Born and raised in the Central Valley of California, Roger Nixon frequently uses the rhythms and dances from California settlers in his music. Professor Emeritus of Music at San Francisco State University, he previously taught at Modesto Junior College and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D.
Chamarita! embodies some of the imagery and spirit of the Chamarita Festival of Half Moon Bay, Calif, one of several Holy Ghost celebrations held annually by Portuguese communities in California. Rich in tradition and with a spirit of joy and thanksgiving, it is derived from the actions of Queen Isabel of Portugal in relieving famine in the Azores near the turn of the fourteenth century. The music portrays a solemn procession to the church for high mass, the ritual, and the subsequent feast with dancing. The name comes from a favorite folk dance from the Azores. --James Huff 19:52, 28 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)