College of Fine Arts News Archive

September 2016

  • SFA’s University Series to present Big Head Blues Club

    SFA’s University Series to present Big Head Blues Club

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    Big Head Todd and the Monsters lead the Big Head Blues Club, along with second-generation blues stars Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Erica Brown, in performing a tribute to one of the most influential songwriters of early rock and roll entitled “Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon” in a College of Fine Arts’ University Series event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    September 30, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    As part of its 2016-17 University Series, the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will present an exciting performance of the Big Head Blues Club at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The Big Head Blues Club featuring Big Head Todd and the Monsters with Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Erica Brown will present “Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon,” a performance that pays tribute to “one of the pillars of modern blues,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series.

    “Dixon was a Chicago blues artist, perhaps best known for his songwriting,” Shattuck said. “He has been called ‘the poet laureate of the blues’ and ‘the father of modern Chicago blues.’

    “We anticipate this will be a very popular concert, with tickets going fast,” he said. “As soon as we announced this performance last summer, we began getting phone calls from members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ fan club. We expect it to be a sell-out.”

    Fans of Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy, or even Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, have heard the songs of Willie Dixon. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dixon was a key architect of the Chicago blues sound that many people say gave birth to rock and roll. By the time of his passing in 1992, Dixon had written more than 500 songs, including such immortal hits as “Bring It On Home,” “Spoonful,” “You Need Love,” “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover,” and “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” many of which were covered by some of the world’s best-known arena rock bands.

    As the Big Head Blues Club, platinum recording artist Big Head Todd and the Monsters along with Morganfield, Branch, Brooks and Brown, joined forces on the newly recorded album “Way Down Inside.” The Big Head Blues Club kicked off its U.S. tour Sept. 22, with back-to-back performance dates in major cities prior to and after the Nacogdoches show. The album will be available on the tour and online and is scheduled for national release in early 2017.

    “Willie Dixon was a great writer, an incredible bass player, a great thinker and a beautiful guy,” notes Todd Mohr, lead singer and guitarist for Big Head Todd and the Monsters. “He tends to get overlooked because so much of what he did was behind the scenes, but he was definitely one of the most important songwriters in American music. He always professed that the blues is an accurate mirror of human life, and his subject matter ranged from politics to love songs and everything in between. So I'm excited to be able to tell more people about Willie Dixon with this project.”

    Big Head Todd and the Monsters – featuring modern guitar hero Mohr; Brian Nevin, drums; Rob Squires, bass; and Jeremy Lawton, keys – are best known for their chart-smashing album “Sister Sweetly” and their hit song “Bittersweet.” They’ve also been fans of blues music since their first days playing music together in high school.

    Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters and recently released a Blues Music Award-winning album; Branch is a three-time Grammy Award-nominee who played harmonica in Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars band; and Brooks, son of Chicago blues master Lonnie Brooks, is an accomplished blues guitarist and bandleader in his own right. Denver-based blues artist Brown has worked with the band over the years.

    This performance is sponsored in part by Lehmann Eye Center.

    Prior to the performance, Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor in the SFA School of Music, will present an informative talk about blues music 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 performers 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 Danú Celtic Christmas concert on Dec. 16; Seraph Brass Quintet on Jan. 24; and Olga Vocal Ensemble on Feb. 2.

    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 to screen ‘La Camioneta’ documentary

    SFA to screen ‘La Camioneta’ documentary

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    A free screening of the documentary “La Camioneta” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    September 30, 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 “La Camioneta” at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly colored camionetas that transport the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. Since 2006, nearly 1,000 camioneta drivers and fare-collectors have been murdered for either refusing or being unable to pay the extortion money demanded by local Guatemalan gangs. “La Camioneta” follows one such bus on its transformative journey: a journey between North and South, between life and death, and through an unfolding collection of moments, people and places that serve to quietly remind viewers of the interconnected worlds in which we live, according to information at lacamionetafilm.com.

    Mark Kendall directs this 2012 film, which runs 71 minutes.

