Painting of the entrance to the San Juan Bautista Mission church by Rowena Meeks Abdy. Courtesy of the Abdy Collection from the Pat Hathaway Collection, Monterey

National Public Radio Music Producer Tom Huizenga featured San Juan Bautista's Mission in his weekly blog post, Deceptive Cadence, this week:

"With his Symphony No. 4, the 41-year-old Pulitzer winner tells a uniquely American story on several levels. It starts at the San Juan Bautista Mission in California, where founding friars, in the late 18th century, began baptizing the Native American people, teaching them to sing church music. Learning how the Mutsuns stuck to their own songs sparked Puts to organize a symphonic encounter between the DNA of their music with his own orchestral tradition. After the two cultures collide in a raucous crescendo, the final movement, "Healing Song," unfolds with breathtaking grandeur. Winds slowly take up the Mutsun-inspired, vaguely pentatonic melodies while warm strings caress those tunes and spin out into new ones, reminiscent of and at their most tender. The final music builds majestically in shimmering percussion, capped by a thrilling, radiant chord, brilliantly realized by conductor and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra." Huizenga writes.

Tom Huizenga is a music producer, reporter and blogger for NPR Music. He hosts NPR's classical music blog .A regular contributor of stories about classical music on NPR's news programs, Huizenga regularly introduces intriguing new classical CDs to listeners on the weekend version of All Things Considered. He contributes to NPR Music's "Song of the Day."

To read the blog and hear an excerpt of Puts' piece, click here: