College of Fine Arts News Archive

February 2015

  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform collection of tour music

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform collection of tour music

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    The SFA A Cappella Choir will present “Trailers and Previews: A Collage of Tour Music” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    February 27, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the A Cappella Choir in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program, titled “Trailers and Previews: A Collage of Tour Music,” will “trailer” music from the ensemble’s regional tour of East Texas and “preview” some of the new music the choir will learn for an upcoming tour of Italy, according to Tim King, director of choral actities at SFA.

    “The A Cappella Choir has a tremendously active semester,” King said. “We recently toured high schools within the East Texas region sharing the musical goodwill of SFA’s music program.

    “On April 14, we will sing the Bruckner E minor Mass with our Wind Ensemble, and on May 8, we will combine with the other choirs and our SFA Orchestra of the Pines to perform one of the greatest masterworks, the Brahms ‘Requiem,’” he said. “And of course, there is our Giro d’Italia in May.”

    The choir will travel to Italy in May for an 11-day performance tour that includes special invitations to sing at the Vatican and St. Mark’s Basilica.

    “The tour has received a special invitation to sing for Sunday mass in the Vatican, and also at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, as well as at concert venues in Marostica, Santa Croce Basilica in Florence, which is the final resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini,” King said. “We will also perform at All Saints Church in Rome.”

    Among the selections to be performed at the March 6 concert are “Chariots” by the South African composer Peter Louis van Dijk and “Agnus Dei” by American composer Samuel Barber.

    “This is Barber’s personal choral arrangement of his ‘Adagio for Strings,’” King said.

    The program will also include “O Lux Beata Trinitas” by Ko Matsushita, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” arranged by Thomas Dorsey, “Amazing Grace” arranged Eriks Esenvalds and “Raua Needmine” by Veljo Tormis.

    “This highly dramatic song by Tormis is based on the Finnish legend about iron and how it was intended for good.” King explained. “However, modern man has used iron for evil warring purposes.”

    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.

    article ID 821

  • ‘Tea time’ helps actors prepare for roles in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest̵

    ‘Tea time’ helps actors prepare for roles in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest̵

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    “The Importance of Being Earnest” cast members, from left, Jason Trevino, Greg Albright, Shelby Gilliam, Sloan Frierson and Mary Collie participate in a formal tea to prepare for their roles in Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners to be presented by the SFA School of Theatre at 7:30 nightly March 3 through 7 in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    February 27, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The staging of a formal afternoon tea provided an exercise in Victorian manners for Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre students preparing for their roles in the upcoming performance of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

    Because tea is served three times during the play, director Jack Heifner, SFA’s playwright-in-residence, wanted to make sure the student actors served it properly. Heifner and his assistant director, Nacogdoches senior Sarah Chavez, searched for a local restaurant or tearoom that served afternoon tea.

    “When we couldn’t find a place close by, we decide to have one ourselves,” he said.

    Students attended the tea in character – men dressed in suits and hard-soled shoes, women dressed in skirts, heels and corsets – and were judged on their posture, manners and etiquette.

    “We dimmed the lights and laid out the tablecloth, fine china and flowers to capture some of the ambiance of the Victorian period,” Chavez said. “After they had been seated, the production crew and myself acted as the servants. We followed the proper order to serve tea and attended to the actors as needed. The actors spoke in their accents and made conversation as their characters. It was amazing how seriously everyone took on their roles, from the actors to the production crew, and it really was a lovely and educational event.”

    Long before rehearsals began, Chavez compiled a packet of information that detailed the etiquette and manners of the period, and a significant portion focused on the history and procedure of taking tea.

    “From there, we researched the kind of food that would be served as well as the proper order in which it was consumed,” she said. “Our stage manager, Connor Clark (Garland senior), as well as assistant stage managers, Bud Odom (Brownsboro sophomore) and Taylor Dobbs (Baytown sophomore), played crucial parts in helping me organize and carry out the tea.”

    With its high farce and witty dialogue, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is considered Wilde’s most popular play. This comedy of manners highlights Victorian etiquette that may seem foreign to today’s college student, but Heifner says his students have “welcomed the knowledge.”

    “Nothing is difficult for students to grasp when they know it is for the benefit of the play and for their characters,” he said.

    It’s one thing for actors to be lectured about proper etiquette and another for them to actually experience it, according to Chavez.

    “By having the tea, the actors were able to put what they had learned to practice, and their characters really came to life,” she said. “We live in an age where society is growing excessively casual, and people are forgetting the decency of manners. Part of the fascination in this show lies in the etiquette of the time. What seems so proper and formal to us was instinctive, everyday behavior for these characters. I think the actors walked away with a greater appreciation for the play as well as an understanding of etiquette and its importance even in today’s society.”