    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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  • Cole Series to feature guest bassoon, piano recital

    Cole Series to feature guest bassoon, piano recital

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    Ann Shoemaker
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    Kae Hosoda-Ayer
    September 30, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present Ann Shoemaker and Kae Hosoda-Ayer in a guest bassoon and piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program will feature all modern repertoire for bassoon and piano, written in the 20th and 21st centuries by French and American composers. Shoemaker and Ayer recorded the music for a CD that will be released in 2017. Among the highlights is Joseph Schwantner’s “Black Anemones,” which was originally written for soprano and piano and adapted for flute and piano at the request of flute artist Ransom Wilson, Shoemaker explained.

    “I fell in love with the piece and decided to play it on the bassoon,” she said. “I think it works beautifully!”

    The most technically challenging piece on the program, and relatively unknown in the bassoon community, “Variations Concertantes” by Ida Gotkovsky, explores different characters in each variation and is not a typical “theme and variations,” Shoemaker said.

    “It asks the bassoon to play in the extremes – high and low, soft and loud, lyrical and aggressive,” she said. “It is very difficult but very satisfying to perform.”

    The program also includes Etude No. 5: Variations on “Streets of Laredo” by John Steinmetz. The short piece for unaccompanied bassoon is based on the popular tune “Streets of Laredo,” but the variations are neo-Baroque in style, Shoemaker said.

    Shoemaker is known for her varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and educator. She currently serves as assistant professor of bassoon at Baylor University and is principal bassoonist with the Shreveport and Waco symphony orchestras. She’s performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras across the South. She is a founding member of the Relevents Wind Quintet and has toured with the ensemble throughout the U.S. and Germany.

    Hosoda-Ayer is assistant professor of piano at Baylor University. She has concertized throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Korea, where she is in demand both as a soloist and collaborative pianist. With her husband, SFA clarinetist Christopher Ayer, she performs as the Duo Karudan throughout the U.S., Canada and Japan and has performed at the International Clarinet Association World Conferences in Tokyo, Austin and Atlanta.

    The performance is a feature of the Cole Performing Arts Series. 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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  • Swingin Axes, Aces to perform music of jazz greats Nestico, Holman

    Swingin Axes, Aces to perform music of jazz greats Nestico, Holman

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    SFA’s Swingin’ Axes and Aces jazz bands will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    September 30, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present the Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces jazz bands performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Among the highlights of the concert will be a performance of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place,” arranged by James Miley, said Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone and director of the Axes.

    “This arrangement of this modern rock song uses electronic effects and vocals, some of which I’ll be singing, to create a contemporary jazz sound,” Scott said.

    The Axes will also perform “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Billy Strayhorn in a new arrangement by Gordon Goodwin that will feature lead tenor saxophone player Alec Bartlett, a sophomore from Winter Springs, Florida.

    Also on the Axes program are “Afro Blue” by Mongo Santamaria, arranged by Michael Philp Mossman; “Here’s That Rainy Day” by Jimmy Van Heusen, arranged by Dee Barton; “The Opener” by Bill Holman (also written and recorded by the Stan Kenton Orchestra); “Boneheads” by Nick Lane; “Fall Madness” by Bill Liston; and “23’ North/82’ West” by William Russ, as recorded by the Stan Kenton Orchestra on the CD “New Concepts in Artistry in Rhythm.”

    The Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium, will feature several selections arranged by Sammy Nestico and Dave Wolpe, including “Fly Me To The Moon” by Bart Howard, “I’m Beginning To See The Light” by Rory Bourke and “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Johnny Mandel.

    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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  • Backstage magic takes center stage in musical production

    Backstage magic takes center stage in musical production

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    The cast of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” rehearses fight scenes in the rock musical.
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    Richmond sophomore Daniel Hicks as Andrew Jackson’s father rehearses a scene in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”
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    Baytown senior Taylor Dobbs (on ladder), assistant scenic designer, assembles sets with the help of student crews.
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    Costume, hair and makeup designer Cloey Hammonds of Nacogdoches builds an 18th century coat for one of the “Founding Father” characters in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”
    September 27, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Angela Bacarisse believes “it takes a village” to bring all the pieces of the production puzzle together to form a successful play.

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre professor often describes working in theatre in two ways: the human connection, and the mechanical connection.

    “When you see how many people are involved, it becomes clear that we are a buzzing beehive of a small village,” she said.

    That’s the situation underway as theatre students prepare to open the rock musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” Oct. 4 on the W.M. Turner Auditorium stage as the first Mainstage Series performance of the year. Along with Bacarisse as director and choreographer, Dr. Tod Fish, associate professor of choral activities for the SFA School of Music, is musical director, and Longview senior theatre major Tanner O’Neal is student assistant director.

