College of Fine Arts News Archive

October 2014

  • SFA’s new Rockin’ Axes to present Beatles tribute concert

    SFA’s new Rockin’ Axes to present Beatles tribute concert

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    SFA’s all-new Rockin’ Axes will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in Cole Concert Hall. Andrew Sperandeo, left, adjunct faculty member in the School of Music, is director of the Rockin’ Axes.

    October 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The all-new Rockin’ Axes ensembles, products of the Sound Recording Technology program in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, will perform their first concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Rockin’ Axes will pay tribute to the music of The Beatles in this first concert, according to Andrew Sperandeo, adjunct faculty member in the School of Music and director of the Rockin’ Axes.

    “This is the inaugural semester of these ensembles,” Sperandeo said. “We’ve reached a point in which the study of music at the university level can and does go beyond traditional areas and genres of music. The goal of such an ensemble and program is to attract students who see the benefit of being a truly well-rounded musician.”

    Sperandeo sees today’s music student as not only wanting to be able to play many styles well on their instrument, but also wanting to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for other important elements of music and the industry as it currently exists, including sound recording and the business side of being successful in this industry, he explained.

    “As the industry evolves, so should the student and the education he/she receives in order to be truly prepared for whatever experiences might befall them when they graduate,” he said.

    Music of The Beatles was chosen as this semester’s concert program because 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the English rock band’s “U.S. Invasion,” Sperandeo said.

    “And, they’re considered one of the most influential groups on popular music over the last 50 years,” he said. “Patrons will get to experience the sights and sounds of one of the greatest rock n’ roll groups of all time being performed by the two Rockin’ Axes ensembles. The arrangements tie in the traditional ‘Beatles sound’ with some more contemporary styles and textures.”

    The music of Elvis Presley was selected for next semester’s Rockin’ Axes concert because Elvis is considered the “King Of Rock n’ Roll” and, similarly, has influenced a great number of musicians and styles of music to date, Sperandeo said.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • A Cappella Choir to perform works of Brahms, Rossini, Ešenvalds

    A Cappella Choir to perform works of Brahms, Rossini, Ešenvalds

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    The SFA A Cappella Choir will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA Campus.

    October 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the A Cappella Choir performing its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The choir will perform “Zigeunerlieder” (Gypsy Songs) by Johannes Brahms, Gioacchino Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and “A Drop in the Ocean” by Ériks Ešenvalds, according to Tim King, director of choral activities at SFA.

    “To vocalists, and particularly choral singers, Brahms is a most beloved composer,” King said. “He composed three monumental choral suites, ‘Liebeslieder Waltzer’ (Love-song waltzes), ‘Neue Liebeslieder’ and ‘Zigeunerlieder.’ When one speaks solely of the choral genre, ‘Zigeunerlieder’ is a masterpiece.”

    Late in his life, the operatic composer Rossini composed one setting of the Mass, the Petite messe solennelle.

    “His setting of Cum Sancto Spiritu from the Gloria movement is truly an operatic finale … an exciting work,” King said.

    “A Drop in the Ocean” is a new work by young composer Ešenvalds. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Mother Teresa and takes its inspiration from The Lord’s Prayer, St. Francis of Assisi, Psalm 55 and the words of Mother Teresa, according to King.

    “This is an absolutely stunning work showing not only the composer’s lyrical quality but also the use of vocal techniques portraying the ocean,” he said.

    Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA School of Theatre students to perform on international stage in Scotland

    SFA School of Theatre students to perform on international stage in Scotland

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    SFA Professor Angela Bacarisse and College of Fine Arts Assistant Technical Director Steve Bacarisse talk to students from Louisiana at the American High School College Fair in Edinburgh, Scotland, this past August.
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    Jack Heifner
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    Allison Day
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    Nick Pinelli
    October 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre has been accepted to perform in the 2015 International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    During a two-week trip to Edinburgh next August, the School of Theatre will produce two new plays, including “Hate Mail” by SFA playwright-in-residence Jack Heifner and the student-written “Mom and Dad” by Nick Pinelli and Allison Day. Pinelli, The Woodlands senior, and Day, San Antonio senior, wrote the play as an honors project for their class with Heifner.

    Angela Bacarisse, professor of theatre at SFA, will direct both plays. The SFA improvisational troupe Improv Strikes Back will also perform at the festival.

    “This will give our students a great opportunity to be seen on the international stage,” Bacarisse said.

    In addition to acting in two new shows, SFA students will house manage, run the light and soundboards and stage manage for their performances. Students will get experience touring shows at an international festival and learn organizational skills while being exposed to art, music, theatre and dance from around the world, Bacarisse said.

    Bacarisse traveled to Scotland this past summer to scout out the festival and recruit at the American High School College Fair. She will recruit again when she takes the theatre students to Edinburgh next year.