    “It has been fun for them, and they have enjoyed it,” Heifner said of what the students are learning from the play. “Certainly we aren’t accustomed today to standing up when women enter the room, but there is nothing wrong with the practice. Being courteous never goes out of style.”

    Show times are 7:30 nightly Tuesday through Saturday, March 3 through 7, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A special school-day matinee will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

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    article ID 820

  • Reception to honor ‘Honey Bucket Charlie’ artist’s family, Korean War veterans

    Reception to honor ‘Honey Bucket Charlie’ artist’s family, Korean War veterans

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    Charles D. Jones, director of the LaNana Creek Press, holds a copy of “Honey Bucket Charlie: The Korean War POW’s Drawings of Benjamin L. Comeau,” which will be showcased at a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The poignant drawings of Korean War prisoner of war Benjamin L. Comeau have been compiled by Charles D. Jones, master printer and director of the LaNana Creek Press, in the book “Honey Bucket Charlie: The Korean War POW’s Drawings of Benjamin L. Comeau.”

    A reception to honor Comeau’s family and showcase the newly released book will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. The event will feature live music popular during the early 1950s, followed by a brief illustrated talk about the war and the POWs, the drawings and photographs used in the book.

    Comeau’s drawings “provide us with rare insight into the daily life and conditions of the Korean War POW experience,” Jones said.

    Invitations to this event have been sent to veterans’ groups in the area, according to Jones.

    “It would be great if we could get every Korean War veteran there, because we would like to dedicate this to them,” he said. “Part of the purpose of the book, in using this one man’s drawings, was to create an awareness of this aspect of the war.”

    The book is based on a series of almost 100 pen and ink drawings by Master Sgt. Comeau, who was a POW at Camp #1 in Korea from 1950-53.

    “It is richly illustrated with the drawings, Comeau’s letters from the prison camp, family photographs and propaganda photographs by one of the Chinese prison camp administrators,” Jones said.

    The book, published by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press, is augmented with a photo essay by acclaimed photographer Guy Gillette, the father of Pipp and the late Guy Gillette. Entertainer and storyteller Pipp and his brother, Guy, recorded cowboy music and were the recipients of the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Best Traditional Album of 2010.

    Their father had been sent to Korea by the American Red Cross to record the M.A.S.H. units.

    “His poignant works provide an excellent context for the drawings of Comeau,” Jones said.

    Pipp Gillette, owner of the famed Camp Street Café in Crockett, will perform at the reception.

    “Honey Bucket Charlie” includes introductory chapters that provide information about the war, the treatment of the Allied prisoners by the North Koreans and then the Chinese forces. It also includes information about the political climate in the United States during this time, and the treatment of the American prisoners when they were repatriated.

    The book has an introductory chapter by Lewis Carlson, Ph.D., author of “Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War: An Oral History of Korean War POWs.” Carlson, who is professor emeritus of history at Western Michigan University, also provided background information on the war and the treatment of the POWs.

    The story of Johnny Johnson and his list of American and allied troops who died on the “death marches” and in the POW camps is included in the book, and also provides context for Comeau’s images.

    “Benjamin Comeau was an extraordinary man,” Jones said.

    Comeau had enlisted in the Marine Corps during WWII and was wounded at Iwo Jima, earning his first Purple Heart. After his recuperation, he left the Marine Corps and joined the U.S. Army in 1946. He was assigned as a squad leader in an infantry unit when the Korean War (officially designated as a Police Action) began. In November 1951, his unit was in combat near the 38th parallel in the area known as “The Punch Bowl.”

    “During this battle, overwhelming Chinese forces overran Comeau’s squad,” Jones said. “When an enemy grenade landed in the bomb crater where the squad had taken cover, Corporal Comeau threw himself onto it to save his squad. For this action, he was later awarded a Bronze Star and second Purple Heart.”

    He was taken as a POW by the Chinese and remained a captive until June of 1953. Comeau remained in the army and later served in Vietnam, where he won a second Bronze Star. He retired with the rank of master sergeant.

    Comeau’s grandson was one of Jones’ printmaking students who had made a smaller version of this book as a book arts class project.

    “When I found out there were almost 100 drawings, I decided to make the full published trade edition that would have all the drawings and include background of the war and the POW situation,” Jones said. “Then, when Pipp Gillette told me his father had been sent to Korea by the Red Cross to photograph the war, and he had this whole cache of photographs, he allowed me to draw from those, so the book also has a photo essay by his father.”

    Jones is professor emeritus in the SFA School of Art and a Regents Professor.

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  • SFA Faculty Trio to perform music for clarinet, violin, piano

    SFA Faculty Trio to perform music for clarinet, violin, piano

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    The SFA Faculty Trio, featuring Christopher Ayer, clarinet, Geneva Fung, piano, and Jennifer Dalmas, violin, will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Faculty Trio will present an afternoon of chamber music for clarinet, violin and piano when the ensemble performs at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The trio features SFA School of Music faculty members Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Geneva Fung, piano; and Jennifer Dalmas, violin. In addition to performing short works for clarinet/piano and violin/piano by Leonard Bernstein and Johannes Brahms, the musicians will perform Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op.157b, which Dalmas described as “a delightful piece, fusing jazz and sometimes Latin elements of music in the contrasting movements.”

    The trio will perform Aram Khachaturian’s Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, which is an early work, but carries the composer’s distinct compositional voice, Dalmas said.
    “At times rhapsodic and almost gypsy-like, this trio is very engaging and is filled with folksong melodies and ideas,” she said.

    The program also includes “Cantiga D’Amor” by Vianna de Mota. Originally written for piano, the Portuguese piece was arranged for the trio’s combination of instruments by Josh Coe, SFA composition student from McKinney.

    “As we will be performing this program soon in Macau with the Portuguese consul in attendance, we wanted to include a typical Portuguese work,” Dalmas said. “‘Cantiga D’amor’ (love song) is a colorful piece, full of Portuguese folk melodies and rhythms.”

    The trio will perform this program several times at different universities in Hong Kong and Macau during spring break as part of an international outreach and recruiting effort.

    Tickets for the concert, which is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, 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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  • Concert to feature music of virtuosic composers Liszt, Granados, Louie

    Concert to feature music of virtuosic composers Liszt, Granados, Louie

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    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Canadian pianist Janice Fehlauer will perform a guest solo recital at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus as part of the School of Music’s Cole Performing Arts Series.

    “The Pianist as a Rock Star” features virtuosic composers for the piano and highlights the music of such greats as Franz Liszt, Enrique Granados and Alexina Louie.

    “Often referred to as the greatest pianist that ever lived, Liszt was a legend in his time, the 19th century equivalent of a rock star,” Fehlauer said.

    Liszt was considered the father of modern piano technique and also a prolific composer, according to Fehlauer.

    “He forever raised the standards of what the piano is capable of,” she said. “The composers who followed him tended to borrow or appropriate his virtuosic style in various ways. Virtuosic Lisztian technique can be seen in the compositions of Granados (Spanish), Alexander Scriabin (Russian) and Louie (Canadian).”

    Fehlauer began her musical training in her hometown in British Columbia, where she received the associate diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in both piano and violin. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia, a master’s degree from the University of North Texas, and a doctoral degree from the University of Houston. She was the gold medalist of the Wideman International Piano Competition and the winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, and won second prize in the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and the Hodges Competition for 20th-Century Music. Recent appearances as concerto soloist in the USA include performances with the North Florida Symphony, the Meridian Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony, the Lewisville Lake Symphony, and the UNT Symphony, and in Canada with the Fraser Valley Symphony and the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra.

    Her program at SFA will feature “Reminiscences de Norma” by Liszt, “Coloquio en la reja” and “El fandango de candil,” which are two pieces from the piano suite “Goyescas” by Granados, and “Scenes from a Jade Terrace,” by Louie.

    “Louie is a Chinese-Canadian composer who tries to innovatively push the piano’s technical capabilities even past those developed by Liszt, using techniques such as playing on the strings inside the piano,” Fehlauer said. “‘Jade Terrace’ combines Eastern and Western musical styles, and is a wonderful example of how contemporary composers continue to push the boundaries of piano technique.”

    Liszt’s transcription of the opera “Norma” by Bellini “shows off everything that Liszt loved: hummable melodies, the drama of Italian opera, and show-stopping piano technique with thundering octaves, “three-handed” technique (so called because a 19th century critic remarked that this passage was impossible to play without three hands), and huge leaps,” Fehlauer 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 Regents Professor, Dr. Tim King, to present lecture

    SFA Regents Professor, Dr. Tim King, to present lecture

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    February 24, 2015—University Marketing Communications

    Dr. Tim King, professor of music and director of choral activities at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present “SFA: A Scale for Fine Arts” at the upcoming Regents Lecture.

    King, the 2014-15 Regents Professor, will deliver the address at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in the Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. Refreshments will be served, and there is no admission charge.

    Reserved for exemplary university role models, the title of Regents Professor is the highest honor SFA bestows upon members of the faculty and is held for one academic year.

    King’s address will focus on his 40-plus years as a teacher, including his personal reflections on the subjective and often-time opinionated topic of what makes art and how artistic decision-making affects the modern performer, conductor and teacher.

    An SFA faculty member since 1983, King earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Texas Tech University in 1974 and 1979 and his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois in 1993.

