Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 20
Local Notes: Unity Chapel of Light celebrates Bridget Hough-MeynencPianist and recent UCSB doctor of musical arts graduate lauded with community concert
BY JOE PAYNE
Climbing the mountainous path that is a doctorate in music takes a huge amount of skill, discipline, and raw talent. Luckily, Bridget Hough-Meynenc possesses of all those traits, which helped her recently secure her doctor of musical arts degree in collaborative piano performance at UCSB.
Unity Chapel of Light—a nondenominational church in Orcutt—remembers when Hough-Meynenc first arrived to the chapel as part of the youth program at the age of 12. The community organization is holding a community concert to celebrate the pianist’s accomplishments, while highlighting up-and-coming talent.
“Unity has been a part of my life for many years,” Hough-Meynenc said. “When I look back on it now, it was instrumental in supporting my love of music and my decision to pursue it professionally.”
When Hough-Meynenc first arrived at Unity, it was headed by then-pastor Jim Schrotel, also known as PJ, who gave the young artist a professional gig as the chapel’s congregational pianist.
“I was involved with the church musically for 13 years,” she said. “[Schrotel] is incredibly supportive of the arts community and fosters young creative people.”
The upcoming event is brimming with music and excitement. As Schrotel said in a statement sent to the Sun, “It’s not just a concert, it’s a celebration!” The event will include a talk and performance by Hough-Meynenc.
The show will also include a performance by a teenager who’s been studying piano and trying his hands at composition. Isaiah Guerrero was included in the show to highlight the attitude at Unity that gave Hough-Meynenc so much support and positive reinforcement in her youth, she explained.
“I think it’s important that the church, especially in the modern sense of the word, serves a societal function of fostering and supporting communities,” she said. “We help people discover what it is they have to offer and then perpetuate that cycle of learning and sharing with other people.”
Also included in the concert will be a kind of open mic for musicians who are familiar with Hough-Meynenc and Unity and want to perform a musical tribute to the accomplished artist and scholar.
“Everybody at Unity was always incredibly supportive,” she said. “It was just a wonderful environment to foster learning and sharing and music.”
Now a fully credentialed pianist, Hough-Meynenc is ready to pursue her dream of education, specifically with a professorship at a university.
“It’s very competitive,” she said. “Ideally, I would love to have a teaching position teaching collaborative piano at a university.”
Hough-Meynenc is ready to climb the ranks to earn that sought-after position. But first, she may have to spend time as junior staff, which includes such positions as an on-staff pianist, something she’s more than qualified for after the diverse range of music her studies took her through.
“I think that nowadays more and more people are realizing that, as a pianist, you have to do a lot of different things,” she said. “We are moving to a world that sees a pianist as a person who can do anything asked of them.”
She’ll bring some of that versatility to her performance at the Unity concert, and possibly inspire the next generation of musicians coming up behind her.
“It’s great to look back and see where I came from, and it’s exciting to work with young people,” she said. “It’s an exciting stage to be in, and I’m excited to embrace this new stage of my life.”
O’Sullivan’s Pub will be playing host to the prog-garage rock trio Megafauna on July 27 at 9 p.m. at O’Sullivan’s Pub, 633 E. Main St., Santa Maria. More info: 925-0658 or megafaunamusic.bandcamp.com.
Board the starship
Chumash Casino Resort welcomes the rock’n’roll group Jefferson Starship performing psychedelic rock and roll reminiscent of the Jefferson Airplane days on Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. at the resort’s Samala Showroom, Highway 246, Santa Ynez. More info: 1-800-585-3737 or chumashcasino.com.
Concerts in the Park is a free concert series presented by the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, PLAY Inc., and Santa Maria Rotary Clubs featuring Steppin’ Out performing live on July 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park, South College Drive, Santa Maria. More info: 925-0951, Ext. 260.
Live at the Radisson
The Radisson Hotel presents live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 10 p.m., including Calo performing on July 26 and 27 at the hotel at 3455 Skyway Drive in Santa Maria. More info: 928-8000.
A mic always open
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
‘Wine Down’ on hump day
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro present “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro, 400 E. Clark Ave., Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including country by Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols on July 26 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring John Lyle and Friends is July 27 at 3 p.m. Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols perform on July 27 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or email@example.com.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.