    Begun in 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of several festivals that will take place in Edinburgh while the SFA students are there, has become the largest international theatre arts festival in the world. During festival season, which is three weeks in August, the International Festival, the Festival Fringe, jazz festival, art festival and book festival all take place in Edinburgh.

    “The city is alive with art everywhere,” Bacarisse said.

    In addition to performances, three special events are planned for the SFA students, according to Bacarisse, including an all-day tour of Stirling Castle and the national forest, a Cailleigh (pronounced kay-lee), described as “an evening of Scottish dance and culture,” and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, which Bacarisse described as “completely overwhelming” when she attended it last August.

    “It was astounding – hundreds of bagpipers and drummers marching in kilts and formation,” she said, “followed by military bands from Trinidad and Tobago (the only military marching steel drum band in the world), Zulu warriors, and groups from several other countries that have had ties to Scotland.”

    The School of Theatre is looking for people who may want to help sponsor students and pay for trip expenses or participate in the trip.

    “We’re hoping to raise money to help defray the costs for students,” Bacarisse said.

    The trip is open to community members who may want to experience the festivals and go along to support student performers.

    “We have specific performances that we have to be at, and we ask that community members support our shows,” she said. “But other than that, people are free to explore the city at their leisure. With five festivals going on while we are there, there is plenty to see and do.

    “This trip has been described by many students as ‘life changing,’ and I understand that sentiment,” Bacarrise said. “I met with faculty who were participating for the first time and others who were on their second trip. They felt that every minute is valuable for the students.”

    For information on accompanying the students, contact Bacarisse at abacarisse@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-1126. Tax-exempt donations can be made at sfasu.edu/giving by clicking on the “give online” tab and writing “Scotland trip” for special instructions.

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  • ‘Curious George’ opens SFA’s Children’s Performing Arts Series

    ‘Curious George’ opens SFA’s Children’s Performing Arts Series

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    “Curious George” opens the new season of the Children’s Performing Art Series at Stephen F. Austin State University with performances at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    October 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and its Children’s Performing Arts Series will present “Curious George” in two performances on Thursday, Oct. 30, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Presented by Theatreworks USA, “Curious George” opens the 2014-2015 Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA, which is committed each year to bringing the finest in affordable professional companies to East Texas young people and their teachers, according to Diane J. Peterson, manager of the SFA Fine Arts Box Office and director of the series.

    In this play, “All-You-Can-Eat Meatball Day” comes just once a year. George helps his friend, Chef Pisghetti, cook some delicious meatballs and serve them to the hungry crowd. But this year, the crowd has vanished! In despair, Chef Pisghetti vows to cook no more. Determined to help his friend, George goes on a mission to enter the Chef’s meatballs in the world-famous Golden Meatball Contest ... in Rome!

    “Curious George” targets children in pre-kindergarten through third grades. Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

    Tickets are $6 for individuals and $5 per person for groups of 20 or more. For tickets or more information, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.cpas.sfasu.edu.

    Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

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  • SFA music faculty to perform works of Strauss

    SFA music faculty to perform works of Strauss

    October 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present members of the SFA voice faculty with pianist Ron Petti in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

    Petti, director of accompanying at SFA, and voice faculty members Debbie and Ric Berry, Debbie Dalton, Charlotte Davis, Nita Hudson, Chris Turner and Jamie Weaver will present “The Lieder of Richard Strauss.” Weaver will also provide a short performance talk on the composer and his songs preceding the concert.

    The theme of the concert is the “lieder,” which is the German word for songs, of composer Strauss, who wrote approximately 100 lieder, according to Petti.

    “Many were inspired by his wife, soprano Pauline de Ahna,” Petti said. “Strauss blurs the line between art song and opera with expansive vocal lines and dramatic demands on the voice, as well as technical demands on the pianist. Strauss was one of the few 19th century song composers who was also successful in opera.”

    Among Strauss’ songs to be featured in the program are “Allerseelen,” “Cäcilie” and “Zueignung.”

    “But perhaps the most famous of them, ‘Beim schlafengehen,’ will be performed by Debbie Berry with SFA string faculty member Jennifer Dalmas,” Petti said.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Tickets still available for Chamber Orchestra Kremlin performance at SFA

    Tickets still available for Chamber Orchestra Kremlin performance at SFA

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    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available for a performance of the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus as part of the College of Fine Arts’ 2014-2015 University Series, “Connect.”

    The program will feature a performance of “Pursued,” written by Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the SFA School of Music. Prior to the concert, Lias will present a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery about the artists and their music. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor, BancorpSouth.

