College of Fine Arts News Archive

December 2016

  • SFA student quartet wins prestigious competition

    SFA student quartet wins prestigious competition

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    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orphic Quartet, a student music ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University, recently won the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Chamber Winds competition for the state of Texas. Students of Dr. Nathan Nabb, saxophone professor in the SFA School of Music, the quartet includes Scott Augustine, Humble junior, soprano saxophone; Keaton Garrett, Irving senior, alto saxophone; Laurette Roddin, Oakdale, New York, graduate student, tenor saxophone; and Matt Castner, Orlando, Florida, graduate student, baritone saxophone. The Orphic Quartet was recently accepted to perform at the International Saxophone Symposium hosted by the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and will perform on the featured master class program at the conference.

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  • SFA’s Music Prep announces December recital schedule

    SFA’s Music Prep announces December recital schedule

    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music has announced its fall recital schedule.

    A number of performances will take place beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in the performance hall of the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St. The afternoon concerts will feature guitar students of Chance Moore, cello students of Kate Hire, harp student of Emily Mitchell, voice students of Charlotte Davis and violin/fiddle students of Emily Williams.

    Violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and cello students of Dr. Evgeni Raychev will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. in Cole concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    On Sunday, Dec. 11, piano students of Mary Cooper will perform at 2 p.m. in Cole Concert Hall, and music major instructors’ piano students and students of Dr. Mario Ajero will perform at 4 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

    The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, directed by Raychev, will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, in Cole Concert Hall.

    Fall recitals will conclude on Saturday, Dec. 17, with the SFA Young Violinists, composed of students of Brenda Josephsen, performing at 4 p.m. in Cole Concert Hall and piano students of Linda Parr performing at 4 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

    All recitals are open to the public.

    Registrations for spring classes offered through the Music Preparatory Division are being accepted. Music Prep offers musical training on any level of proficiency. Overall musicianship is stressed in addition to the study of an instrument. Private music lessons are offered in piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, classical guitar, voice, percussion, French horn, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, composition, euphonium and flute.

    In addition to the Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, Music Prep offers the PineyWoods Fiddlers, an adult piano class, the Raguet Strings adult ensemble and Music Theory Adventures classes. Music Prep teaches all ages, from infants to 80 and beyond. Music therapy is also offered.

    For a complete listing of classes and types of instruction available, visit or contact Director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

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  • SFA music student’s composition to premiere at prestigious Ukraine competition

    SFA music student’s composition to premiere at prestigious Ukraine competition

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    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Tyler sophomore Jesse Edwards will soon have one of his compositions premiered at the 2016 Alfred Schnittke International Composers’ Forum and Competition in Lviv, Ukraine. His woodwind quintet, “Saturday Afternoon,” will be performed Dec. 7 in the concert hall of the Lviv Philharmonic Society.

    Edwards’ composition was selected through a highly competitive process to be included at the finalist level of the overall event, according to Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the SFA School of Music and Edwards’ composition instructor.

    “Although there is another level to the competition that will occur in Ukraine, the honor he has already earned by getting this far is on par with the highest accomplishments any of our SFA students have achieved,” Lias said. “Added to that, the pivotal experience he’ll have by attending this international symposium will be truly life-changing for him.

    “We are extremely proud of Jesse’s accomplishments and expect even more will come as he continues to grow as a composer,” Lias added.

    The competition is held in conjunction with a series of concerts, the first of which took place Nov. 30 and the others are scheduled for Dec. 7 and Dec. 12, in Lviv where Edwards will be involved with and attend rehearsals of his piece and eventually hear it premiered. At the conclusion of the concert series, three official winners will be announced.

    Inclusion of Edwards’ work in the competition elevates him from student composer to international composer.

    “It’s a testament of my composition ability,” he said, “particularly to musicians in the future of whom I want to play my music.”

    Edwards further explained the significance of the competition exposure as “a giant circle,” in which reputable performances lead to more reputable performances and greater opportunities.

    “An international premiere associated with the Lviv Philharmonic shows to any musicians short of that status that I’m capable of writing for them and having my music performed by them,” he said. “This means that a lot of really good musicians will take me more seriously than when my biggest premiere was by a college orchestra, which is still great, and I’m not bashing that.”

    Edwards said he always takes a great deal of time composing works musicians such as those performing these competition pieces would consider of high quality.

    “Before doing anything with a piece of music, there has to be a lot of tedious editing to make the music look and sound as though it could and should be played by a group of reputable musicians such as this,” he said “So when cool opportunities like this come around, all I have to do is submit.”

    Edwards said he is able to attend the conferences and concert in Lviv due to the “incredible generosity and support” of Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts, and Dr. Michael Tkacik, director of the School of Honors.

    Edwards’ goal is to have a successful career as a composer.

    “I love it all—film, theatre, concert settings,” he said. “Wherever I can get my music played is where I’ll be.”

