News Release
University Affairs Office
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
(707) 664-2057
    February 18, 2004
    Contact: Christine Renaudin, Professor of French, (707) 664-3159


Music and Spoken Word Blend in Third Annual Language Festival

Spanish ballet folklorico, German hip hop and French pop music share the stage at the third annual Language Festival at Sonoma State University from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 6.

Spoken language is a also big part of the day as local high school students of French, German, and Spanish compete in language contests with the encouragement of SSU students and faculty.

"The language festival competitions are much like a high school track meet, except instead of students trying to outrun, out-jump, or out-throw each other, they are vying to outperform students from other schools in spoken events in French, German, and Spanish." says Spanish professor Jeffrey Reeder, one of the organizers of the event.

"As we enter a century of increasing globalization, it is more crucial than ever that students master world languages and learn to relate to multiple world cultures," says French professor Suzanne Toczyski. "By participating in the language festival, students of all levels demonstrate their commitment to exploring different cultures."

In the morning, the students will compete in poetry, diction, and public speaking contests in three languages: French, German and Spanish.

After a short brown-bag lunch, SSU students and faculty will join selected high school groups in a cabaret extravaganza in the Cooperage, including musical and dramatic performances in French, German and Spanish. In between the various numbers, the audience will be entertained by jazz musicians from SSU's music program led by sophomore Noam Lemish.

Participating high schools will include: Petaluma High School, Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa Christian School, Casa Grande High School, El Molino High School, Elsie Allen High School, Sonoma Valley High School, Vallejo High School, Montgomery High School, Healdsburg High School and Sonoma Academy

"The Cabaret is super tight!" says Izaak Eberst, president of Gemütlichkeit, SSU'’s German Club. Last year, approximately 200 people attended the event and went home with a wide variety of prizes for their competitive efforts as well as door prizes for attending the cabaret.

This year's door prizes include French and Indian music CDs, Swiss art books, a wide variety of computer games and other language-related software, gift certificates to local restaurants, French comic books, SSU t-shirts and caps, and even a Swiss Caran d’ache pen.

Admission to the festival is free with the exception of the cabaret, which is $3 at the door.

For more information, contact Christine Renaudin, Professor of French, at (707) 664-3159.


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Last Modified: 02/18/2004