    This is the 10th in a series of lectures delivered by SFA Regents Professors.

    The series is sponsored by the SFA Office of the Provost and the University Lecture Series Committee. For more information, call (936) 468-2605.

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  • Art confiscated by Nazis topic of lecture

    Art confiscated by Nazis topic of lecture

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    “Cornelius Gurlitt and the Art Treasures Confiscated by the Nazis” will be the topic of a lecture Dr. Christoph Zuschlag will present at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Room 106 of the Art Annex on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Zuschlag, professor of art history at the Landau campus of the University of Klobenz/Landau, Germany, is instrumental in the on-going student exchange between his university and SFA, according to Jill Carrington, professor of art history at SFA.

    One of Zuschlag’s interests is stolen art, such as the masterworks that were denounced by the Nazis as “degenerate art” yet also “collected” by the Nazis, meaning the works were typically stolen from the rightful owners, who, often being Jewish, became victims of the Holocaust.

    Stolen art is not only the topic of a major book publication by Zuschlag, but remains a timely topic. The announcement of the discovery of a huge stash of such stolen art in the Munich apartment and Salzburg home of an apparently inconspicuous art collector, Cornelius Gurlitt, made headlines in 2013 and 2014. Gurlitt’s father was the art historian and dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who collected art in the 1930s and 1940s and worked for the Nazi government to sell stolen works.

    Among the artists whose works were discovered in this find were Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Rembrandt van Rijn, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas Camille Pissarro, and many others.

    The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Carrington at (936) 468-4351.

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  • Memphis Woodwind Trio to perform at SFA

    Memphis Woodwind Trio to perform at SFA

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    Michelle Vigneau
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    Robyn Jones
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    Elsie Blatchford
    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Memphis Woodwind Trio, comprised of the flute, clarinet and oboe faculty from the University of Memphis School of Music, will perform a concert of intimate chamber music for winds at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Works will range from the serious, such as Thea Musgrave’s “Impromptu” for flute and oboe, to the sublime – an Antonin Dvorak string trio, re-imagined. The program will also feature works by J.S. Bach, H. Villa-Lobos, Malcolm Arnold and Leonardo de Lorenzo.

    The recital is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is a feature of the Cole Performing Arts Series.

    The trio is comprised of Elise Blatchford, flute; Michelle Vigneau, oboe; and Robyn Jones, clarinet.

    Jones is currently assistant professor of clarinet at the University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. Since arriving in Memphis in the fall of 2012, she has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and as principal clarinet with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

    Blatchford, assistant professor of flute, is also a member of the City of Tomorrow, a contemporary music-focused wind quintet that took first place at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2011. She has traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean to coach chamber musicians and flutists and has given master classes at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Williams College, the University of Western Michigan and Willamette University, among others.

    Vigneau, associate professor of oboe, has taught at Colby College, Bates College, the Portland Conservatory of Music, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. She has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and Mexico and spent three years playing in the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.

    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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  • ‘Coleidoscope’ concert honors music patrons

    ‘Coleidoscope’ concert honors music patrons

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Uncommon combinations of instruments and a wide variety of musical styles will be explored during a Cole Performing Arts Series concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    “Coleidoscope” is a series of chamber music collaborative faculty concerts honoring the SFA School of Music’s “invaluable patrons,” Ed Cole and the late Gwen Cole, according to Evgeni Raychev, cellist and SFA music faculty member.

    “In fact, this concert could be regarded as a symbolic gesture of gratitude to the general music patrons in our area,” he said.

    The first half of the concert will feature harp music performed by SFA music instructor Emily Mitchell. Along with Raychev and Mitchell, other faculty members who are collaborating in the musical evening are Jennifer Dalmas, violin; Chris Ayer, clarinet; Christina Guenther-Scott, flute; Geneva Fung, piano; and Melissa Nabb, viola.

    The program will feature the music of composers Marcel Tournier, Arvo Pärt, Arthur Foote, Sergei Prokofiev and Darius Milhaud.

    The concert will conclude with Prokofiev’s composition “Overture on Hebrew Themes” written for clarinet, piano and string quartet.

    “This piece is based on Jewish folk music that has a paradoxically happy-yet-tragic and festive quality that many, including Dmitry Shostakovich, found very powerful,” Raychev said.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210
    Alumni Drive.

