U.S. Air Force Band of the West brass ensemble to perform at SFA
U.S. Air Force Band of the West brass ensemble to perform at SFAAugust 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
The Freedom Brass ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West will perform at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.
The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is featured in this year’s Cole Performing Arts Series.
Freedom Brass is a brass quintet with percussion, which showcases military professionalism at Department of Defense ceremonies and public concerts throughout the Gulf Coast region on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. The ensemble is a component of the USAF Band of the West located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, according to information at http://www.bandofthewest.af.mil.
The USAF Band of the West has performed for presidents, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world earning an outstanding reputation among America’s military bands.
Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.
Admission is free. For 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 ‘Tracks’ documentary
SFA to screen ‘Tracks’ documentaryAugust 29, 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 “Tracks” at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.
The film, directed by John Curran, tells the true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who in 1977 undertook a solo trek across 1,700 miles of Australian outback. A chance meeting with National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan provides her with the necessary financing for her expedition under the condition that he be allowed to photograph parts of her journey for the magazine. With only her dog and four unpredictable camels for company, she embarks on an inspiring and life-changing journey of self-discovery, according to information at tracks-movie.com.
Nominated for numerous awards, “Tracks” won a Film Critics Circle of Australia award for best cinematography in 2015 and an Australian Cinematographers Society award for features in 2014.
“Tracks” runs one hour, 52 minutes. The suggested rating is PG-13 for some partial nudity, disturbing images and brief strong language, according to information at imdb.com.
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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University Series opens with Sands’ ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’
University Series opens with Sands’ ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’August 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
The College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will open the 2016-2017 University Series season with an extraordinary British actor performing the works of a Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet.
Julian Sands will present “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in William M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. In 2005, Sands was approached by Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Pinter to prepare a set of Pinter’s poems for a special presentation in London. Working closely with Pinter, Sands was granted a rare insight into his personality, life and work.
“This extraordinary collaboration evolved into a wonderfully humorous and fascinating solo show,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series. “We think this is a great way to open our new season, which also features a sensational blues concert, a Celtic Christmas celebration, one of America’s top female brass quintets and a dynamic Dutch vocal ensemble.”
Directed by Oscar nominee John Malkovich, “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and subsequently at The Irish Repertory Theatre in New York and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, as well as in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Budapest, London and Paris.
“This will be an evening of heroic theater with an extraordinary actor,” Shattuck said. “‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’ gets to the soul of the man not only as a poet, playwright and Nobel winner, but also as a husband, political activist and person.”
Sands is frequently seen worldwide in motions pictures, on stage and on television. He trained in London at The Central School of Speech and Drama and has appeared in more than 100 films, including “The Killing Fields,” “A Room With A View,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Arachnophobia,” “Oceans 13” and David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” On television, he is best known for his role on“ 24” but has also been seen on “Smallville,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Dexter” and “Banshee.”
“A Celebration of Harold Pinter” was nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award. It is recommended for mature audiences.
This performance is sponsored in part by Commercial Bank of Texas.
Prior to the performance, Slade Billew, assistant professor of theatre, will present an informative talk about Pinter at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performer and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor.
Single event ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3.
Other upcoming University Series performances include the Big Head Blues Club featuring Big Head Todd and Monsters with special guests on Oct. 13; Danú Celtic Christmas concert on Dec. 16; Seraph Brass Quintet on Jan. 24; and Olga Vocal Ensemble on Feb. 2. Season tickets are still available.
For tickets or more information on the 2016-2017 University Series, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium.
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SFA faculty art exhibition includes show by artist Brewer
SFA faculty art exhibition includes show by artist BrewerAugust 19, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
The Annual School of Art Faculty Exhibition at Stephen F. Austin State University, featuring a separate show by Jeffie Brewer, assistant professor of sculpture and drawing, opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.
The faculty show is an event the university community looks forward to at the beginning of each fall semester, according to John Handley, director of galleries at SFA.
“I am very proud of our faculty in the School of Art and their dedication to, not only educating the next generation of artists, but also their commitment to their own art making,” he said. “Many of these artists are carried by art dealers around the U.S., and some also have their work in major museum collections.”
The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 15, includes mediums of all types, Handley said.
“Typically each year we see a variety of recent work from our SFA School of Art faculty – painting, drawing, photography, film, sculpture, metal work, mixed media – and that ‘hard-to-categorize’ piece that often is included,” Handley said.
Brewer has titled his exhibition “when I get my hands on you,” stating the ideas and subsequent work for the show “have been bouncing around in my head for quite some time.”
“It’s been very cathartic to get it out,” he said. “So thinking about the ideas and imagery, working them into different solutions in my mind, and then putting the visions into action is all part of the process, culminating in the final products straight from my hands.
“The expression ‘when I get my hands on you’ can mean several things – from very nice to very dark, and I enjoy that dichotomy,” he said. “Things aren’t always what they seem.”