    Tickets range from $20 to $40, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6406 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • Detailed Texas landscapes featured in exhibition

    Detailed Texas landscapes featured in exhibition

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    The works of artist John Cobb will be featured in the exhibition “Vision & Substance: The Art of John Cobb,” opening Oct. 25 and showing through Jan. 10 in Ledbetter Gallery in The Cole Art Center.

    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Art will present the exhibition “Vision & Substance: The Art of John Cobb,” showing Oct. 25 through Jan. 10 in Ledbetter Gallery in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    For more than 30 years, Cobb has been working on a series of egg tempera and gold leaf paintings for a chapel series. At present, the majority of the paintings are displayed in a temporary free-standing chapel that viewers can enter. Aside from the chapel series, Cobb also works as a landscape painter, creating beautifully detailed paintings of the Texas landscape. The chapel (still a work in progress), along with a series of landscapes, will be featured in this retrospective exhibition, according to John Handley, director of art galleries for the School of Art.

    In the catalog that will accompany the exhibition, Handley wrote that Cobb’s vision is “the creation of a chapel filled with glistening egg-tempera and gold leaf paintings, executed in the methods of the old masters, depicting his rendition of modern day saints in Biblical semblance.”

    “For Cobb, saints are defined in the everyday – the ordinary person on the street, the neighbor, the relative who lives in quietude in an ever steady, abiding faith,” Handley said. “They appear like ancient icons with their luminous gold leaf backgrounds, but the faces that gaze back at us are not Byzantine; rather they appear familiar, like somebody we know or have met at one time.”

    Handley saw Cobb’s work for the first time two years ago at Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Dallas.

    “I have spent a great deal of my life looking at art, but I have to say I had never encountered something like this – a 30-year-plus vision to create a chapel, which to this day still has no permanent home or a commitment for one,” Handley said. “ And yet, Cobb keeps working away, knowing that one day the chapel will have a permanent home and caretaker.”

    Handley returned two weeks after that initial visit to hear the artist speak. Since then, Handley has visited Cobb in his studio in Austin on several occasions, and he is working with David Lewis, professor of art history at SFA, and Cheryl Vogel of Valley House to produce the first exhibition catalog devoted to his work.

    Of Cobb’s work, Vogel writes: “The more I see the world interpreted through John Cobb’s compassionate eyes, the more I learn to observe the bounty of life.”

    The exhibition will open with a reception at 6 p.m. Oct. 25. Prior to the reception, Vogel will interview the artist about his work starting at 5 p.m., followed by a question/answer session.

    This exhibition, which is part of the 2014-2015 University Series, is supported by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden. It is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

    All exhibitions and gallery lectures are free.

    For additional information about this exhibition and others presented by the SFA art galleries, visit http://www.art.sfasu.edu/ or call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Student-directed ‘The Man Who Turned Into a Stick’ teaches life lessons

    Student-directed ‘The Man Who Turned Into a Stick’ teaches life lessons

    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed “The Man Who Turned Into a Stick” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Senior Michael Spencer of Colleyville directs Kobo Abe’s one-act play that contemplates life and demands audience participation to consider its meaning on a personal level.

    “On a hot day in front of a store, two delinquents waste away on the curb,” Spencer said in describing the play’s synopsis. “Suddenly, a stick falls from the sky. From the shadows enter Man and Woman From Hell, who fight for control of the stick. The stick jumps in the boy’s hand. The boy and girl leave. When the smoke clears, Woman From Hell is taught a hard lesson, and the audience is taught an even harder one.”

    The cast includes Grand Prairie junior Chipper Morris as Boy; Leander freshman Kayla “Kindie” Peterson as Girl; Beaumont freshman Erik Freels-Vargas as Man From Hell; The Woodlands senior Ashe Vernon as Woman From Hell; and Lufkin freshman Jacob Carr as Man Who Turned Into a Stick.

    The production staff includes M.J. Myer, Houston senior, as stage manager; Victoria Stoner, Odessa junior, scenic designer; Brianna Veselka, West senior, costume designer; Troy Carrico, Austin junior, lighting designer; Nicole Novit, Dallas senior, sound designer; and Lincoln Smith, Venus junior, make-up designer.

    Focusing on acting and directing, Spencer has appeared in “Blood Wedding,” “WASP” and “Wit.” He has performed in a number of community shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu. “The Man Who Turned Into a Stick” is recommended for mature audiences (teens or older).

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  • Artistic exchange between SFA, University of Chihuahua continues to thrive

    Artistic exchange between SFA, University of Chihuahua continues to thrive

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    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    When an exhibition of artwork by students and faculty at the School of Art at the University of Chihuahua opens on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus, SFA Professor of Ceramics Piero Fenci will take great pride and satisfaction in seeing the artistic relationship he established between the Mexican university and SFA continue to flourish.

    The upcoming exhibition, which opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in Griffith Gallery in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, runs through Friday, Dec. 12. It is comprised of works on paper, with media ranging from drawing to printmaking, photography and digital media.

    This exhibition is part of an exchange program between SFA and the La Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua. The exchange started more than a decade ago when Fenci went to UACH to teach a one-month ceramics workshop. Since 2004, Fenci has continued to regularly visit the University of Chihuahua, helping support and develop the ceramics program he created there. As a result, students from UACH have come to SFA to earn master’s degrees in art.

    “This effort has been my opportunity to do in Mexico what I did here at SFA, and that was to build a ceramics program from virtually nothing,” Fenci said. “I’ve been able to go to Chihuahua almost every year to mentor the program, build kilns, lecture and demonstrate.” Fenci’s last workshop at the University of Chihuahua was a ceramic and cast glass workshop taught jointly with his SFA art faculty colleague Maki Hajikano last fall.

    Adán Sáenz, one of Fenci’s former ceramic students who earned an MFA at SFA, is professor in charge of ceramics at the University of Chihuahua. He said the exhibition coming to SFA provides an overview of the kind of work being produced by students and faculty at UACH.

    “The works of the exhibition are very diverse in media, subject matter and style,” Sáenz said. “We are very excited to be able to participate in this exhibition and hope that we can continue strengthening the relationship between SFA and the University of Chihuahua.”

    That continues to be Fenci’s goal – to recruit more UACH graduates to SFA to earn master’s degrees that will prepare them for great opportunities in the art world. Another of Fenci’s former MFA students, Kira Enriquez, heads up the ceramics program at Indiana State University.

    “Four prospective students from the University of Chihuahua will be accompanying this exhibition,” Fenci said. “We will be doing our best to convince them to apply here.”

    All SFA art exhibitions are free and open to the public. Griffith Gallery is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. For information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform music of composer Walczyk

    Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform music of composer Walczyk

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    Composer-in-residence Kevin Walczyk

    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will feature the music of composer-in-residence Kevin Walczyk when the ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Walczyk, who is professor of music at Western Oregon University, will be on campus prior to the concert to work with SFA music students, according to David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA and conductor of the Wind Symphony.

    The Symphonic Band, under the direction of Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will open the concert performing “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Originally written as an overture to a pageant in the Royal Albert Hall in 1939, the piece has also been adapted for brass band and symphony orchestra, according to Anglley.

    The Symphonic Band will next feature Walczyk’s “Children’s Folksong Suite” written in 2007.

    “This five-movement work is based on five Hungarian folk melodies with simple, child-like character found in Béla Bartók’s piano collection entitled ‘For Children,’” Anglley said.

    The Symphonic Band will also perform “Shadow Rituals” by Michael Markowski, which won first prize in The Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in 2006. Dedicated to Ticheli, this one-movement piece is “a rhythmic, energetic, dark and mystical dance – a reflection of something primitive or ancient,” Anglley explained.

    The Symphonic Band will close its portion of the concert with “Trafalgar March” by Wilhelm Zehle.

    The Wind Symphony will perform two of Walczyk’s works. “From Glory to Glory” was commissioned by the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference to honor and celebrate the life of Heather Reu, daughter of Molly and Ray Cramer. Cramer is a past president of the Midwest Clinic and former director of bands at Indiana University.

    “Heather’s life was lived with energy, commitment, passion and an incredible love for her adopted children,” Campo said. “Walczyk dedicated this work to all those who were blessed by Heather’s life.”

    “Visionplace of Souls” was composed as a memoriam to those who sacrificed their lives during the rescue efforts surrounding the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Walzyck commented, “I remembered a passage from the memoirs of a citizen soldier of the American Civil War whose words, written over a century ago, have found meaning in the collective tribulation of Sept. 11, 2001.” The passage reads, “In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger to consecrate ground for the visionplace of souls.”

    “The words of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain still ring true today; the heroes of these new battlefields have certainly demonstrated that, ‘in great deeds,’ hope, life and liberty will prevail forever,” Campo said.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA alumnus to perform guest recital in annual Octubafest

    SFA alumnus to perform guest recital in annual Octubafest

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    Trevor Culp

    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present guest artist and SFA alumnus Trevor Culp performing in SFA’s Ninth Annual Octubafest at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    “SFA is one of several universities around the country that takes part in Octubafest, which was created to promote the tuba and euphonium as solo and chamber instruments rather than an accompanying bass line,” said J.D. Salas, assistant professor of tuba and euphonium studies at SFA.

    Culp, who is principal tubist for the Santa Fe Symphony, will perform “Concerto in F minor for Bass Tuba” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Sonata in E Flat” by Johann Sebastian Bach.

