Caltech Alumni in Musical Premiere

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2007
Where Music Meets Science
Pasadena, Calif.--If you've ever imagined being attacked by your office supplies, then you won't want to miss the world premiere of an orchestral interpretation of this scenario on Friday, November 16, at 8 p.m. in Ramo Auditorium at the California Institute of Technology.
"Desktop Music No. 1" is the creation of Caltech alumnus and high-energy physicist Patrick McGraw ('96 PhD PH). This light-hearted piece, which the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band will debut, is meant to evoke imagery of a parade of office supplies taunting a student attempting to complete his homework. It ends abruptly when the student--one of the band's drummers, asleep at a desk onstage--awakens with a start upon being threatened by an unusually militaristic paper clip.
Paul Asimow ('93 MS, '97 PhD GE), associate professor of geology and geochemistry at Caltech, will be a guest conductor for McGraw's piece. An avid flutist, Asimow has performed with the Concert Band for more than 13 years. He is one of many researchers who participate in the performance ensembles at Caltech, which offer an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to collaborate in an environment outside of the laboratory and classroom.
A second piece, "Pharaoh's Dream," will also premiere at the November 16 concert. Written and conducted by Pasadena jazz musician Bruce Lofgren, this piece was originally written for his jazz ensemble. Lofgren has released five CDs and composed music for films and television.
The concert will also include music by Raymond Burkhart, John Philip Sousa, Rolf Rudin, Frank Ticheli, and Robert Russell Bennett.
The Caltech-Occidental Concert Band recently submitted a recording to perform at Carnegie Hall. The bid was a success, and in May 2008 about 50 members of the band will perform there. Since its inception in the 1940s, the ensemble has produced three CDs and performed for thousands of people.
The Caltech-Occidental Concert Band features Caltech, Occidental College, and JPL employees, as well as members of the local community. Student performances at Caltech are organized by Performing and Visual Arts, which is partly sponsored by Student Affairs.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Ramo Auditorium. The auditorium is at the south end of Baxter Hall, which is near the center of the Caltech campus in Pasadena. Seating is available on a free, no-ticket-required, first-come, first-served basis. A free reception for all will follow the concert. Parking on campus is free in the evenings.
For more information, visit or contact Performing and Visual Arts at (626) 395-3295.