    “I often tell students that for every person on stage, there are between 10 and 15 people off stage making the show happen,” Bacarisse explained, “from playwright to publicity, costume and sound design to props and painting.”

    With music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and a book by Alex Timbers, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” takes a comedic look at the founding of the Democratic Party and portrays Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president, as an emo rock star. Emo is a style of punk rock music but with more complex arrangements and lyrics that deal with more emotional subjects. The process for this play began with research for both Bacarisse, as the director, and for Leander junior Kayla Peterson, dramaturg for the production.

    “Dramaturg is really just a fancy word for research assistant,” Peterson said. “My main job is to study the historical and contextual background of the show and compile the information in a way that is comprehensive and straightforward for the cast. The ultimate end result is that the cast members have a greater understanding and appreciation for the characters they play, as well as the world in which those characters exist.”

    The next step, according to Bacarisse, was to gather a design team and share ideas about the script. A number of student designers are working on the production, including Nacogdoches senior Cloey Hammonds, who is completing her second costume design for a Mainstage production. Kingwood senior Bruce Moran serves as sound designer.

    “As a sound designer, it is my job to analyze the script and find the places where sound effects or music can be used to help shape the world of the show,” Moran said. “Designing sound is more than just making noise, though that is always the end result. On average, a good sound design requires weeks to come together, but the end result is a character that is heard but not seen.”

    All of the designers, faculty or student, rely on skilled technicians to get the job done, Bacrisse said. In particular, several students work as skilled theatrical electricians for the musical, including Hutto junior Brittany Tennis, who is the master electrician in charge of all lighting equipment, making sure that it is placed where the designer wants it and has proper electrical circuiting.

    “I am also responsible for updating paperwork and supervising the student crew and making sure that they stay safe and are properly handling our equipment,” Tennis said.

    With a large set, designed by theatre Professor Tara Houston, and lots of stairs to climb, cast members are in for an aerobic workout, Bacarisse said. As an ensemble piece, the musical has everyone, with the exception of the student cast as Andrew Jackson, playing multiple roles.

    “Along with costume changes, there will be differences of character physicality and vocal work to consider,” she said. “Everyone is going to be stretched by this production.”

    Pulling all these people and their contributions together is the vital job of the stage manager, Bacarisse explained, which for “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” is Brownsboro senior William Odom, who is stage managing his fourth major production at SFA. He also oversaw the School of Theatre’s production that traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2015, and he was an assistant on a number of other productions, including the musical “Spamalot” in 2014.

    “Stage managers have to be able to see the whole picture – what is needed and when,” Bacarisse said. “The stage manager is the ‘master mechanic’ that keeps the machine moving forward.”

    Countless hours of rehearsals, building sets and costumes and providing the technical support for a production this size keep students busy for weeks prior to opening night.

    “The hardest part about working in academic theatre is that once we get students trained, they graduate,” she said. “But what joy to know we are sending good artists out into the working world.

    “There is no magic; it is sheer human labor,” Bacarisse said. “But if what the audience sees appears to be magic, then we have all done our jobs well.”

    “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” runs Oct. 4 through 8. The show is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory may be viewed at http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

    Single tickets are $15 for adult, $10 for senior and $7.50 for student/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu. Performances are at 7:30 nightly.

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  • Art students assist in curating ‘State of the Union’ exhibition

    Art students assist in curating ‘State of the Union’ exhibition

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    Dana Younger’s “Legends of the Lone Ranger Part I: Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Legislation” is a feature of the exhibition “State of the Union,” showing Oct. 4 though Nov. 5 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    September 27, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will host “State of the Union” exhibition Oct. 4 through Nov. 5 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. An opening reception is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

    “State of the Union,” which includes painting, drawing, photography, fibers, sculpture, metalworking, ceramics, silk-screening, digital art and video, is designed to showcase how artists today are reacting to the world around them, according to Lauren Selden, associate professor of art and whose students participated in curating the exhibition.

    Showing during the final weeks of the 2016 general election season, the exhibition will focus on social and political themes, including political campaigns, environmental concerns, education, immigration, human rights, trade, globalization and other contemporary concerns, Selden explained.

    “During election season, it is a nice time to reach out to the art world and find out what contemporary concerns are illustrated through art making,” she said.

    Multiple artists were invited to submit work, and students in the Art 492 Professional Practices course curated the exhibition, which includes the work of artists from across the U.S. and Mexico.

    Beyond the benefit of bringing contemporary work from artists ranging across media, the exhibition serves as “a high-impact, student-learning experience,” Selden said.

    The students will learn the many components of setting up a professional exhibition, including selecting and arranging work, receiving shipped artwork, writing professional documents for the exhibition, building furniture for the exhibition, preparing text panels and labels, placing vinyl letters, installing the exhibition, corresponding with the artists, hosting a reception, taking down the exhibition, and returning the shipped work to individual artists.

    “Preparing an exhibition is a valuable experience for these students and will aid them when they exhibit their own BFA exhibitions,” Selden explained. The experience also illustrates future job opportunities available in the arts, she said.

    Each work will have a short statement that expresses how the artist arrived at his/her completed works. These statements will also give the viewers a glimpse into the contemporary social and political themes being addressed.

    “Although this show addresses contemporary concerns, the work is often subtle and can be viewed by people from all political backgrounds,” Selden said. “There will be one work in which the artist encourages interaction and connection to social media; this work will be showcased especially at the opening reception.

    “We are thankful to the Cole Art Center and the participating artists for allowing this great learning opportunity and to be part of the SFA exhibition schedule,” Selden said.

    Admission to the exhibition, which is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum, is free. Cole Art Center 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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  • Concerto winners to perform with Orchestra of the Pines

    Concerto winners to perform with Orchestra of the Pines

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    Claire Salli
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    Kelsey Quinn
    September 27, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will spotlight this year’s concerto winners in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Each work in the program, which is titled “A Musical Homage,” pays homage to another work, according to Dr. Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA. The program opens with “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” a work by Maurice Ravel, who pays homage to the Baroque master, François Couperin, Moon said.

    “Written originally as a piano suite, Ravel conveys the subtle nuance of French Baroque music through his work, well-crafted for chamber orchestra two years after the completion of the piano suite,” Moon explained.

    The orchestra will present its first concerto winner, Claire Salli, a senior music education major from Arlington, who joins the orchestra in performing the first two movements of Paul Creston’s Concerto for saxophone and orchestra.

    “While being an American composer, Creston attributes his compositional influences to composers of the Baroque era – Bach and Scarlatti, two composers who lived in the same time as Couperin, as well as Debussy and Ravel, the masters of Impressionistic music,” Moon said.

    Salli has been a member of SFA’s Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Lumberjack Marching Band. Last year, she was the tenor saxophonist in the Zephyr saxophone quartet, which advanced as semi-finalists in the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance quartet competition. Salli has taught private lessons, marching band and music sectionals in Denton, Nacogdoches and the Houston area. She has been a camp counselor for the SFA summer band camps as well as a unit counselor at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. In 2014, Salli was a conductor for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in saxophone performance after she graduates this spring.

    The second half of the concert features works by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. Graduate student Kelsey Quinn of San Antonio, the second concerto winner, will join the orchestra in performing “Song to the Moon” from Dvořák’s most famous opera, “Rusalka.”

    “One could perhaps interpret Dvořák’s opera as a clairvoyant homage, inspiring the story of a famous Disney movie,” Moon said. “The orchestra concludes the evening with Dvořák’s mighty Symphony No. 8 in G major, a monumental work in its own right.”

    Quinn recently received her bachelor's degree from SFA and is continuing her education here as a graduate student. She graduated magna cum laude and is a member of the music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda. She has performed such roles as Marie in "The Most Happy Fella" and Marenka in "The Bartered Bride." She was a semi-finalist in regional competitions in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

    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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  • Reception planned for Troutman exhibition

    Reception planned for Troutman exhibition

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    September 26, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    An artist’s reception for the exhibition “Christopher Troutman: Drawing and Narrative” is slated for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Griffith Gallery on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The exhibition, which features Troutman’s beautifully rendered drawings portraying scenes from urban daily life, will continue showing through Oct. 14.

    John Handley, director of galleries at SFA, describes Troutman as “a master draftsman, able to create visually compelling imagery that touches on the real and the imaginary.”