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  • SFA’s Culinary Café to host closing reception for artwork created by Gary Frields

    SFA’s Culinary Café to host closing reception for artwork created by Gary Frields

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    “I Dreamed...” a mixed-media piece created by artist Gary Frields, is one of several pieces that has been on exhibit throughout the fall semester in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Culinary Caf&. SFA will host a closing reception for Frields’ artwork from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Culinary Café, located in the Education Annex, Room 121, on the university’s campus.

    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Artwork created by Gary Frields, an artist and former Stephen F. Austin State University professor of art who passed away in 2013, has been on exhibit in SFA’s Culinary Café throughout the fall semester. A closing reception will be held for the exhibit from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Culinary Café, located in the Education Annex, Room 121.

    Frields’ widow, Tamara Robertson, organized the exhibit that features Frields’ paintings, drawings, sculptures and digital artwork. A portion of the proceeds from artwork sold during the exhibit will benefit the Gary Q. Frields Art Scholarship, which is annually awarded to an SFA art major.

    “Gary’s philosophy regarding art was open ended. He did not believe there was any one right way to begin an artwork or any one right style of art,” Robertson said. “To me, he was a Picasso.”

    In his artist’s statement, Frields described his creative process as spontaneous and perceptive. He wrote, “I begin most works with no attempt to make any particular thing. I proceed relentlessly relying on emotional, intuitive reactions while exploring materials and responding as things happen that are not planned.”

    The SFA and Nacogdoches communities are invited to attend the closing reception, and light refreshments will be served.

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  • SFA Percussion Studio to coordinate ‘Unsilent Night’ interactive event

    SFA Percussion Studio to coordinate ‘Unsilent Night’ interactive event

    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Studio at Stephen F. Austin State University and its director, Dr. Brad Meyer, will coordinate an interactive community performance of Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at The Liberty Bell, 422 E. Main St., downtown Nacogdoches.

    Participants will enjoy a 45-minute walk through picturesque Nacogdoches while listening to a recording of “Unsilent Night” that has been downloaded to play over a smart device connected to portable speakers or to a CD played over a boom box.

    Meyer encouraged community members to participate in the performance by following one of two steps:

    • Download the app ( or search “Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night” in your app store) and play it over a smart device by connecting it to a portable speaker.
    • Download one of the four mp3 tracks from and burn it to a CD that can be played over a boombox.

    People can play the music from the app over their phone speaker, but this has a less-than-desirable sound quality and should only be used if the other options are not possible, Meyer said.

    “If inclement weather occurs, we plan on doing the performance inside The Liberty Bell,” he said. “To participate, simply be at The Liberty Bell by 7:15 p.m. and have a way to play the ‘Unsilent Night’ music. Music players are not supplied by the host, so please plan on bringing your own music player.”

    Joe Woodard of The Los Angeles Times described the “Unsilent Night” event as, “A dreamy fruitcake of parts, tranquil even through its anarchy.” And K. Leander Williams in Time Out New York said, “Kline’s luminous, shimmering wash of bell tones is one of the loveliest communal new-music experiences you’ll ever encounter, and it’s never the same twice.”

    Meyer further defined it as a family-friendly event, with people often bringing their children with infants and toddlers in strollers.

    “‘Unsilent Night’ has in fact become a holiday tradition for many families,” he said. “Some families have been doing it for the past 20 years, and their children have grown up walking ‘Unsilent Night.’”

    The event is part of the SFA School of Music’s Cole Performing Arts Series. For more information, go to, visit or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • Cole Art Center to host “The Art of Christmas Past” display

    Cole Art Center to host “The Art of Christmas Past” display

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    Lithographed Paper Santa Claus, ca. 1900 is among the items featured in the display “The Art of Christmas Past,” showing in downtown Nacogdoches’ Cole Art Center throughout December.
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    A variety of holiday toys and other items are featured in “The Art of Christmas Past” display at Cole Art Center.
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    Antique ornaments, some of which are more than 100 years old, are part of “The Art of Christmas Past” display at Cole Art Center.
    December 6, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    In celebration of the holiday season, The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will host a display of antique Christmas ornaments throughout December.

    “The Art of Christmas Past” is provided courtesy of two private collectors and features a variety of ornaments, many of which are 100 years old or older, according to John Handley, director of galleries for the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art.

    Included will be delicate hand-blown and painted glass ornaments, hand-made ornaments of spun cotton with applied faces, and the hard-to-find Dresden cardboard ornaments of the 19th century, Handley said.

    Handley’s exhibition statement describing “The Art of Christmas Past” reads: “The marriage of the young Queen Victoria to the German-born Prince Albert in 1840 changed the landscape of English taste forever. Albert was instrumental in bringing his German traditions to England, which included the Christmas tree. From that time onward, Victoria and Albert popularized a new way of celebrating Christmas, complete with table top miniature trees adorned with hand-made ornaments, candles, sweets, fruit, and small gifts. Within a few years, homes across England and the United States began to follow suit.”

    “The display will also feature an assortment of antique toys and other Christmas-related items,” Handley said.

    Exhibitions and displays are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum. Admission is free.

    The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic art gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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