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

    article ID 813

  • Works of Houston artist Peacock showing at Cole Art Center

    Works of Houston artist Peacock showing at Cole Art Center

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    Emily Peacock’s “Refrigerate Until Served” is among the works featured in the exhibition “Emily Peacock: Soft Diet,” showing at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The exhibition “Emily Peacock: Soft Diet” will show Feb. 25 through April 11 in the Hallway Reception Gallery at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    The Houston-based artist will present a talk about her work at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the SFA Art Building, located off Wilson Drive on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    According to a review by Ryder Richards posted at glasstire.com, “Soft Diet” contains “highly compelling work, which is made more interesting because the constituent elements are, for the most part, fairly common. Alternating moments of empathy with moments of gentle disgust, Peacock’s present actions engage and partially eradicate the past. The process feels like melded fragments of youthful summers where hierarchies of food, play, wounds and celebration were entwined without judgment.”

    Peacock has exhibited at venues including the Galveston Art Center, Houston Center For Photography and Lawndale Art Center, and her work can be seen in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

    The exhibition is presented by the SFA School of Art. Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    article ID 812

  • Concert to feature music for bassoon, percussion

    Concert to feature music for bassoon, percussion

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    SFA School of Music faculty members Staci Spring and Keith Lloyd will present “Bundles of Sticks: Music for Bassoon & Percussion” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1, in Cole Concert Hall.

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Staci Spring and Keith Lloyd, faculty members in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, will present “Bundles of Sticks: Music for Bassoon & Percussion” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Bassoonist Spring and percussionist Lloyd have been performing together since meeting in graduate school at Florida State University. Joining the husband-and-wife duo will be SFA colleagues Dr. Brad Meyer, percussion, and Geneva Fung, piano.

    The title for the recital, which is part of the Cole Performing Arts Series, is a clever play on the translation of the word for bassoon in German, along with the idea that percussionists frequently use many different sticks during a performance, according to Spring.

    “We borrowed the title from one of the compositions we are performing,” she said. “We thought this was suitable for our collaboration, since every piece on the program includes some combination of bassoon and percussion instruments.”

    “Bundles of Sticks” by Daniel McCarthy is a composition for bassoon and percussion in two movements titled “Wood and Wind” and “On the Edge.”

    “McCarthy blends the sound of the bassoon with a large number of percussion instruments,” Spring said.

    Among the other pieces to be performed is “TRaInspOrt,” a trio for amplified bassoon and two percussion based on a programmatic narrative of a person navigating through a European passenger train. Sounds of the train’s departure, a busy dining carriage and sleeping/snoring are a few of the elements used to create the story, Spring explained. The capitalized letters in the title are used to emphasize the number of players needed for the performance (trio).

    The concert also features the Texas premier of Adrienne Albert’s “Swing Shift” for bassoon, piano and drum set. Members of the SFA bassoon studio will also perform.

    Spring teaches bassoon and musicology at SFA, while Lloyd teaches percussion. Meyer is director of percussion studies, and Fung is staff accompanist.

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

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  • SFA’s Swingin’ Axes, Aces to perform classic jazz favorites

    SFA’s Swingin’ Axes, Aces to perform classic jazz favorites

    February 24, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces, the jazz bands of Stephen F. Austin State University, will perform the music of such jazz greats as Thelonious Monk and Sammy Nestico when the bands take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Swingin’ Axes will perform an eclectic concert of compositions from across the decades, according to Dr. Gary Wurtz, professor of trumpet and jazz studies at SFA and director of the Swingin’ Axes.

    Among the tunes to be played will be the classic arrangement of “Who’s Sorry Now,” written by Sammy Nestico for the Count Basie Band, and the very modern “Jazz Police” by Gordon Goodwin. The Axes will also perform a large jazz ensemble favorite from the 1970s’ “Suncatchers” by Marius Nordal, made famous by the One O’Clock Lab Band of the University of North Texas.

    “The band is also proud to feature graduate baritone saxophonist Carly Hood on ‘Quiet Time,’ recorded by the Dallas Jazz Orchestra on their album ‘Scrapbook,’” Wurtz said.

    Among the pieces to be performed by the Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone, are the swing piece “Well You Needn’t (It’s Over Now)” by Thelonious Monk and arranged by Mark Taylor; the ballad “First Child” by Robert Curnow as performed on the “Stan Kenton Plays Chicago” CD; and the swing piece “Groove Blues” by Don Menza. The Aces’ program will also feature the funk piece “Don’t Be Silly” by Lars Halle and the Latin “Cabeza de Carne” by Matt Harris.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

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

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  • ‘Boyhood’ actor is SFA alum

    ‘Boyhood’ actor is SFA alum

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    February 17, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Residents of Nacogdoches and alumni of Stephen F. Austin State University may have a special reason to tune into the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22.

    SFA School of Theatre alumnus Richard Robichaux appears in Richard Linklater’s landmark film “Boyhood,” which has received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director along with acting nominations for cast members Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. The film won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Arquette. Robichaux has the role of the boss of one of the film’s main characters.

    According to his website, Robichaux is “the proud recipient of the distinguished alumni award from his alma mater.”