    “His images are complex in their narrative and visual representation as well as in their use of unusual perspective,” Handley said.

    Admission to the exhibition, which is hosted by the SFA School of Art and sponsored in part by the Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum, is free.

    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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  • Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase set for Thursday night

    Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase set for Thursday night

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    September 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Among the featured Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music faculty members who will perform in the annual Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus are, front, from left, Mario Ajero and Nita Hudson; middle, from left, Lee Goodhew, Emily Mitchell, Emily Milius, Kayla Roth, Deb Scott, Scott LaGraff, Charlotte Davis, Gary Wurtz and Stephen Campbell; and back, from left, Andrew Parr, Richard Leonberger, Ron Petti and Christina Guenther. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Proceeds benefit music scholarships.

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  • SFA’s Hachidori Duo to present ‘Songs and Dances’ recital program

    SFA’s Hachidori Duo to present ‘Songs and Dances’ recital program

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    The Hachidori Duo, which includes husband-and-wife musicians Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, associate professor of violin and viola in the SFA School of Music, and Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    September 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Hachidori Duo at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “Songs and Dances” when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The Hachidori Duo includes husband-and-wife musicians Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, associate professor of violin and viola in the SFA School of Music, and Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor. Their recital is a feature of the School of Music’s Cole Performing Arts Series.

    The program features works by J.S. Bach, Rebecca Clarke, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály.

    “We chose the title ‘Songs and Dances’ because we are including wonderful examples of each in our program,” Dalmas said. “Our recital will open with some lovely transcriptions of arias from Bach’s ‘Magnificat’ for violin and cello, arranged by Norman Nelson, father of SFA School of Music faculty member Kirsten Nelson. A number of Bartók’s Rumanian dances will also be included.”

    The largest scale and final piece on the program will be Kodály’s Duo, Op. 7 for Violin and Cello.

    “Composed in 1914, this work completely explores the full range of both the sonorities and the technical possibilities on the violin and cello,” Dalmas said. “Much like Bartók, Kodály skillfully blends the Hungarian folk music of his native land with the formal musical structures of Western tradition.”

    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 Cole Series to feature guest flute, guitar recital

    SFA’s Cole Series to feature guest flute, guitar recital

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    Julee Kim Walker
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    Alejandro Montiel
    September 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present a guest flute and guitar recital featuring Julee Kim Walker and Alejandro Montiel at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Walker, who is assistant professor of flute at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Montiel, who leads two full-time guitar studios at both Sam Houston State University and Lone Star College-Montgomery, will present their 2016 fall recital tour program, “Dance, Dance, Revolution.”

    “I am very excited to be hosting Julee Kim Walker and Alejandro Montiel,” said Dr. Christina Guenther, professor of flute at SFA. “They are presenting a really exciting program of works for flute and guitar by masters ranging from Bach to Piazzolla, which I think will appeal to all audience members.”

    Among the program pieces are Partita in A Minor by J.S. Bach, Saudade No. 3 by Roland Dyens, Serenade, Op. 127 by Mauro Giuliani and other works by Astor Piazzolla and Jacques Ibert.

    Walker is an active performer and pedagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex where she is director of the annual Texas Summer Flute Symposium held in Commerce. She performs regularly with the Sherman Symphony, South Arkansas Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Lyric Stage (Irving), and has also performed with the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony and Shreveport Symphony orchestras. She has appeared as soloist with the American Wind Symphony, Texas A&M University-Commerce Wind Ensemble and Banda Sinfônica de Cubatão
in Brazil. She is also a member of Metroplex Flutes and FlutAria! trio.

    Described by Soundboard Magazine as a "flawless musician, filled to the brim with polished technique," guitarist Montiel enjoys a performing career that has taken him throughout the United States, Central America and Europe. He is also a sought-after chamber musician throughout Texas and has been featured on multiple recordings, including the Texas Guitar Quartet's critically acclaimed debut album “RED.”

    Walker will also present a flute master class earlier in the day from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. Guenther will be involved in a guest artist exchange and will be traveling to Texas A&M-Commerce in October to present a concert and master class.

    The concert is part of the Cole Performing Arts Series. 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. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

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  • SFA theatre students to present Roderick’s ‘Props’

    SFA theatre students to present Roderick’s ‘Props’

    September 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Playwright Michael Roderick’s “Props” will open the fall semester of Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s student-directed plays.

