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Contact: Renee Bodie

(949) 480-4821

Between War and Here

Featuring Ensemble Galilei and NPR Correspondents

Neal Conan and Anne Garrels

Friday, November 2, 2018 at 8:00 p.m

(Aliso Viejo, CA, October 2, 2018) – Between War and Here is a powerful new collaboration between journalists and musicians exploring honor, courage, loss, and hope. With music, poetry, and memoir, and featuring live narration by two of NPR’s most storied war correspondents, Neal Conan and Anne Garrels, Between War and Here is an extraordinary work of art both mesmerizing and timely.

Ensemble Galilei members Sue Richards and Carolyn Surrick spent seven years of Fridays playing for wounded warriors and their families at The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Between War and Here is their attempt to give back to those soldiers.

Between War and Here will be performed in the intimate Black Box Theatre at Soka Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $40 for adults; and $32 for students, seniors, and active military families. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at or by calling 949-480-4ART (4278).

About Ensemble Galilei

Founded in 1990, Ensemble Galilei is an ensemble of players from both classical and Celtic backgrounds, playing Irish and Scottish airs and dance tunes, early and medieval music, and original compositions. The Ensemble takes their name and inspiration from the life of composer Vincenzo Galilei, whose influence, some four hundred years ago, helped restore a vital element of passion to the music of the day.

To achieve their unique Celtic sound, Ensemble Galilei has melded the elegance of chamber music with the energy and excitement of traditional music. An intricate blend of instruments grants listeners passage to another world, evoking musical images of the ancient Celts and bringing these images to life for today’s audiences. They have performed and toured globally for almost twenty-five years, and have been featured on multiple recordings and radio performances. They have notably collaborated with National Geographic to create First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World and collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art for First Person: Seeing America.

About Neal Conan

Neal was for eleven years the host of Talk of the Nation, the national news-talk call-in show from NPR. He brought three decades of news and radio experience to the show, which reached nearly three million listeners a week on more than 300 NPR member stations. After all those years in broadcasting, Neal says he “finally gets to play with a really cool band.”

A familiar voice on NPR for the past quarter century, Conan worked as a reporter based in New York, Washington, and London (serving as NPR’s Bureau Chief in both New York and London). He anchored NPR live coverage of national political conventions, inaugurations, and an impeachment. For five years, he hosted Weekly Edition: The Best of NPR News. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Conan played a major role anchoring NPR’s continuous live coverage, a part he reprised during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, in Des Moines, Iowa, he hosted the first radio-only presidential candidates’ debate since 1948.

On the other side of the microphone, Conan has served as editor, producer, and executive producer of NPR’s flagship evening news magazine, All Things Considered and, at various times, acted as NPR’s foreign editor, managing editor, and news director.

Neal Conan’s awards include a Major Armstrong award for his coverage of the Iran-Iraq War, a prestigious Alfred I. duPont/Columbia University award as part of NPR’s coverage of the Gulf War, another duPont and a George Foster Peabody Award for his part in NPR’s Coverage of Sept. 11, and yet another duPont for NPR’s coverage of the war in Iraq. During his time at All Things Considered, the program won numerous awards, including the Washington Journalism Review’s Best in the Business award.

About Anne Garrels

Anne Garrels was a long-time foreign correspondent for National Public Radio in the United States.

Garrels graduated from Harvard University’s Radcliffe College in 1972. She subsequently worked at ABC in several positions for about ten years, including serving as Moscow bureau chief and correspondent until she was expelled in 1982, and as Central American bureau chief from 1984 to 1985. Garrels was the NBC News correspondent at the U.S. State Department. She joined NPR in 1988 and reported on conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and the West Bank. Garrels was the Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1996, and is a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Garrels was one of the 16 Western journalists who remained in Baghdad and reported live during the 2003 Iraq War. Shortly after her return from Iraq, she published Naked in Baghdad, a memoir of her time covering the events surrounding the invasion. She subsequently returned to Iraq several times for NPR. She was an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines during the November 2004 attack on Fallujah. Garrels also covered the January 2005 Iraqi national elections for an interim government, as well as constitutional referendum and the December 2005 elections for the first full term Iraqi government. As sectarian violence swept much of central Iraq Garrels continued to report from Baghdad, Najaf and Basra.

Garrels has won nearly every major broadcasting award including the George Polk Award for her work in Iraq, the 2004 Edward R. Murrow Award, the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the Los Angeles Press Club’s Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism.

About Soka Performing Arts Center

Entering its eighth season of presenting the best of live performances on its extraordinary stage, Soka Performing Arts is on the campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California. Now under the leadership of General Manager Renee Bodie, the 1,000-seat concert hall features world-class acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, acoustic designer of noted performance venues like Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Designed truly to reflect the university’s commitment to sustainability, the concert hall and adjacent Maathai Hall (featuring a black box theatre and dance studio) have been built to Gold LEED standards and feature vegetated green roofs. Photovoltaic cells on the Soka Performing Arts Center roof generate approximately 15% of the facility’s electrical needs.

Soka University of America is a private, non-profit, four-year liberal arts college and graduate program. The campus is ranked in the Top 25 National Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges 2019.” The university is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs and was founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life. For more information:


YouTube video

Listing Info

Ensemble Galilei: Between War and Here

Sunday, November 2, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.

Event URL:

Soka Performing Arts Center

Soka University of America

1 University Drive

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Tickets: $40/32 students, seniors, and active military families (General Admission)

949-480-4ART (4278)

Media Contact

Renee Bodie

(949) 480-4821

Gary W. Murphy/Consultant

(213) 700-9645

Ensemble Galilei Neal Conan

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