The Art and Science of Whale Song - A Musical Fundraiser for Whalefest Monterey


For Immediate Release

Publicity Contact: Wendy Brickman

(831) 594-1500 or


“The Art and Science of Whale Song”, A Musical Fundraiser for Whalefest Monterey, to be held on Tuesday, December 1st


Carmel, CA. November 12, 2020. A very special musical fundraiser for the 11th Annual Whalefest Monterey, “The Art and Science of Whale Song”, will be held on Tuesday, December 1st from 7:00 – 8:00 pm via Facebook Live on the Facebook page, www.Facebook.comWhalefestMonterey.


Join us for a deep dive into the musical world of whales as we explore new scientific findings about whale song, and compose on piano and cello together with these massive musical beings. It is free to virtually attend and donations to Whalefest Monterey will be very much appreciated!


Dr. John Ryan of MBARI, who conducts underwater sound recordings of whales in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, will join with respected musician, pianist and composer, Nicholas Fettis and his “Orca”stra. Dr. Ryan will explain the acoustic science of whale sounds while comparing them to the acoustics of musical instruments. Nicholas in turn will perform some of his own compositions that incorporate these beautiful whale sounds. There will also be a presentation by Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, Chair of Whalefest Monterey.


According to Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, “We have always wanted to present and highlight the wonderful acoustic partnership between Dr. John Ryan and Nick Fettis and his “Orca”stra. It’s beautiful and inspiring! Please join us for a very enjoyable evening with the Fettis family that benefits a great event!”


About Dr. John Ryan


Dr. John Ryan is a biological oceanographer with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.  His research explores oceanic life forms, from microscopic plankton to gigantic whales, and the ecosystem processes that shape their lives.  John’s research on the behavioral ecology of whales employs continuous underwater sound recordings from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


About Nicholas Fettis


A California native, Nicholas Fettis has been composing and playing music since his early teens in 1965. He has been part of Whalefest since its inception in 2011 and Music Director ever since. He combines his original music with his “Orca”stra of whale songs. These unique recordings of whale and other marine life of Monterey Bay are courtesy of Dr. John Ryan of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Nicholas graduated from UC Berkeley in 1973 as a music major and continued to compose primarily for piano. In addition, he has worked with synthesizers, the cello, and choral singing in the Greek Orthodox Church. Nicholas’ concerts and recordings can be found on You Tube and at  




MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) is a unique oceanographic research center where scientists and engineers work together to develop new tools and methods for studying the ocean.


About Whalefest Monterey 2021


During this challenging time of fewer grants and cutbacks on sponsorship for non-profit events, it is important that funds are raised to be able to successfully hold the outstanding educational Whalefest Monterey and Symposium hosted by Presenting Sponsor Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf Association. The 11th Annual Whalefest Monterey and Symposium will be held online this year, with 2-hour segments including presentations by world-renowned scientists, music, and more on January 26-29, 2021 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (more details to come.)


Traditionally, when it can be held in person, Whalefest Monterey is a free, fun and educational interactive family event for all ages on Old Fisherman’s Wharf that celebrates the biodiversity of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and much more! The event, which features a 2-day Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and dozens of exhibit booths, benefits many local and national marine organizations that educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). There is always a variety of live musical entertainment at the head of the Wharf.


Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans that continue to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of Fissiped (sea otter)


Corporate Sponsors and Donations


Donations can be made and corporate sponsorships are available now for the 11th Annual Whalefest Monterey at


Please contact Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis at [email protected] for more details. Marine Life Studies is the 501(c)3 non-profit fiscal sponsor of Whalefest Monterey, (Federal ID# 27-0318674).


For more information about Whalefest Monterey, go to the Whalefest page on or call (831) 238-0777.