    “I have very fond memories of Nacogdoches and the SFA Theatre Department,” Robichaux wrote in an email interview. “I am still friends with many of my classmates, and I am still being inspired by my many mentors and teachers. I hope the current students are aware how well respected the faculty members are in their fields. The program at SFA is nationally recognized, and I was lucky to be there.

    “One of the best parts of going to SFA for me was the performance opportunities available to a young actor,” he said. “I was in dozens of plays while there, and it says a lot about the community that it can support live theatre at that level. I learned so much by being on stage or in rehearsal all four years I was at school.”

    Robichaux was also seen as Lloyd Hornbuckle opposite Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine in Linklater’s film “Bernie.” His theatre credits include the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., Yale Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Syracuse Stage and theatres in New York, California and across the nation. He has been seen in leading, guest starring and recurring roles on ABC, NBC, CBS, Showtime, Comedy Central and the Lifetime Channel as well as the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

    As both an educator and actor, Robichaux has worked with many of the top training programs in the country, including the Juilliard School, Yale School of Drama, University of Evansville, University of Texas at Austin, Illinois Wesleyan, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, New York Conservatory and the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio in Los Angeles. Each summer he teaches in the masters program at the University of Northern Colorado, and he is currently head of acting in the MFA program at Penn State University in Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife and children.

    Robichaux encouraged today’s SFA theatre students to be creative in finding traditional and nontraditional opportunities to work.

    “If I could give advice to new Lumberjacks in the theatre program it would be to work,” he said. “A lot of actors think work is something someone gives you. But you must realize that working is your responsibility. Any number of students can create their own web series, short film, movie or live performance.

    “We have to get out of the idea that we are merely actors in someone else’s project,” he said. “In the 21st century, we are truly performance makers. We can create work. But be warned: It takes a lot of work!”

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  • ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’: SFA School of Theatre to stage Wilde’s classic comedy of manners

    ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’: SFA School of Theatre to stage Wilde’s classic comedy of manners

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    Paris junior Shelby Gilliam as Lady Bracknell and Richmond sophomore Keenan Chiasson as Algernon rehearse for SFA's upcoming production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Working in a studio near W.M. Turner Auditorium, they incorporate only a few essential properties and costume pieces at this early stage of preparation for the show, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, March 3 through 7 at 7:30 p.m. with a special school-day matinee at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 5. Call (936) 468-6407 or vi

    February 17, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Anyone who loves outrageous characters and clever comedy will want to see “The Importance of Being Earnest” when the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre performs Oscar Wilde’s classic play Tuesday through Saturday, March 3 through 7, in Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    This cheerful and lighthearted comedy of manners, which Wilde called “a trivial play for serious people,” is his brilliant tour de force, regarded by many as the wittiest play in the English language, according to Jack Heifner, SFA’s playwright-in-residence and director of the show.

    “Witty dialogue, mistaken identities and hilarious characters” will enchant the audience, Heifner said.

    “Jack is in love with Gwendolen, but when it is revealed that both Jack and his best friend, Algernon, are living a very big lie, a delightful comedy with outrageous revelations unfolds,” Heifner said. “The play is a swift comedy of manners – good and bad – and is an enchanting love story that satirizes everything in Victorian society.”

    In deciding what he would like to direct this semester, Heifner chose “The Importance of Being Earnest” because he thought theatre students needed to experience “a classic play that would teach them more about period styles,” he said.

    “Since this play is set in Victorian England, it provides an excellent opportunity for our students to explore a time that is very different from their own,” he said.

    Today’s manners can be considered quite “casual” compared to the manners of 1895, which is when the play was first performed, Heifner explained.

    “We have done a lot of research into the period, including a great deal of reading, as well as watching a biography of the life of Oscar Wilde and a video about the manners of the time.”

    Beautiful sets and costumes will reflect the opulence of the time period, Heifner said.

    “We are setting the play at the time it was written and in the theatre where it first played – the St. James Theatre in London,” he said. “The play opened on Feb. 14, 1895, and it still remains a gorgeous Valentine to the theatre.”

    The play is considered “G” rated, although younger children likely will not understand the language and might be bored, Heifner said. There are no situations in the play that would be considered offensive to a typical audience.

    Mastering the language in the script, the time period, the manners and the comedy will be challenging for Heifner and the student actors.

    “It’s a very witty satire,” Heifner said. “I love challenges and so do our students. The play is an excellent opportunity for our students to work on a classic play that is considered one of the greatest comedies of all time.”

    Heifner promises to deliver a “witty twist” on the production that will offer new delights and insights. “It is something I will not reveal,” he said. “It has to be seen!”

    He believes that anyone who sees the show will leave Turner Auditorium with “a smile, an understanding of Victorian manners, and an appreciation of Oscar Wilde’s brilliant mind.”