    “Composed in 1954, the Williams concerto is the first ever written for solo tuba and orchestra,” Salas said. “It has stood the test of time as the definitive concerto for the instrument.”

    Originally composed for flute, “Sonata in E Flat” made its way in to the tuba repertoire and shows the dexterity of the instrument, Salas explained.

    “Some musicologists suggest that this is the work, at least in part, of C.P.E. Bach or some other composer,” he said. “Yet, the authorship has not been disputed seriously enough for this light, entertaining piece to be banned from the Bach catalog. Here, the composer takes note of the emerging gallant style of the 1730s, with light textures, simple harmonies and highly ornamented melodies.”

    Culp is a freelance musician and private instructor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He holds degrees from SFA and Southern Methodist University and has performed with the Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet, Victoria Symphony and Lyric Stage. Culp has earned honors in several music festivals including first prize in the Mock Orchestral Audition at the 2011 National Brass Symposium. In 2008, while at SFA, he earned the “President’s Award for Outstanding Soloist.” He has advanced in several international auditions, and was runner-up for the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and a finalist for the New Jersey Symphony principal tuba audition.

    Tickets for this Cole Performing Arts Series event are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA’s Choral Union, Women’s Choir to present ‘From Heaven to Earth’

    SFA’s Choral Union, Women’s Choir to present ‘From Heaven to Earth’

    October 14, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Choral Union and Women’s Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “From Heaven to Earth” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The program includes selections that pertain to the subjects of Heaven or Earth or both, according to Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA and the choirs’ director.

    Joining the Choral Union in performing a selection from Joseph Haydn’s “Creation” will be SFA voice faculty members Debbie Berry, Jamie Dahman and Chris Turner. Staci Spring, bassoon instructor, will also join the Women’s Choir to play continuo on a selection from “Christ lag in Todesbanden” by J.S. Bach.

    “We will also be joined by student instrumental majors on works by Heinrich Schütz, Ron Nelson and Craig Hella Johnson,” Fish said.

    Among the works the Women’s Choir will perform are “Hoj, Hura Hoj,” which is a Moravian mountain song in Czechoslovakian arranged by Otmar Macha, “Macha employs many special effects to emulate the sounds of echoes bouncing off the mountains,” Fish explained.

    The choir will also perform “Tundra” by Ola Gjeilo and “Nigra Sum” by Pablo Casals.

    “This motet setting, by the famous cellist Casals, is a staple in the women’s chorus repertoire,” Fish said. “Casals uses simple, tonal harmonies to create a beautiful lyrical composition that is loved by choirs and audiences alike.”

    The Choral Union will perform “Herr, wenn ich nur dich habe” from “Musikalische Exequien” by Schütz. “Musikalische Exequien,” literally translated is “Funeral Music,” and is a product of the composer’s “minimalist” period, where he adapted his music to suit his meager resources during the Thirty Years War, according to Fish.

    “Ave Maria” by Igor Stravinsky, “Spaseniye sodelal” by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli will also be performed.

    “‘Earth Song’ delivers a poignant message of music and singing, serving as our refuge in these tumultuous times of world unrest,” Fish explained. “It is a song of hope for a peaceful future.”

    The concert, which is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music, will also include graduate student Marissa Maddoux conducting “Lift Thine Eyes” from Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA to screen “Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse” at Cole Art Center

    SFA to screen “Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse” at Cole Art Center

    October 9, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    A one-night, free screening of “Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Directed by Austin film director Dwight Adair, “Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse” is part of the Texas Independent Film Network, according to Brad Maule, instructor in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art cinematography department.

    “Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse” is a one-hour documentary about the Texas fiddler, songwriter and owner of the legendary Cotton Club in Lubbock, Maule explained.

    “Hancock was not only the leader of a West Texas premier western swing band,” Maule said, “but he was a non-conformist who dabbled in LSD. He began a spiritual quest that not only changed his life, but also influenced many Austin musicians such as Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Lloyd Maines and Jesse Taylor.”

    The film is not rated, but some subject matter and language may not be suitable for children.

    Light refreshments will be served. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA music faculty member Raychev to perform ‘cello soliloquy’

    SFA music faculty member Raychev to perform ‘cello soliloquy’

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    Evgeni Raychev

    October 9, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    Evgeni Raychev, faculty member in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, will be featured in a cello recital at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    “This recital is a cello soliloquy,” Raychev said. “It invites all who treasure the music of the past and the voice of the violoncello.”

    The program selection will include compositions by established composers from the Baroque period to the 20th century.

    “There will be no bridge with popular music of any kind – no gimmicks, no jokes,” Raychev said. “There will be only pure music played with good intentions.”

    The recital is dedicated to “a good friend,” he added.

