Tikkanen Is Merced College's New Fulbright Exchange Teacher
And New Concert Band Director
Tikkanen is a long way from home. And while Merced
may not look much like his native Finland, Tikkanen is settling
into life as a Merced College professor of music.
“I’m here to meet new friends, have new ideas,
and to enjoy a new life in this country,” Tikkanen said.
“I’m also excited about sharing my musical experience
with this community.”
The 46-year-old clarinetist, saxophonist, and conductor is
participating in the College’s first Fulbright Teacher
Exchange program, trading teaching assignments this year with
music professor Mark Doiel, who has taken Tikkanen’s
place at the Kuopio Academy of Music and Dance in the city
of Kuopio in eastern Finland. The Kuopio Academy is one of
Finland’s most prestigious teaching institutions and
is responsible for training the country’s music and
Tikkanen has performed all across Europe and is currently
the director of Kuopio Academy of Music and Dance. He was
recognized as the Kuopio Jazz Musician of the Year in 1991
and has plans to perform in Estonia in the premier performance
of a jazz opera written by Finnish composer Heikki Sarmanto.
Sarmanto has composed for American jazz saxophonist Sonny
Tikkanen began studying music at the age of 6 and focused
on the clarinet in his early teens. He has been a principal
solo artist for the past 14 years. Finland, he notes, has
a rich musical heritage and music education is stressed in
the country’s schools. In fact, it’s common for
each primary grade to have its own concert band.
While American community college students take music for a
variety of reasons, Tikkanen says he’s discovered that
his students are willing to learn and have been very cordial
As the conductor of the Merced College Concert Band, Tikkanen
has been in rehearsal for the band’s first concert on
October 19. Selections will range from George Gershwin and
Cole Porter to the music of the big band era. This concert
will also feature Merced College instructor John Albano on
the guitar. In return, Tikkanen will be playing with John
Albano and his Merced College Jazz Orchestra on November 30.
And what were his musical inspirations growing up in Finland?
“I listened to everything: Cat Stevens, Bad Company,
Average White Band, Tower of Power. I love all kinds of music.”
Tikkanen is living in the Doiel residence in Atwater with
his wife, singer Kirsi, their two teenage sons and five-year-old
Face on Merced College Board of Directors
King was born and raised in Merced. He is a partner
in the law firm of King & King, where he practices in
the areas of banking and estate planning law.
represents banks and other lenders in the "silicon valley"
that lend to technology and emerging growth companies. He
also counsels individuals and families to help them achieve
their estate planning and wealth transfer objectives.
Larry received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley,
and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College
of the Law. He began his law practice in the Northern Mariana
Islands with the firm of Carlsmith Ball Wichman Case &
Ichiki, and later practiced in Palo Alto with the firm of
Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich.
Larry lives in Merced with his wife, Sandy, and two sons,
Andrew and Matthew.
More Foundation News
years to come, Merced College students will benefit from a
scholarship endowment established by long-time Merced College
employees Ted and Catherine McVey.
recently donated $25,000 to the Ted and Catherine McVey Trust
held by the Merced College Foundation. In November 2006, Ted
donated $25,000 to establish a similar endowment for students
attending the Los Banos Campus. In all, the couple has donated
$50,000 for student scholarships.
“This is something Catherine and I were committed to
doing, to provide perpetual scholarships for Merced College
students,” Ted said.
Catherine, who has since passed away, and Ted held various
positions at Merced College during their careers. It was their
home and their passion. Ted has been retired for many years,
but Catherine continued to work up to her death.
“I tried to get Catherine to retire with me, but she
loved working and she loved the students she came in contact
with,” he said.
Ted is currently living at the Courtyard Residences and would
love to hear from his friends at Merced College. You may reach
him at 384-9700.
Central" Available To All Merced College Students
College cafeteria is quickly becoming the new hangout for
students and instructors to connect with each other in an
informal way. “Study Central” is a program designed
to put an end to the myth that instructors and counselors
are not approachable or “don’t have time for me.”
It also serves as an informational hub for all student services
and its goal is to improve academic success and retention.
shows that once a student makes connections outside of the
classroom, he/she is more likely to stay enrolled,”
said Susan Flatt, Merced College SSPIRE Grant Coordinator.
“And, if for some uncontrollable circumstance, a student
has to drop out, he/she is more likely to reenroll when situations
make it possible if the student had an outside of class connection.”
Fifth Annual Merced College Scholarship Banquet, “An
Autumn Affaire,” will be held at St. Patrick’s
Parish Hall on Friday, October 12. This year's theme, "An
Evening in the Tropics," will feature the Kiki Raina
Polynesian Revue and a Luau dinner. Social Hour begins at
6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and entertainment at 8:15
p.m. A silent auction will also be held during the social
hour. So, dress in your tropical favorites and join in the
fun as we enjoy the tastes, sights, and sounds of the Polynesian
are $75 and proceeds go to support local Merced College students
transferring to UC Merced.
information regarding the banquet, call 381-6471 or visit
Emus is Merced College's New Student Trustee
Emus is the new Student Trustee for Merced College and has
been attending the Merced College Board of Trustee meetings
representing the students.
born and reared in Imperial Beach in southwest California.
Growing up on the border of two countries exposed Emus to
a wonderful mixture of culture, people and customs, complemented
by summers with his beloved grandfather in southern Illinois.
His parents, teachers by profession, encouraged his involvement
in as many activities as he could participate in and his childhood
flew by with activities such as surfing, baseball, Boy Scouts,
and church activities.
had the privilege early on to attend a small Southern Baptist
school until I was offered a sports scholarship to a Catholic
high school," states Emus. "Because of this opportunity,
I discovered so many more clubs and activities, that I practically
lived at school, becoming even more excited by art, music,
sports, and religion."
Los Banos Campus celebrated its grand opening
on Friday, Sept. 7. Part of the event included the unveiling
of the art mural project. Tiles were sold to donors and the
project raised a total of over $39,000. The mural depicts
the history of the Los Banos area beginning with the native
Yokut Indians and moves toward the present day. The mural
is a wonderful gift to the Los Banos Campus from its supporters
and will be a centerpiece of the campus for years to come.
College is pleased to inform our campus and community
that the Community College Facility (CCFC) Coalition has announced
that the architects of the Los Banos Campus, Lionakis
Beaumont Design Group, has received an "Award
of Merit" in the Campus Completion category of the 2007
CCFC Professional Design Awards Programs. Lionakis will be
honored during the CCFC's 14th Annual Conference on Wednesday,
Nov. 7 in Sacramento.
Beaumont Design Group has also won a design award
for the new Merced College Learning Resources
Center. This award will be given to them by the Sierra Valley
Chapter of the American Institute of Architects on Thursday,
Oct. 11 in Modesto.