    “Most of all, I want them to be dazzled by our talented students in the School of Theatre,” he said.

    Show times are 7:30 nightly March 3 through 7. A special school-day matinee will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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  • Reading, book signing planned for published SFA student poet

    Reading, book signing planned for published SFA student poet

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    February 12, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The poetry of Stephen F. Austin State University theater major Ashe Vernon was recently published through Words Dance Publishing, and Vernon’s book, “Belly of the Beast,” will be celebrated with a reception at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Vernon, a senior from Spring, will read selections from her collection starting at 7:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Copies of her book will be available for purchase at the event, and Vernon will be available to autograph them.

    Describing herself as a “spoken-word poet,” Vernon said her poetry is free verse. She often competes in poetry slam competitions, and “The Belly of the Beast” contains the type of work “I could put in front of a microphone,” she said.

    With the book’s dedication page closing with “this is a book full of ghosts,” Vernon said she feels like that’s probably one of the best ways to describe its contents.

    “My writing typically addresses themes like self worth and belonging, as well as recovering after loss and heartbreak,” she said. “It’s a book about making friends with your demons and finding the strength in your hurts.”

    The inspiration behind “Belly of the Beast” is as varied as the collection, with some poems relating back to Vernon’s personal struggles with body image and self esteem. Some poems are about relationships while others are about emotions or experiences.

    “I also get a huge amount of inspiration from Greek mythology, and you can see some of that in this book,” she said.

    The collection is divided into three sections: “Kisses That Are All Teeth,” “Blood in the Water” and “A Heart In Flowering Spring.”

    “The title is a good indication of what type of poetry you’ll find in each section,” Vernon explained. “Although each poem in the book was written separately, I did arrange them in a way that tells a sort of narrative and progresses through the story of the ‘beast.’”

    Vernon noted that some of the poems in “Belly of the Beast” are not child-friendly, stating the subject matter is intended for a teen-and-up age range. She also said the book is for “everyone who has ever felt too big and too small, all at once.”

    “It’s for people who are looking to feel a little less alone, and trying to figure out how to love themselves,” she said, adding the poetry reflects a belief that, “you are bigger than the things that hurt you. You are more than a collection of your own heartbreak. And you could tear down the whole world if you wanted to, but instead you’re putting it back together. And that’s important.”

    “Belly of the Beast’ was published last fall just before the holidays, and Vernon has already been contacted by another publisher interested in her work. Her next project, “Wrong Side of a Fist Fight,” is scheduled for publication this summer through Where Are You Press.

    Vernon has served as a gallery attendant for SFA art galleries for the past three years.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about the reception and poetry reading, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA’s Guenther to present ‘10th Anniversary Celebration’ flute recital

    SFA’s Guenther to present ‘10th Anniversary Celebration’ flute recital

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    February 12, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Christina Guenther, associate professor of flute at Stephen F. Austin State University, will celebrate 10 years of teaching at SFA with a recital that features her performing with colleagues and former students.

    Guenther will present “10th Anniversary Celebration” at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The recital will include collaborations with pianist Geneva Fung, SFA staff accompanist, and SFA’s Stone Fort Wind Quintet, which, along with Guenther, includes John W. Goodall, oboe; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Charles Gavin, horn; and Staci Spring, bassoon. Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA, will conduct.

    “Additionally, I will be joined by more than 15 alumni from the last decade who are coming back to SFA to perform with me on the final piece,” Guenther said. “This will be a great way to celebrate their successes since graduation, as well as the growth and success of the SFA flute studio.”

    On the morning of the concert, the alumni and current flute students will gather for “a fun studio event, allowing old and new to meet, play together and exchange ideas,” Guenther said.

    Among the program pieces are Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach’s “Hamburger Sonata,” which Guenther will perform with Fung. Guenther describes CPE Bach as Johann Sebastian Bach’s “most famous son, who composed during the transition period between Baroque and Classical, writing in what is known as the Sensitive Style (known as Sturm und Drang in literature and the arts).”

    Guenther and Fung will also perform Carl Reinecke’s “Undine Sonata.”

    “One of our only true Romantic sonatas, this piece depicts the story by Friederich de la Motte Fouque of the water nymph Undine, who, in order to obtain a soul, has to procreate with a human,” Guenther said. “This piece depicts the tumultuous love affair between Undine and the knight, Huldebrand, with storms and a love theme thoroughly depicted in both instrumental parts.”

    The Stone Fort Wind Quintet will perform Hungarian composer György Ligeti’s “Six Bagatells for Woodwind Quintet.” Concluding the concert will be a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto La Primavera” for solo flute with flute choir, in which Guenther will be joined by SFA alumni with Allen conducting.

