College of Fine Arts News Archive

May 2016

  • SFA music alumni to perform in ‘An American Requiem’

    SFA music alumni to perform in ‘An American Requiem’

    May 5, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Three alumni of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will return to their alma mater to perform in the annual choral masterworks series concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Under the direction of Dr. Tim King, director of choral studies at SFA, the A Cappella Choir, Choral Union, Women’s Chorus and the Orchestra of the Pines will perform “An American Requiem” by Richard Danielpour. Guest soloists will be SFA alumni Erin Roth, mezzo-soprano; Dr. Richard Novak, tenor; and Casey Jones Parrish, baritone.

    Roth’s career as a lyric mezzo-soprano has advanced with performances at Opéra Louisiane, Des Moines Metro Opera and the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, singing roles that include Pitti-Sing in W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's “The Mikado,” Meg Page in Giuseppe Verdi's “Falstaff,” Siébel in Charles Gounod’s “Faust,” and Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss' “Die Fledermaus.” She has performed as a featured soloist in many works, including George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” Verdi’s Requiem, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, Felix Mendelssohn's “Elijah” and, most recently, Vivaldi's “Gloria.” She was a grant recipient in the Fielder Grant competition and a national finalist in the American Prize competition, as well as the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, where she received the Audience Choice Award. Roth recently performed in the inaugural season of the Dallas Choral Festival, singing Ludwig van Beethoven's “Missa Solemnis” with a professional chorus of 100 singers from across the nation. She now lives in Plano with her husband, Chad, and currently serves as the alto section leader and soloist-in-residence with the Sanctuary Choir at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. She regularly performs as a soloist and chorister with the Highland Park Chorale, a professional choral group. She most recently joined the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Dallas-Fort Worth’s premier chamber ensemble, where she was a soloist in Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. She earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at SFA in 2007 and was a student of Nita Hudson.

    Novak has established a national reputation as a professional tenor and voice teacher. He has performed with Washington Concert Opera, Opera Carolina, San Antonio Opera, Opera Piccola, Annapolis Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, The Living Opera, Wagner Society of Washington, San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Choir, San Antonio Choral Society, Chautauqua Symphony, Prince William Symphony, the Monroe Symphony, the Conservatorio di Musica Agostino Steffani in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, and the Institute of Culture in Culiacán and Mazatlán, Mexico. Among Novak’s operatic credits are Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Alfredo, Don José, Nemorino, Ernesto, Werther, Eisenstein, Tamino, Lippo, Roméo, and Tybalt. In 2005 and 2006, Novak won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Tulsa District. He is also a former winner of the Texoma NATS Singer of the Year award. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in vocal performance from SFA, and a doctoral degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas. He is the music director at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels where he is also choir director and music teacher. He is an adjunct voice instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word and is founder/artistic director of the Saints Peter & Paul Young Artist Recital Series, which presents young artists with performance opportunities and financial support for furthering musical pursuits. He resides in New Braunfels with his wife, Laura, and three children.

    Parrish is a native of Livingston and has lived in Houston since July of 2015. After graduating from SFA in 2014, he served as assistant choir director under the leadership of Dr. Tod Fish at Coronado High School in Lubbock. Later, Parrish moved to Houston with his fiancé where he now serves as assistant choir director at Cook Middle School in Cy-Fair ISD. He is a member of the Houston Men’s Choir along with other SFA alumni Jake Taylor, Clint Jordan and Brian Miller. Parrish is a staff singer at the United Methodist Church-Downtown Houston under the direction of SFA alumnus Dr. Terry Morris. During his years at SFA, Parrish had the opportunity to perform a variety of opera roles, including Olin Blitch from Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah,” Marco from Bedřich Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride,” and Germont from Verdi’s “La Traviata.” He has traveled to several European countries performing a wide variety of choral works with King and the SFA A Cappella Choir. In 2011, he had the opportunity to perform the baritone solo from Velio Tormis’ “Raua Needmine” at the TMEA convention in San Antonio with the A Cappella Choir. Parrish earned both a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance in 2012 and master’s degree in choral conducting in 2014 at SFA under the mentorship of King and Hudson.

    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

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  • SFA to host free screening of ‘Thunder Soul’

    SFA to host free screening of ‘Thunder Soul’

    press image
    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Audio Engineering Society at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a free screening of “Thunder Soul,” a documentary about bandleader Conrad “Prof” Johnson and the Kashmere High School Stage Band, at 2 p.m. Friday, May 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Produced by Jamie Foxx and directed by Mark Landsman, the film tells the story of alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for their beloved bandleader who turned the struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s, according to the IMDb description.

    Now, years later, Johnson’s students prepare to pay tribute to the man – age 92 at the time the film was made – who changed their lives. Some haven’t played their horns in decades, yet they dust off their instruments, determined to retake the stage to show Prof and the world that they’ve still got it with the making of a CD release, “528-0727.”

    The film is one hour, 23 minutes and is rated PG for language and momentary smoking. A question-answer session will follow.

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  • SFA’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    SFA’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Students in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present their spring recitals May 7 through May 17.

    “The students have worked hard this semester in order to bring their gift of music to parents, families and friends,” said Pat Barnett, division director.

    Piano students of Dr. Mario Ajero and music major instructors will perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus, followed by music major instructors’ string students performing at 4 p.m. in the recital hall.

    Classical guitar students of Kaleb Benge will perform at 5 p.m. Monday, May 9, in the Music Prep performance hall, 3028 Raguet St.

    The SFA Choristers, directed by Carolyn Andrews, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The SFA Young Violinists, students of Brenda Josephsen, will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Piano students of Mary Cooper will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in Cole Concert Hall, followed by the piano students of Linda Parr performing at 4:30 p.m., also in Cole Concert Hall.

    Under the direction of Dr. Evgeni Raychev, the Piney Woods Youth Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, in Cole Concert Hall.

    Spring recitals will conclude with a performance of Raychev’s cello students and violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Admission to all recitals is free.

    Registrations for summer classes are being accepted. Forms are available online at For more information about the SFA Music Preparatory Division, contact Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

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  • SFA film series to feature Academy Award-winning ‘Ida’

    SFA film series to feature Academy Award-winning ‘Ida’

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    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of “Ida” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, the film tells the story of Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, who is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation, according to information at

    “Ida” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015. The film is 82 minutes and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and smoking.

    This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by the Nacogdoches Film Festival, William Arscott, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, Main Street Nacogdoches, David Kulhavy, John and Kristen Heath, Brad Maule, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens and Jim and Mary Neal.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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