Las Positas College launches President's Series with concert tonight

Program also to feature NASA astronaut, accomplished organist

Las Positas College will kick off its 2016-17 President's Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a performance by Cascada de Flores at the Mertes Center for the Arts.

The show will celebrate Latino Heritage Month and coincide with the release of the group's new album, iLive!

Produced live with vintage songs and the unexplored musical traditions of Mexico and the Spanish Caribbean, it also taps into the vibrant genres of bolero, regal dazón, cumbias, malagueñas, and rancheras.

Also coming to the Mertes Center for the Artsstage at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 will be keynote speaker NASA astronaut Commander Victor Glover. He will take questions following his talk.

Glover is one of just eight, and the only African-American, to be selected as NASA's new group of astronauts.

He received an undergraduate degree in engineering from Cal Poly State in San Luis Obispo and holds advanced degrees from the Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He is an F/A-18 pilot and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.

The President's Series will wrap up on Tuesday, Feb. 28 with a 7:30 p.m. performance by organist Philip Manwell at Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 4743 East Ave. in Livermore

Manwell's musical studies have taken him around the world, and he also earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the Julliard School of Music, studying organ, theory, analysis and research methodology with some of the musical masters of our time.

As a solo recitalist and chamber musician, he has played extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and has served as a church musician for numerous metropolitan congregations from the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City to St. Francis Episcopal Church in San Francisco.

"Through this unique speakers series, Las Positas College continues its goal of offering high quality cultural and educational opportunities to both its students and the residents of the Tri-Valley region," said Barry Russell, the college's president.

"We are especially excited to welcome back Dr. Manwell to the LPC campus, where he served as a professor and chair of the Humanities Department for 25 years," Russell added.

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