    “One of Vivaldi’s 4 Four Seasons concertos, this arrangement of ‘La Primavera’ for solo flute and flute choir will be a fun closer to this 10th anniversary celebration,” she said. “I will be joined in these three well-known movements by my alumni from the last decade in the flute choir. It is an honor to welcome them back to perform with me.”

    Following the concert, there will be a reception in the Cole lobby.

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

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  • ‘God of Carnage’ to be performed in the SFA Downstage Theatre

    ‘God of Carnage’ to be performed in the SFA Downstage Theatre

    February 12, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed “God of Carnage” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Colleyville senior Michael Spencer directs this full-length play by Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton. “God of Carnage” is about two sets of parents who meet to discuss an altercation involving each of their sons. What begins as civilized conversation devolves into childish behavior and, eventually, chaos, according to Spencer.

    The cast includes Katy senior Lauren Bowler as Veronica; San Antonio junior Kevin Holloway-Harris as Michael; Dallas sophomore Dominique Rider as Alan; and Frisco junior Shelby Gilliland as Annette.

    The production staff includes Lauren Wijangco, Sugarland freshman, stage manager; Andy Bauerle, Conroe sophomore, scenic designer; Brianna Veselka, West senior, costume designer; Kaycee Counts, Gladewater senior, lighting designer; Lane Davidson, Denton freshman, sound designer; Angel Williams, Beaumont sophomore, props; and Amanda Lee, Houston junior, assistant stage manager.

    Faculty production advisor for the play is Scott Shattuck.

    Spencer first appeared on the Mainstage in the fall of 2012 in the School of Theatre’s production of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.” He has since appeared in “Blood Wedding” and in the Downstage production of “W;t.” Last semester, he directed the one-act play “The Man Who Turned into a Stick.” He will play the role of Steve in the Mainstage production of “August: Osage County” later this spring.

    Tickets are $6. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu “God of Carnage” is recommended for mature audiences (teens or older).

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  • Arnone, Peterson recital at SFA canceled

    Arnone, Peterson recital at SFA canceled

    February 12, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    A guest flute recital featuring Baylor University music professor Francesca Arnone performing with pianist Jeffrey Peterson, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 17 in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus, has been canceled.

    article ID 804

  • ‘Super Scientific Circus’ demonstrates how science can be fun

    ‘Super Scientific Circus’ demonstrates how science can be fun

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    “Super Scientific Circus” will perform at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the SFA Children’s Performing Arts Series.

    February 2, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Area students will learn that science can be fun and exciting when the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and the Children’s Performing Arts Series present “Super Scientific Circus” in two performances Friday, Feb. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    The program, which targets students in kindergarten through 12th grade, is designed to “help students understand that science can be appreciated in everything we see and do,” said Diane J. Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the Children’s Performing Arts Series.

    Programs like “Super Scientific Circus” have been favorites among area students and their teachers and are almost always sell-out performances, Peterson said.

    “Teachers will want to make reservations for their classes as soon as possible to ensure their students have the opportunity to experience this fun and educational performance,” she said.

    The program features circus skills, magic tricks, comedy and mime to illustrate fundamental scientific concepts such as gravity, air pressure and ultraviolet light.

    Performance times are 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for individuals and $5 per person for groups of 20 or more. For tickets or more information, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.cpas.sfasu.edu.

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  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana to perform at SFA

    Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana to perform at SFA

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    The SFA College of Fine Arts will present one of the nation's premier flamenco and Spanish dance companies, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, performing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the 2014-2015 University Series.

    February 2, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will present Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana performing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus as part of the 2014-2015 University Series, “Connect.”

    “Flamenco Vivo brings an exciting evening of flamenco to Turner stage and features accomplished artists from the U.S. and Spain in a performance that will include celebrated repertoire as well as new works,” said John W. Goodall, associate dean of the SFA College of Fine Arts.

    Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, one of the nation’s premier flamenco and Spanish dance companies, is performing in its 32nd season. Carlota Santana serves as artistic director of the company, while Antonio Hidalgo is associate artistic director.

    Santana and Roberto Lorca founded the company in 1983. It was their vision that new Spanish dance should not only find a permanent home in the U.S., but also find an environment in which its creation and performance would thrive. Under Santana’s direction, the company has expanded its repertory by presenting new music, dramatic works and a mixture of various dance vocabularies, as well as by integrating Hispanic-American influences.

    Santana created the company’s innovative arts-in-education program, fusing Spanish dance and culture with school curriculums, and she has traveled widely implementing this program.

    Prior to the performance, Heather Samuelson, dance instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at SFA, will present a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery about the company. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor, Lehmann Eye Center.

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

    Tickets range from $20 to $40, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    article ID 802

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