    Tickets for this Cole Performing Arts Series event are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Art educators’ brunch set for Saturday at Cole Art Center

    Art educators’ brunch set for Saturday at Cole Art Center

    October 9, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    A brunch designed to bring together East Texas art educators is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Sponsored by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, the event provides an opportunity to “connect with fellow art teachers and teachers who are interested in integrating the arts into other subjects,” said Cala Coats, assistant professor of art education in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art.

    Coats said she and colleague Bill Nieberding, who is also an assistant professor of art education at SFA, view the event as a good opportunity to meet teachers from Nacogdoches, Angelina and adjoining counties in an effort to “strengthen the community of artists, art teachers and educators interested in the arts.”

    “We hope to further develop the sense of community among local art teachers and make them aware of the resources and opportunities offered by both the Cole Art Center and the art education program in the School of Art at SFA,” Coats said.

    Any art educators may attend the event. For more information or to RSVP, email Coats at coatsc@sfasu.edu. Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St.

    article ID 736

  • Meyer to perform as soloist with SFA Wind Ensemble

    Meyer to perform as soloist with SFA Wind Ensemble

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    Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA, will perform as soloist with the SFA Wind Ensemble when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, in Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

    October 6, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Wind Ensemble will feature music faculty member Brad Meyer as soloist in the ensemble’s fist concert of the year, slated for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Meyer will perform “Concerto No. 2 for Marimba and Wind Ensemble” by American composer David Gillingham.

    “This piece shows off the variety of sounds a marimba can make, from lyrical to technical,” said Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA and the ensemble’s conductor.

    “I am extremely honored that Mr. Allen chose me to perform Gillingham’s ‘Concerto No. 2’ with the SFA Wind Ensemble,” Meyer said. “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Mr. Allen and all the talented musicians. The students have worked extremely hard to put together this colorful and expressive composition. I am certain the performance will be exciting and entertaining for every age of audience member.”

    Opening the concert will be “Celebration Fanfare” by American composer Kevin Walczyk, who will visit the campus the following week to interact with SFA music students.

    The second half of the program features music from German composers, beginning with “Huldigungsmarsch” by Richard Wagner, written for band in 1864. The concert closes with a cornerstone work for modern bands, ‘”Symphony in Bb” by Paul Hindemith.

    “This is a mammoth composition,” Allen said. “It is full of interesting compositional techniques while still being very listenable.”

    This concert is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Chamber Orchestra Kremlin to perform in University Series

    Chamber Orchestra Kremlin to perform in University Series

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    Stephen Lias
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    Russia’s Chamber Orchestra Kremlin will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the College of Fine Arts’ 2014-2015 University Series, “Connect.”
    October 6, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The renowned Russian ensemble Chamber Orchestra Kremlin will return to the Stephen F. Austin State University campus to perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the College of Fine Arts’ 2014-2015 University Series, “Connect.”

    “The orchestra performed here a few years ago and was very popular with our University Series patrons,” said John W. Goodall, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We are excited to present this program in this year’s series. And, once again, the orchestra will perform an original composition written by our own Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the School of Music.”

    The program will feature Lias’ composition “Pursued.” In 2006, Lias entered the work in the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin’s “Homage to Mozart” competition. It was selected as a finalist, and, as such, was performed during a concert in Moscow, which Lias attended. The orchestra also performed it the following year at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Since then, Lias has kept in touch with Misha Rachlevsky, the orchestra’s music director, and when the ensemble came to SFA a few years ago, it premiered Lias’ new string orchestra piece “Denali.”

    “Now that the orchestra is returning once again, it seems a perfect opportunity to present to the SFA community the original piece that brought us together – ‘Pursued,’” Lias said.

    The Louisiana Sinfonietta originally commissioned Lias to write the composition.

    “This piece is a brooding, but energetic work in the style of the score to a Hitchcock film,” he said. “Upon learning that the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin was coming to SFA again, I contacted Maestro Rachlevsky and was pleased to learn that he was already planning on playing a piece of mine. We agreed that this piece was the logical choice.”

    Founded in 1991, the orchestra, comprised of some of Russia’s finest young string players, has carved a niche for itself under the creative baton of its founder and music director Rachlevsky. Many of the concerts the orchestra has performed to date were done in Moscow; the rest were on tours in 24 countries in Europe, North and South America and the Far East.

    “The orchestra’s discography of more than 30 CDs has received widespread international acclaim,” Goodall said.

    Prior to the concert, Lias will present a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery about the artists and their music. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor, BancorpSouth.

