Music and journalism project focuses on understanding other cultures

~ By Kathleen R. Schock, excerpted from the June issue of the Fresno State Magazine, Photos by Cary Edmondson

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Growing up in Stockton, Chris Carreon watched a lot of movies. Big blockbusters like Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. He was drawn to the films not by the action or plot, but by the music. “It’s the job of the composer to convince the audience to believe in the world the director created. And I thought, ‘That’s such a cool job.’”

Carreon isn’t scoring blockbusters yet. But the Fresno State music composition student is taking part in a cross-departmental service-learning project designed to bring to life the cultural experiences of many of the ethnic groups that call the Central Valley home.

“Coming Home” is the brainchild of Dr. Benjamin Boone, a music composition professor, and his wife Alice Daniel, a veteran journalist who also teaches reporting at Fresno State in the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism.

Boone tasked four music composition students with selecting a culture other than their own and composing a piece of music inspired by that culture. As the composition students were researching and composing their works, journalism students in Daniel’s class also selected cultures they were unfamiliar with and interviewed people about their experiences living in the Valley.

Click here to read the full article at the latest edition of the Fresno State Magazine.