    Directed by San Antonio senior Jade Bishoppetty, “Props” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    The play is about a prop artist who immerses himself in his work after a difficult breakup. The project involves a prop woman, and the women in his life become concerned with his obsession, Bishoppetty said.

    “His creation comes to life, and he has to deal with making decisions about love and relationships,” she said.

    The cast includes Austin sophomore Gabriel Penaloza-Hernandez as Andrew; Lake Dallas senior Andrea Nelson as Susan; Houston junior Anais Saenz as Kerri; Maypearl junior Chelsea Rodrigue as Denise; and Tyler senior Katt Akin as Melissa.

    The production staff includes Matthew Weaver, Lake Dallas sophomore, stage manager; Andy Bauerle, Conroe senior, scenic designer; Victoria Medrano, Edinburg junior, costume designer; Reagan Moore, Richmond junior, lighting designer; Danika Pettyjohn, Fort Worth senior, sound designer; and Kindle Bonner, Hudson senior, properties manager.

    The play is recommended for mature audiences. Faculty production advisor is Dr. Rick Jones.

    Bishoppetty has previously directed “The Red Coat,” “The Brothers Grimm Spectacular” and Act 3, Scene 2 of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

    The Downstage Theatre is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • SFA music faculty members present annual scholarship concert

    SFA music faculty members present annual scholarship concert

    September 16, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Faculty members of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will be the featured performers during the annual Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    "This concert is a showcase featuring the talents of our diverse performing faculty," said Deborah Dalton, SFA associate professor of voice and president of the local chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society.

    "In addition, all proceeds benefit the Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship we give each year to the sophomore music major with the highest grade point average," Dalton said. "For the past few years, awards were given to several sophomores with 4.0 grade-point averages."

    The musicians have selected a wide range of musical styles and will perform in a variety of solo and ensemble settings.

    Among the composers' works to be performed are Astor Piazzolla, Giovanni Dettori, Isaac Albéniz, Henri Duparc, William Bolcom and Gary Schocker.

    Nathan Nabb, alto saxophone, and Brad Meyer, marimba, will perform Piazzolla’s Café 1930, Mvt. II from “Histoire du Tango.” Mario Ajero, piano, will perform Dettori’s “Lady Gaga Fugue,” and Andrew Parr, piano, will perform Albéniz’s “Rondeña” from “Iberia.” Christina Guenther, flute, and Ron Petti, piano, will perform Schocker’s “Airborne,” and Dalton, mezzo-soprano, and Mary Cooper, piano, will perform Bolcom’s “Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise.”

    Other performers include Kimberley LaGraff, mezzo-soprano; Scott LaGraff, baritone; Deb Scott, trombone; Nita Hudson, mezzo-soprano; Richard G. Leonberger, tenor; Emily Milius, soprano; Geneva Fung, piano; and Emily Mitchell, harp.

    "This is one of the most popular concerts of the year because there is truly something for everyone, from sopranos and saxophones to trombones and tenors," Dalton said.

    The recital is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is a part of the 2016-2017 Cole Performing Arts Series. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building at 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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    article ID 1126

  • SFA’s Guenther, Petti to perform recital for flute, piano

    SFA’s Guenther, Petti to perform recital for flute, piano

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    September 16, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present music faculty members Christina Guenther and Ron Petti performing a flute and piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Guenther is professor of flute at SFA, and Petti is professor and director of accompanying. The concert, which is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, will open with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata in G Minor.

    “This work is actually attributed to Bach and was likely written by his son, Carl Philipp Emmanuel,” Guenther said. “With an obbligato keyboard part, the two instruments play an equal role in this standard fast-slow-fast three-movement Baroque work.”

    The program includes Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, which is also a three-movement work. Hummel, an Austro-Hungarian composer and pianist, crosses over the Classical and Romantic periods, which can be heard in the piece, according to Guenther.

    “Classical scale patterns meet Romantic harmonies and colors,” she said.

    The second part of the concert opens with French composer Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, another three-movement work with “lovely tone colors, singing melodies and fun energy,” Guenther said. The Coolidge Foundation commissioned the piece in 1957.

    The concert will feature the world premiere of San Francisco-based composer Kyle Hovatter’s “by a spirit of uselessness.” The composer describes the work as “a spirited dance with a fun groove.”