On his website, Brewer describes his work: “We are given a brief amount of time together. As an artist, I consider it a gift to be able to share my vision and experience. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s thoughtful, and a lot of the time it’s just silly. The shared experience of existing, living, loving, thinking... seeing beauty, knowing fear, feeling passion, and just being is further magnified through art – creating, discussing, collaborating, learning and teaching. I have been privileged to have great mentors, teachers and friends; to continue to share this with a new generation of artists, students and viewers is fantastic.”
Brewer described this exhibition as “a very selfish show.”
“I made most of this stuff for me,” he said. “I wanted to see it and get it out of me. I hope each viewer will take away something personal from the exhibition, whether it’s funny, like an inside joke or introspective, or even inspirational.”
Admission to the exhibition, which is sponsored in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum, is free. Gallery hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.
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Reading of ‘Love Letters’ to benefit SFA theatre scholarships
Reading of ‘Love Letters’ to benefit SFA theatre scholarshipsAugust 19, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
An informal, intimate evening with two of the most beloved performers in East Texas is a must-see event when the Friends of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University host a reading of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
Brad Maule and Rhonda Plymate Simmons will perform close to the audience and conclude the reading with a casual conversation with everyone in attendance. Proceeds from the event will provide scholarship opportunities for students in the SFA School of Theatre.
“Love Letters” is a play that depicts a life-long romance conducted almost entirely through the mail, according to Scott Shattuck, who will direct the reading. Gurney, the play’s author, may be best known for having written the Broadway play and the film “Sylvia,” in which a woman plays a dog adopted by a married couple, according to Shattuck.
“‘Love Letters’ is written to be performed as ‘reader’s theatre’ where two actors (a man and a woman) sit side by side with scripts open and perform the play with minimal movement or other theatrical spectacle,” Shattuck said. “Their relationship begins with a simple thank-you note from one child to another and extends through several decades of successful, complicated lives lived mostly separately but always with an undercurrent of powerful connection between the two.
“It is funny, poignant and surprisingly suspenseful as the audience becomes rapt in the ups and downs and very human surprises of this singular relationship,” he said.
The inspiration for the reading came when Simmons, who is the longtime president of the Friends of Theatre, expressed a desire to raise funds for the students of the School of Theatre.
“She and Brad had been hoping for a chance to perform together again after the fun they had appearing in the School of Theatre’s Mainstage Series production of ‘August: Osage County’ in the spring of 2015,” Shattuck said. “Gurney’s play presents an ideal opportunity.”
The Friends of Theatre is the local community support organization for SFA’s School of Theatre. Generous Nacogdoches community members contribute and raise funds for scholarships, awards and other projects that benefit theatre students and the school’s theatre productions. They also provide hospitality for guest artists such as the playwrights that come to Nacogdoches for Jack Heifner’s biennial Festival of New American Plays.
“Members also serve as advocates for theatre by influencing other community members to attend productions and support our work,” Shattuck said.
Recently, the School of Theatre used Friends of Theatre funding, in part, to provide scholarships for students who traveled in 2015 to Edinburgh, Scotland, to perform in the International College Theatre Festival at the renowned Festival Fringe and who traveled this past June to Ireland to study Irish theatre, culture, history and literature.
“Hopefully, the proceeds from this reading will replenish these funds to give the school the flexibility to award scholarships or other support for similarly exciting opportunities in years to come,” Shattuck said.
Maule is a faculty member of the schools of Theatre and Art at SFA. Before returning to his alma mater in Nacogdoches, he spent 22 years as a star of television’s “General Hospital,” earning two Daytime Emmy Nominations for his acting, and as a guest star on dozens of primetime series. He is well known in Deep East Texas not only for his television and commercial appearances but for his long-running radio talk show, Maule in the Morning (which recently concluded its run on Lufkin’s KSFA) and his support of countless local charity events and businesses.
Simmons was a professional actor and singer in Dallas and New York City for several years before coming to Nacogdoches to start a family, open a business, and earn a master’s degree in theatre at SFA. As a student here, her roles included Mama Rose in “Gypsy” and Portia in “The Merchant of Venice.” She later appeared with SFA faculty and staff members in “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” and later in the Summer Repertory Theatre production of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” She is also owner of Express Employment Professionals serving Nacogdoches and Lufkin.
Shattuck, who recently became associate dean of the College of Fine Arts after nine years as director of the School of Theatre, is the co-author of the textbook “The Director’s Vision” Second Edition. At SFA, he has directed productions including “The Arabian Nights,” “August: Osage County,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Tickets for the reading are $25 for adults and seniors and $7.50 for students. For tickets or more information, visit theatre.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.
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Large-scale mixed-media drawings featured in Troutman exhibition
Large-scale mixed-media drawings featured in Troutman exhibitionAugust 18, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will present as its first exhibition of the 2016-17 academic year, “Christopher Troutman: Drawing and Narrative,” which runs Aug. 31 through Oct. 14 in Griffith Gallery in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.
Troutman’s beautifully rendered drawings portray scenes from urban daily life, defining the form and space of figures within their environments, according to John Handley, director of galleries at SFA.
“His work touches on the idea of illustration,” Handley said. “In the artist’s own words, they ‘examine storytelling inspired by personal narrative.’ His images are complex in their narrative and visual representation as well as in their use of unusual perspective.”
