancini’s dreamy “Moon River.” The pale blue hue of a Tiffany’s gift box covered the tables. Women received tiaras and strings of faux pearls and men got pocket squares for their jackets. Breakfast themed hors d’oeuvres were served for dinner-menu items included savory bagel chunks with smoked salmon garnished with crème fraîche, capers and dill, flavorful mini-quiches with ham and broccoli, and sweet waffle bites with strawberries, chocolate and cream...

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Late Goal Gives Bruins Thrilling Tie
By: Andrew Bensch

Late Goal Gives Bruins Thrilling Tie

Nicole Nunes’ high arcing shot from 22-yards away in the 70th minute floated just underneath the crossbar and into the back of the net. The sophomore’s strike pulled the Santa Clara Bruins (4-0-4) even at 1-1 with the Mountain View Spartans (6-1-2), capping off a thrilling second half.

For most of the afternoon Santa Clara trailed 1-0 after conceding just their third goal in nine games. Playing a new system with five defenders in the back has been a tough adjustment in recent games for Santa Clara, but the Bruins managed to turn things around in the second half against one of the best teams in the country.

“I don’t know why, but we’re a second half team,” remarked Bruins Head Coach Brad Comstock after the game. “And our second half [today] was just awesome...”

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A Triton Museum Lesson on Love
By Melissa McKenzie

A Triton Museum Lesson on Love

With the upcoming celebration of Valentine’s Day, sweethearts took part in the tradition of exchanging tokens and trinkets with their beloved. While curmudgeons claim these sometimes costly knickknacks are a conspiracy by card and flower companies to stay in business, the symbols of love are rooted in history, and in the Feb. 6 Coffee with the Curator at the Triton Museum of Art, Chief Curator Preston Metcalf explained the history of the symbolism associated with the day of love.

Originally called Lupercalia–a Feb. 14 holiday when the masters would symbolically trade places with their slaves–the celebration evolved into an “anything goes” day where young men would write their desires on a billet of paper or cloth and give them to young women, often resulting in orgies and pregnancy...

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Representations of Women and the American West Shown at Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum
By Cynthia Cheng

Representations of Women and the American West Shown at Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum

Currently on one wall of Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum is a rushing waterfall set against a backdrop of still rocks and trees in Ansel Adams’s “Yosemite Falls, Spring.” Beside this photograph is Judy Dater’s “Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite,” where photographer Imogen Cunningham and her camera comes across Twinka Thiebaud, in the nude. One photograph depicts nature and the other, women in nature. These two photographs and more can be viewed at the museum’s new exhibit “Virgin Landscape: Representations of Women and the American West,” running until March 19. Nudes and Landscapes, one of several exhibit themes, pairs photographs of nude figures with images of nature...

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Crazy about Psycho Donuts in Santa Clara
Story and photos by Diane Andrews

Crazy about Psycho Donuts in Santa Clara

Just deciding which donuts to treat yourself to is enough to drive you a bit crazy at Psycho Donuts, 2000 El Camino Real at Scott Blvd. in Santa Clara Town Centre. Which to choose?

Nutella the Hun with a topping of Nutella and sprinkles? Perhaps (or perhaps not) Dead Elvis, filled with cream, bananas, bacon, peanut butter and jelly or Cereal Killer topped with Cap'n Crunch? How about Suicide Squeeze, topped with Oreo cookie dust, as suggested by the Little League baseball team that Psycho Donuts sponsors?...

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