    The program closes with New York-based composer Gary Schocker’s “Airborne.”

    “This work has a fun, jazzy feel, is high in energy with several mood changes, and will be a crowd pleaser,” Guenther 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’s fall musical takes comedic look at political spectacle

    SFA’s fall musical takes comedic look at political spectacle

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    September 16, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    While political pundits around the world are having a field day with this strange U.S. presidential election year, theatre and music students at Stephen F. Austin State University are having fun preparing for a production that puts it all in raucous rock musical perspective.

    The SFA School of Theatre will present “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” Oct. 4 through 8 in William M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. The show, with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and a book by Alex Timbers, takes a comedic look at the founding of the Democratic Party and portrays Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president, as an emo rock star.

    Angela Bacarisse, professor of theatre who directed SFA’s smash hit “Spamalot,” directs this musical that boasts a blazing pop score, captivating sex-appeal and wagon-loads of goofy humor. It reinvents the life of Jackson in a way that mischievously reveals how little has really changed in two centuries of America’s often crazy, sometimes brutal, always entertaining political spectacle, according to Bacarisse.

    “I have wanted to work on this play for many years, and it is of particular interest because this is an election year,” Bacarisse said. “Andrew Jackson was instrumental in the formation of the Democratic Party, and there are many similarities between what happened in the early 19th century and events of the early 21st century.

    “Jackson’s unconventional, often controversial and fiercely held principles and vision shook things up politically, culturally and on the field of battle,” she said. “He played a pivotal role in America’s westward expansion. But Jackson’s legacy was also marked with slavery and the Indian Removal Act – issues that leave us questioning the consequences. He blazed new trails and opened new possibilities. He was loved and loathed, revered and reviled, but seldom ignored.”

    The storyline follows Jackson on his journey from a Revolutionary battlefield at age 13 to two terms in the White House and depicts everything from drunken bar fights to tender love scenes.

    Jackson’s presidency was a time of “political upheaval,” Bacarisse said.

    “Voting rights expanded and the Republican system of government envisioned by the founding fathers was questioned and expanded,” she said. “Jackson’s military hero status and enormous popularity with those he called ‘the humble members of society’ – meaning farmers, mechanics, laborers – carried him to two terms. His unconventional ideas and stances on controversial issues upset the status quo. He brought muddy boots and common voices into the White House and outraged the elite establishment.”

    All of this will be represented in the musical, Bacarisse said, “ … not in a historically accurate way, but in a humorous ‘Saturday Night Live’ style.”

    “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” won’t change anyone’s mind about the November presidential election, she added.

    “But I hope those who see it will be reminded that history really does repeat itself,” Bacarisse said, “and that whoever is in the Oval Office – try as they might – will not be able to please everyone all of the time.”

    Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music, is musical director, and Longview senior theatre major Tanner O’Neal is student assistant director.

    The show is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory may be viewed at http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

    Single tickets are $15 for adult, $10 for senior and $7.50 for student/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu. Performances are at 7:30 nightly.

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  • Tickets still available for Julian Sands’ ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’

    Tickets still available for Julian Sands’ ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’

    September 13, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Choice seating is still available for the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts’ presentation of Julian Sands in “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The show opens the 2016-17 season of the College of Fine Arts’ University Series. Sands is well known to audiences from more than 100 film and television appearances. His performance of the works of Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Pinter was nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award. The performance contains mature language.

    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, Commercial Bank of Texas.

    For tickets or more information on the 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.

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    article ID 1123

  • SFA Faculty Chamber Winds to present concert

    SFA Faculty Chamber Winds to present concert

    press image
    Fred J. Allen

    September 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Several members of the music faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University will join together for a concert of music written for wind instruments at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The group, conducted by Fred J. Allen, director of bands, will feature Christina Guenther, flute; Chris Ayer, clarinet; and Charles Gavin, horn. Two new faculty members will also make their SFA debuts playing with the group. Kerry Hughes will perform on oboe and Lee Goodhew on bassoon.

    The concert will include the “Petite Symphonie” by the French composer Charles Gounod. “It has a beautifully expressive flute part in the second movement,” Allen said. Also on the concert will be movements from Antonín Dvořák’s “Czech Suite.”

    Joining these faculty members will be five upper-level music students.

