Saturday, October 8 at 10:00 AM
In 1928 United Artists released the silent film Ramona, based on Helen Hunt Jackson’s beloved tale of Old California. A star vehicle for Dolores Del Rio, Ramona was an early example of producing a new song to promote the movie. The title song, “Ramona” written by Mabel Wayne and L. Wolfe Gilbert, became an international hit. The worldwide popularity of the title song endured, yet the film, unlike the tune, was lost for 80 years. A lone print was discovered in the Czech Republic in 2010 and restored by the Library of Congress.
In 2015 David Spear and Joseph Julian Gonzalez composed a new score of original themes, arranged the title song, and adapted sacred and Spanish classical music. In the main title, “Ramona” is sung and recurs throughout in instrumental variations. In “The Sunrise Hymn,” a scene where Ramona meets her future husband, a friar sings a hymn and is joined antiphonally by his congregants. Cántico del Alba (Morning Song), chanted daily in the California missions of the mid-1800s, was adapted and synchronized in an effective vocal arrangement matching the on-screen performance. Enrique Granados’s song, “La Maja Dolorosa” is arranged for violin to underscore two final scenes.
J. Donald Feagin Visiting Artists David Spear and Joseph Julian Gonzalez, film/concert composers from Los Angeles, will give a live performance of their musical score for the classic silent film directed by Chickasaw filmmaker Edwin Carewe. Helen Hunt Jackson’s book upon which the film is based was written as a beacon against prejudice and injustice toward Native Americans.
The musical ensemble performing during the screening of the film will include TU student musicians and singer Monique Valadez. The screening and performance will take place at Circle Cinema at 10:00am on Saturday, October 8, 2016.