Handley describes Troutman as “a master draftsman, able to create visually compelling imagery that touches on the real and the imaginary.”
“Having a command of drawing is a foundation of great art, even if the artist abandons it for abstraction,” he said.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Troutman has lived since 2013 in Beaumont, where he teaches all levels of drawing at Lamar University. In his work, Troutman uses drawing to define the form and space of figures and environments, as well as examine storytelling inspired by personal narrative.
He earned a B.F.A. from Bradley University in Peoria. After later moving to Japan, he and his wife opened a conversational English School in Kagoshima City. While living in southern Japan, he was the first foreign resident of Kagoshima to be awarded the Grand Prize at the 52nd Kagoshima Prefectural Art Exhibition in 2005. After completing an M.F.A. in drawing and painting at California State University, Long Beach, Troutman taught in at Eastern Kentucky University, Vincennes University and Eastern Illinois University.
He has had solo exhibitions in Japan and at several locations throughout the U.S. Troutman’s work has appeared in numerous drawing publications and in juried drawing exhibitions. He was recently awarded the Grand Prize (Paris Prize) at the 66th Miyanichi Sougou Art Exhibition in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. He and his family return to Japan annually.
Admission to the exhibition, which is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum, is free. A reception with the artist will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Griffith Gallery.
Gallery hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call (936) 468-1131. Griffith Fine Arts Building is located at 2222 Alumni Drive.
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SFA’s Heterodyne Duo presents concert of saxophone, percussion music
SFA’s Heterodyne Duo presents concert of saxophone, percussion musicAugust 18, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Heterodyne Duo in concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, in Cole Concert Hall in the first recital of the 2016-17 Cole Performing Arts Series.
The Heterodyne Duo features music faculty members Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies, and Dr. Nathan Nabb, professor of saxophone. They will perform a recital featuring contemporary and ethnic, dance-style music.
Among the works to be performed is “Release” by John Fitz Rogers, who describes the piece as a companion to an earlier one titled “Push.” The previous piece, scored for solo electric guitar, consists of “unrelentingly fast lines and repeated notes played at loud volume and with distortion.” In “Release,” he says he took a similar approach in that there are fast lines as well as repeated notes and chromatic figures articulated by both the saxophone and marimba. Though the form of both works is similar, in "Release," the music is much quieter and gentler.
The duo will also perform Astor Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango” and Miriam Young’s “Snapdragon.” “Histoire du Tango” covers the evolution of the dance through the 20th century. Written in four movements, the piece chronicles the tango from its polite café form through its new nightclub dance form, making it into a new form for concert music.
Political in nature, “Snapdragon” was written just after America’s initial attack on Iraq and features “music that reflects a sense of anger and helplessness in the face of cruel acts imposed by man or nature,” Young said.
“Snow was falling in Princeton, physically trapping me in a tall apartment, while my connection with the outside world – the TV – projected sensational stories and graphic images of a faraway places in turmoil,” Young wrote of composing the piece. “There was a gradual sense of becoming numb, as weather and war preyed on a creeping awareness of my incapacity to act in any tangible way. So, the music that emerged has a poignant physicality: it is music rooted in the body – experiential, dynamic and earthy.”
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’s Music Prep Division busy with open house, fall registration, workshops
SFA’s Music Prep Division busy with open house, fall registration, workshopsAugust 11, 2016—Robbie Goodrich
A number of exciting events are on the horizon within the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.
A Music Prep Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 20, at 3028 Raguet St. Prep faculty will be present to talk with parents and children about private and group lessons. Emily Mitchell, harp instructor for both Music Prep and the School of Music, will perform at the open house.
Registration has begun for fall classes, and registration forms are available on the Prep website at http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep. Private lessons are available in piano, voice, flute, violin, cello, guitar, composition, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, horn, harp and euphonium. A new option this fall allows payment in four separate installments, according to Pat Barnett, Music Prep director.
“This option makes it more convenient for families to budget their children’s music education,” Barnett said.
The fall program begins the week of Aug. 22. Students may enroll for 16 private lessons or 12 private lessons for the semester. Also offered are the Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, the Adult Piano Class and the Choristers. Orchestra auditions will be held during the open house. Dr. Evgeni Raychev, director, asks that interested students bring one solo piece that best represents their technical and musical ability.
In a new initiative this fall, the School of Music and Music Preparatory Division will offer a Music Teachers Workshop on Saturday, Sept. 10, for those teaching in elementary, middle or high schools. Participants will receive six continuing education credits upon completion. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus. Tuition is $50, and registration forms are available on the Music Prep website.
For the third year and back by popular demand, Music Prep will host the Middle School All Region Choir Camp for schools in Region 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in the Wright Music Building. Students who have attended the camp in previous years are from Tyler, Whitehouse, Palestine, Carthage, Lufkin, Bullard and Nacogdoches middle schools.
Both the Music Teachers Workshop and the Middle School All Region Choir Camp are fundraising events for the Music Prep program to raise money for scholarships for students desiring to pursue the study of music, Barnett said.
The Music Prep office is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, contact Barnett at (936) 468-1291 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Facebook site at SFA Music Prep.
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