    Griffith Gallery and Turner Auditorium are located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets range from $20 to $40, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6406 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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    article ID 732

  • SFA music faculty member Salas to present tuba recital

    SFA music faculty member Salas to present tuba recital

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    J.D. Salas

    October 6, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present music faculty member J.D. Salas in a tuba recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

    The program, titled Reformations,” features the world premieres of two pieces for tuba, including “Reformations for Tuba and Percussion,” composed by Salas’ father-in-law, James R. Wright, and “Catacombs for Tuba and Recorded Track” by Jason K. Nitsch. Accompanying Salas for this program will be Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA, and pianist Geneva Fung, staff accompanist.

    “I chose the title based on the type of repertoire programmed,” Salas said. “The recital will feature the premiere of works for tuba in some of the newest mediums along with some other works not typically performed on tuba.”

    “Reformations for Tuba and Percussion” features three movements, each of which is named after members of Salas’ family, including himself, his son, R.J., and his wife, Kat.

    “Catacombs for Tuba and Recorded Track” features the tuba in “a haunting setting, which is further expanded through the use of recorded sound effects,” Salas said.

    The program also features “Onkonkle y Trompa” by jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius. Transcribed from Pastorius’ debut album, the arrangement will feature Salas performing on both electric bass and tuba through the use of effects pedals, along with Meyer on the ethnic percussion.

    This concert will be the opening event for SFA’s ninth annual Octubafest, according to Salas.

    “Each October, universities around the world celebrate the tuba and euphonium through events involving solo recitals, student performances and tuba-euphonium ensemble performances,” he said. “SFA joined in this tradition in the fall of 2006.”

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Finding love, acceptance focus of student-directed ‘Feeding the Moonfish’

    Finding love, acceptance focus of student-directed ‘Feeding the Moonfish’

    October 6, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed “Feeding the Moonfish” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Senior Allison Day of San Antonio directs Barbara Wiechmann’s one-act play, which Day describes as a “darkly enchanting drama.”

    “In southern Florida, two young adults from broken homes meet at a dock late at night,” Day explains. “One of them is plagued by an unknown trauma. Both are looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. Will they find it with each other?”

    The cast includes Houston freshman Jason Trevino as Martin; Austin freshman Rachel Bollinger as Eden; Covina, Calif., junior Maddison Myers as Moonfish 1; Columbus, Ohio, sophomore Andrea Nelson as Moonfish 2; Rockwall junior Tori Carew as Moonfish 3; and Dallas junior Celeste Galey as Moonfish 4.

    The production staff includes Taylor Dobbs, Baytown sophomore, as stage manager; Landy Trapp, Crystal City senior, scenic designer; Brian Butler, Wylie senior, costume designer; Troy Carrico, Austin junior, lighting designer; and Trevor Moore, Richardson senior, sound designer.

    Day is earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and directing. Her professional credits include roles in “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” and “Crimes of the Heart” at Canterbury Summer Theatre. Among her performance credits at SFA are “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Blood Wedding,” “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” “Godspell” and “Woman and Scarecrow.” Later this fall, she will appear in “Spamalot,” which is to be presented as part of the College of Fine Arts’ University Series.

    Day is also an aspiring playwright and will see her first play produced in Scotland next summer.

    Faculty production advisor for “Feeding the Moonfish” is Laura Rikard, assistant professor of theatre at SFA.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu. “Feeding the Moonfish” is recommended for mature audiences (teens or older).

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  • ‘Trojan Barbie’ assistant director, dramaturg offer unique expertise to play

    ‘Trojan Barbie’ assistant director, dramaturg offer unique expertise to play

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    In preparation for the upcoming SFA School of Theatre’s production of “Trojan Barbie, theatre students Ashe Vernon, left, who serves as dramaturg for the play, and April Gore, assistant director, discuss scenes from playwright Christine Evans’ award-winning drama. “Trojan Barbie” opens Tuesday, Oct. 7, and runs nightly at 7:30 through Saturday, Oct. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    October 2, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre majors April Gore and Ashe Vernon have specific titles attached to their names in the program for the School of Theatre’s production of Australian playwright Christine Evans’ award-winning drama, “Trojan Barbie.

    Gore is assistant to Rick Jones, SFA professor of theatre and the play’s director. Vernon is dramaturg for the play. But the actual work each student is performing for this complex play and the expertise each brings to the stage is somewhat unique, according to Jones, who explains that both jobs are “pretty much to do what needs to be done.”

    “Whereas I’ve had an assistant director on virtually everything I’ve directed at SFA and a dramaturg for most shows,” Jones said, “I’ve relied on April and Ashe more than I have usually done with students in those positions in the past.”

    The dramaturg gathers information relevant to the production, such as definitions of terms and information about places mentioned in the script. But often, the dramaturg provides specific expertise. For example, last spring’s “Blood Wedding” needed dramaturgs who could help select the best translation of the original Spanish-language text for that play. Jones selected three students who, in addition to being good reliable students and theatre artist, were fluent in Spanish.