    “These pieces are a perfect opportunity to showcase not only faculty but also some of their top students,” Allen said.

    The concert is a feature of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

    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 Director of Bands Allen teaches, promotes School of Music in Tasmania

    SFA Director of Bands Allen teaches, promotes School of Music in Tasmania

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    September 7, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Fred J. Allen, director of bands at Stephen F. Austin State University, completed a nine-day teaching trip in Tasmania this past summer.

    Allen visited Tasmania in 2012 on behalf of SFA to continue developing the partnership between SFA’s School of Music and the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart. The SFA School of Music has had an exchange student agreement with the Conservatorium in Hobart for five years.

    “During the 2012 trip, I met several of the band directors in Tasmania, and they invited me to come back to spend some time with their bands,” Allen said. His time was spent in three cities in Tasmania: Hobart, Burnie and Launceston.

    “It was great getting to see how many people are active in the school and community bands in those cities,” he said.

    Allen described the trip as having several components. “I rehearsed bands, taught conducting and composition lessons and gave classes in flute and clarinet.” In addition, he gave a guest lecture, “Composers Who Wrote for Band,” before the Musicological Society of Australia, Tasmania Chapter.

    “The community band movement is very strong in Tasmania,” Allen said. “There is a strong push toward life-long learning and music making.”

    Although this trip was self-funded, Allen was always introduced as being from SFA.

    “Hopefully, this will lead to some exchange students from Tasmania to come to SFA,” he said.

    article ID 1121

  • Maule, Simmons taking the stage together again for fundraiser

    Maule, Simmons taking the stage together again for fundraiser

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    Brad Maule and Rhonda Plymate Simmons, who charmed audiences with their performances last year in “August: Osage County,” will perform together again in a benefit reading of A.R. Gurney’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play “Love Letters” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
    press image
    September 7, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Spontaneity will be at the heart of an upcoming performance by local acting favorites Brad Maule and Rhonda Plymate Simmons when they take the stage together again for the Stephen F. Austin State University Friends of Theatre upcoming fundraiser.

    Working together for the first time since the School of Theatre’s production of “August: Osage County,” Maule and Simmons will perform a staged 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. Proceeds from the event will provide scholarship opportunities for theatre students.

    “I don’t get an opportunity to act that often on stage, so this is a wonderful thing for me,” Maule said, “and it’s great to work with Rhonda again.”

    "Love Letters" is a play that depicts a life-long romance conducted almost entirely through the mail. The play 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. The relationship between the two characters 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. Last fall, a national tour of “Love Letters” featured “Love Story” stars Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal.

    “I think we’ve all had unrequited love in our lives, and ‘Love Letters’ is a continuing lifetime of romance for two people,” Maule said.

    “It’s a little slice of the Hallmark channel,” Simmons said. “It’s a humorously bittersweet journey involving two people and their lifelong letters of communication.”

    Doing the reading with only a couple of technical rehearsals, Maule likened this type of performance to “walking along the edge of a cliff.”

    “I like that sort of ‘acting danger,’” he said with a laugh. “It’s fun.”

    Maule said he hopes the audience gets a sense of the spontaneity involved in the production.

    “It’s not over-rehearsed; in fact, it’s not very rehearsed at all. It tends to take on the personalities of the people who are reading it, so we don’t know what the outcome will be, and neither does the audience,” he said. “Even though the words are already written, you never know where the sparks and the connections will happen.”

    Because the reading is mounted without the costs of costuming and sets, those who attend get the satisfaction of knowing they personally contributed to the education of theatre students, Simmons said.

    “We wanted to do something low cost, so that every dime spent on tickets would allow audience members to feel like they were giving directly to students,” she said. “We’ve done many different fundraisers, but we thought this might have a different appeal. A $50 contribution to scholarships is not a huge amount to ask of two people, especially if you enjoy the evening.”

    Maule said there are no “financial motives” for himself or Simmons in committing to the performance, meaning “our intentions are in the right place.”

    “It’s not about ego or monetary gain,” he said. “It’s just a good, fun project, and therefore should be a good, fun evening.”

    “We’re two people charming an audience, hopefully, with a brief look into ourselves and our own relationships,” Simmons said. “And, we’re promoting the cultural enjoyment of theatre.”

    Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, is the director.

    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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    article ID 1120

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