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Cougars & Mustangs 

How will you celebrate National Save a Spider Day? This is the kind of thought that keeps me awake at night. For oft when on my couch I lie, things such as daffodils being March’s birthflower startle me into a seasonal decorating frenzy.

Truth be told, if there’s one thing I love as much as the college music scene, it’s trivial notes about barely acknowledged holidays. So why not combine the two? 
Those giving into “Panic Day” (the day to give into daily stress and relish your suppressed hysteria) on March 9 would be wise to flee from Cal Poly’s “More Classic Scenes from Opera and Musical Theatre,” lest the performance of Donizetti’s “Il dolce suono”—in which the scene’s protagonist descends into madness—ends up being too much for their festive instability and causes something more drastic to happen.

Thankfully, there are additional showings available on two “safer dates”: March 8 and 10. The performance also includes Suor Angelica, an opera in one act (and one of the composer’s personal favorites), as well as pieces from Mozart, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Strauss. The production is well worth checking out, and may be a great introduction for anyone seeking a first taste of the genre.

On the other hand, anyone wishing to embrace the “Panic Day” spirit, but lacking motivation, is welcome to attend the Cuesta Spring Choir Concert with cell phone kept at high volume, and find out if being throttled by a pack of savage altos is of any help to them. The rest of us, having turned off our phones, can enjoy a nice evening of vocal jazz. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Cuesta’s CPAC, and costs $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Fed members; or $10 for general admission.

Maybe instrumental music is more your style, though. Cal Poly’s Wind Bands’ Winter Concert, titled “Wind Band Masterworks: ‘The American Dream,’” will contain a tribute to the late composer W. Francis McBeth in the performance of his five-movement epic Of Sailors and Whales. The piece, which is a musical portrait of several characters from Moby Dick, fittingly finds itself performed on March 2, “Read Across America Day.” I think the composer would have appreciated that. Other highlighted composers that evening will include Percy Grainger, Vincent Persichetti, James Barnes, and John Williams.

With such a great pool of music to choose from, it shouldn’t be too hard to get into the celebratory mood. Now someone help me hide the body; Alfred Hitchcock Day is almost upon us! ∆

Intern Chris White-Sanborn compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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