    For “Trojan Barbie,” Jones needed someone who could help him and the cast to negotiate some of the gender issues in the play. As a gender studies minor at SFA, Vernon “could start this process already knowing more about the kinds of behaviors highlighted in this play than I could learn in the available time,” Jones said.

    Although Vernon researched script details, Jones said that her greatest contribution to the production has been in looking at issues of hypermasculinity, child grooming and rape culture, all of which are seen in this play.

    “My first job was to compile a packet that would be given to the actors and designers which included information related to gender, rape culture, gender roles, rape survivors, pedophilia, imperialism and toxic masculinity,” Vernon said, “as well as information on Homer’s ‘Illiad’ and Euripides’ ‘Trojan Women’ and other information on Troy and the Greek pantheon of gods.”

    Vernon explains that hypermasculinity refers to the extreme and dangerous expression of the masculine ideal, or when the idea of “being a man” becomes dangerous and violent, while grooming is a technique used by pedophiles in order to gain children’s trust. Both behaviors are addressed extensively in the play.

    “I also did a lot of writing about rape culture and rape victims, since that is another theme that comes up again and again in this show,” Vernon said. “These women have gone through unimaginable pain at the hands of the soldiers, and it was important that the actors have the background knowledge to understand the extreme conditions under which their characters are operating.”

    Being dramaturg for such an extensive and complex play was a lot of work for Vernon, “but so rewarding,” she said.

    “I am absolutely in love with the script of ‘Trojan Barbie’ and the underlying messages it portrays,” she said. “The subjects of gender, feminism and sexuality are all hugely important to me, and I have spent a lot of my own personal time researching them to make sure that I can communicate the concepts effectively. On top of that, I’m a proud feminist who is very outspoken on subjects like gender and sexuality.”

    Gore wanted to take on the demanding role of assistant director mainly for the educational value of working with and observing Jones as director. But she also wanted this role because of the script.

    “After reading the script for the first time, it put a fire in my belly that I couldn’t extinguish,” Gore said. “The themes and issues in the play were some I feel strongly about and felt they needed to be addressed. I wanted to be a part of something that could really make an audience think and evaluate.”

    A dancer since age 4, Gore is experienced in tap, jazz and ballet. While living in the United Kingdom, she taught dance and was a choreographer for younger students. This past summer, she choreographed dances for children in workshops at Theatre Arlington, and she has helped choreograph numbers for the Fredonia Players and for Downstage productions. Because of this talent, Jones turned one of the scenes in ‘Trojan Barbie” over to Gore.

    “The scene I was given was one that I got extremely excited about and was definitely one that suited my personality and flair,” she said. “This scene is very different from the rest of the play. We had a lot of fun creating the movement and enjoyed finding the classic moments.”

    Gore said she has been eager to take on “whatever has been thrown at me” as assistant director, believing that “each task has tested different skills of mine and really trained me to be a better director for the future,” she said. She has worked with actors on character building and their monologues, and she leads warm-ups before rehearsals to get the actors focused “and to prepare them for the journey they are about to encounter as these characters.”

    “Trojan Barbie” will be presented at 7:30 nightly Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 7 through 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building.

    Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu.

    The play is recommended for mature audiences, and a content advisory is available at theatre.sfasu.edu. “Trojan Barbie” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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    article ID 729

  • Noted violinist Gogichashvili to perform concert at SFA

    Noted violinist Gogichashvili to perform concert at SFA

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    Eka Gogichashvili

    October 2, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts, School of Music and the Cole Performing Arts series will present Eka Gogichashvili performing a guest violin recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    Gogichashvili, associate professor of violin at Baylor University, is a soloist, chamber musician and teacher, and she is well known for her performances both in the United States and abroad. Joining her in concert is pianist Kae Hosoda-Ayer, assistant professor of piano at Baylor University, who also enjoys a full career as a performer and teacher and has performed worldwide as a collaborative artist.

    “The program consists of two sonatas for violin and piano, which are both great pieces and important contributions to this genre,” said Jennifer Dalmas, associate professor of violin at SFA.

    The first half of the program will feature the “Kreutzer Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

    “The ninth of Beethoven’s 10 sonatas for violin and piano, this is the most grand and impressive, with brilliant and equally demanding writing for both performers,” Dalmas said.

    The second half of the program will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 2 in D major.

    “Originally for flute, this sonata is known as one of the lightest and most lyrical of his compositions,” Dalmas said. “Shortly after its publication, Prokofiev transcribed the work for violin, and it was first performed by the great violinist David Oistrach in 1944.”

    Gogichashvili will also teach a master class that is free and open to the public at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in Music Recital Hall.

    The Music Recital Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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