This piece was originally featured in the CSUN Magazine, Fall 2022 issue.

With a long history of sustainability-minded projects, CSUN and The Soraya aim to bring “Treelogy” — a musical response to wildfires and climate change — to college campuses across California over the next year.

In the midst of so much environmental destruction, CSUN leaders and students hope that through “Treelogy,” music can be a source of hope and understanding. In 2020, wildfires ravaged California’s ancient forests and roared through her canyons and mountain passes. It was a pattern that would repeat to the north and east in Oregon and Colorado.

“California’s epic wildfires in 2020 took aim at the state’s most beloved trees. In a relative instant, countless ancient redwoods, hundreds of giant sequoias and more than 1 million Joshua trees perished,” wrote Bay Area-based reporter and author John Branch, in The New York Times. “The blackened wreckage sends a clear message. These trees are in the fight of their lives.” Branch and photographer Max Whittaker, chronicled the 2020 destruction to California’s most iconic and beloved trees, which are thousands of years old and central to the state’s identity, tourism and ecology.

Inspired by their work to act and speak out, The Soraya’s Executive and Artistic Director, Thor Steingraber, conceived a project to foster collaboration throughout the California State University system, in our K-12 public schools, with performing artists of all stripes, with scientists, and with our communities. He commissioned 3 renowned composers, Billy Childs, Steven Mackey and Gabriella Smith — all with deep California roots of their own — as well as violinist and Artist-in-Residence Etienne Gara’s ensemble, Delirium Musicum, to create a 3-part concert that is scheduled to premiere on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 at The Soraya.

The Soraya has also partnered with the environmental advocacy group, TreePeople, in its celebration of giant sequoias, redwoods and Joshua trees. The partnership features a photo contest and a live, virtual discussion about how the arts can help inspire action to saving the environment.

For tickets and more information on “Treelogy,” visit

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