Friday, April 26, 2013

Music fest, automotive competition May 4 at Cuyamaca College

Musicians at the Coyote Music Festival
The perfect combination of music and cars is in store Saturday, May 4, at Cuyamaca College, where a lively competition for high-school automotive students in the morning will be followed by an afternoon of live bands and entertainment at the Coyote Music Festival.
Starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending with an awards presentation at 1 p.m., about 70 auto-tech students from high schools throughout the county will gather at the Rancho San Diego college for the 34th annual Auto Skills Day, one of the oldest events at the campus, second only to graduation. 
Another college tradition, also open to the public, is the fifth Annual Coyote Music Festival, which this year is promising more than just the usual eclectic mix of live blues, rock, pop, folk, indie, and alternative rock.
In addition to nine bands performing on two stages at the college’s grand lawn between noon-5 p.m., food and craft vendors and street performers will keep the audience entertained between music acts. A farmer’s market set up at the Cuyamaca College campus each Saturday will also be extending its hours for the festival.

The nine bands and individual artists taking the stage are:
Noon – 12:30 p.m.
12:35 – 1
1:05 – 1:35
1:40 – 2:05
2:10 – 2:40 
2:45 – 3:10 
3:15 – 3:45 
3:50 – 4:15
4:20 – 4:50
Raelee Nikole
Take One
Polaroids and Petrichors
Human Crossing
Curt Owen
Kilo Hues
Boondock Brothers

The music festival is an end-of-the-semester project for students learning the music industry. The student-produced event teaches what’s involved in putting on a large-scale production, from auditioning performers and marketing the event, to setting up, running the live sound, and managing the stage transitions.
While music remains the main focus of the event, broadening its scope will draw more of the public at large, said Annie Zuckerman, one of a trio of instructors  teaching the course in the Music Industry Studies program, which focuses on the practical aspects of developing careers in the music industry. 
With a background in marketing, Zuckerman leads the group of students charged with festival promotions, while co-instructor Jolene Crowley, an adjunct graphic arts instructor, works with the student team in charge of creating festival art, including posters and fliers. Lead instructor Taylor Smith, chair of the music department, works with students running the audio and technical aspects of the event.
The seminar class has so much to offer that students can take it up to four times, each semester learning a new aspect of putting on an event of the Coyote Festival’s scale.
Manny Mezca has taken the course for three semesters, saying the learning and experience he’s gained will serve him well in his pursuit of a career in audio recording.
“Working in the music industry is all about making connections and gaining experience working with musicians, promoters and other professionals,” said Mezca, who plans to transfer to San Diego State University after obtaining his associate degree at Cuyamaca College. “This class will help me get a foot in the door.”
Students in the Music Industry Studies program discover that a career in music isn’t limited to vocalists and performers, President Mark J. Zacovic said.
“The program has opened many students’ eyes to other avenues they can explore to take that basic, underlying love of music and to expand it into a career in studio work, concert promotions, commercials, and agency work,” he said.
As for the busy day starting early in the morning with the automotive skills matchups, Zacovic describes it as a “winning note all the way around” – an exciting learning experience for students, a public-awareness opportunity for the college, and for the community, a day of free, fun activities for the family.
Auto techs in demand
Chris Branton, chair of the automotive technology program, said Automotive Skills Day is invaluable as a way to let the public know that automotive technicians are growing in demand, even as fewer high schools offer the training.
“It’s a high-cost program in this day of tight budgets,” he said. “We’re noticing it here at our college, as students are entering the program with less training and basic know-how than in the past. Meanwhile, fewer technicians are entering the job market, even though there’s a greater need for people trained to work on today’s high-tech vehicles.”
The average age for auto techs in the field is now 46½, Branton said, causing automakers concern that jobs vacated by retirement won’t be filled fast enough.
The opportunity for good-paying jobs in automotive technology is a prime message that the college seeks to share by hosting the auto skills competition, which this year will feature teams from El Capitan, Monte Vista, Ramona, Madison, Clairemont, and Poway high schools.
Sponsored in partnership with the Automotive Service Councils of America (ASCCA), with additional funding from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, the matchup takes place in the automotive technology building, with judges assessing students in eight Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE-certification skills, including engine repair, brakes, suspension and steering and transmission. In each category, contestants will be faced with both a hands-on test module as well as written questions.
For more information about the Coyote Music Festival, including links to bands, go to the student-created Facebook page,
Parking is free for both events located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. For more information about Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges, go to