College of Fine Arts News Archive

November 2014

  • SFA School of Music to perform classic Christmas opera

    SFA School of Music to perform classic Christmas opera

    press image
    The SFA School of Music will present “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, and 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. Performing key roles in a past performance are, from left, Garry Leonberger as King Kaspar and Cameron LaGraff as Amahl.

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, and at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    All ages will delight in this classic Christmas opera about a poor widow and her crippled son, Amahl, who give shelter to the Three Kings as they follow a mysterious star.

    Central Heights middle school student Aidan LaGraff, son of Kimberly and Scott LaGraff, and SFA Charter School student Noble Peck, son of Michele and Adam Peck, will alternate in the title role of Amahl.

    SFA student performers will include Springtown senior Sarah Jo Martin and Conroe junior Jacqueline Skinner alternating in the role of the mother; Houston senior Toby Otorubio and Greencastle, Pa., graduate student Justin Dunkle alternating in the role of Kaspar; Houston senior Cairee Mayfield and El Paso senior Juan Garza alternating in the role of Melchior; Houston senior Brenton Mattox as Balthazzar; and Baytown junior Zachary Newman as The Page. Dancers are Angela Jones and Adrian Lopez.

    The 45-minute opera is performed in English and is part of the Cole Performing Arts Series. Katie Parr of the Gobel Dance Studio will serve as choreographer.

    Tickets for the Thursday night performance are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors, students and youth. Tickets for the Friday morning performance are $6 for individuals and $5 each for groups of 20 or more. For tickets or information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    article ID 778

  • SFA music students’ compositions are performed around the world

    SFA music students’ compositions are performed around the world

    press image
    SFA music composition students, from left, Kyle Henkel, Argyle sophomore, Ian Deterling, first-year graduate student from Poplar, Wis., and Frank Sartain, Houston junior, are having their works performed this fall in venues around the globe.

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    Three composition students in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music are making names for themselves in the realm of professional composing and putting SFA in the spotlight in music venues around the world.

    Ian Deterling, a first-year graduate student from Poplar, Wis., and student of Dr. Stephen Lias, Frank Sartain, a Houston junior and student of Dr. Charles Halka, and Kyle Henkel, Argyle sophomore and student of Dr. Alan Scott, are enjoying having their compositions performed in prestigious competitions and locations. It’s recognition that’s not only important to the students, but also to the university, as well.

    “There has never been a better time to be studying composition at SFA,” said Lias, professor of composition. “We have the largest group of talented students and teachers that this university has ever seen, and each time something like this happens, it only further solidifies our growing reputation.”

    “This type of recognition shows that it isn’t necessary to go somewhere like Juilliard or Curtis in order to contribute actively to the international music and composing community,” said Halka, composition faculty. “In fact, I would say that because our students don’t have the automatic advantage of being tied to a household name like those schools, they stand to learn even more about reaching out professionally, making their voice heard, and making their music the best it can possibly be.”

    Henkel’s piece, “Silence in the Forest that Weeps,” was performed Oct. 26 in St. Petersburg, Fla., by the Traveling Circuits in their concert “New Music on a Sunday Afternoon.”

    “This was my first-ever public performance of one of my works, so I was ecstatic,” Henkel said. “The title was inspired from the loss of my dog. After his passing, I went to a woody area, just trying to clear my mind. And it was just so quiet, so peaceful. I could hear this little melody in my head and quickly wrote it down.”

    Sartain’s composition, “Epic Journey,” was inspired by one of his favorite movies, “Braveheart,” about Scottish warrior William Wallace who encourages his fellow Scotsmen to fight the English for their freedom.

    “My piece focuses on his life as a rebel against the English,” Sartain said. “It’s a very rewarding and exciting privilege to have my composition performed.”

    It was performed Nov. 21 at the Brand New Music for Winds concert in London, England.

    Deterling’s Duet in F Minor for Bass Trombone and Violin, performed Sept. 18 in Norwich, England, is a three-movement work commissioned by friends originally as a piece for bass trombone and viola then arranged for bass trombone and violin. Deterling said his friend asked him to write the duet “reminiscent of works from the Classical and Romantic periods.” So he drew from compositional techniques from symphonies they both admired by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Ludwig von Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

    “What I value even more than performances is how performers and listeners respond to my music,” Deterling said. “I’m thrilled that I’ve been contacted by people—professional musicians, music teachers and students, hobbyists—from all over the world asking about the piece... a session violist from Los Angeles, a violist from the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, a solo violist from South America, and various music teachers and students from England, Central Europe, Canada and the United States.”

    These successes provide encouragement and inspiration to other students, their teachers agreed, and it “speaks to SFA’s commitment to prepare students solidly for competitive job markets,” Scott said.

    “Composition forms a relatively small working community as the scale goes,” he said, “and meeting these successes at an early stage of a student’s career can be an indicator of future achievements, both individually and within the studio group.

    “With the tendency to be very media-connected, word spreads quickly, and receiving recognition can become an encouragement for those looking toward composition as a profession,” Scott said. “Prospective students want to be involved in a studio that’s active and doing great things.”

    “When we interview aspiring composers, they often don’t actually know what sorts of successes are possible for them,” Lias said. “It is really helpful for us to be able to hold up our own students, some of whom are only a year or two out of high school, as examples of what can happen.”

    “We encourage all our students to get their work out there into real world as much as possible,” Halka said, “and Kyle’s, Ian’s and Frank’s success is also a success for the entire SFA composition studio.

    “Dr. Lias, Dr. Scott and I work hard to challenge students, help them discover new ways of thinking about music and composing, and guide them during their entry into the professional world of composition,” he added. “But ultimately, our efforts would be in vain were it not for the talent the students already bring with them to SFA.”

    article ID 777

  • SFA to present annual holiday choral, orchestral concert

    SFA to present annual holiday choral, orchestral concert

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The combined choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University, along with the Orchestra of the Pines, will present “An SFA Christmas Garland” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    A highly anticipated holiday event, this concert will feature the choirs and orchestra performing Part 1—often referred to as the “Christmas portion”—of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” according to Tim King, director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music and director of the performance.

    “At the end of each fall semester, the School of Music offers a special musical Christmas present to the community,” King said of this popular event. “It is one of the best-attended concerts all year, especially when the program features Handel’s ‘Messiah’—everyone’s favorite!”

    The Orchestra of the Pines, directed by Gene H. Moon, will perform selections from Pyotr IlyichTchaikovsky’s ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

    An audience and community caroling will feature an arrangement of carols by Leroy Anderson, titled “A Christmas Festival.” The Boston Pops first featured the arrangement, said King, who will direct this portion of the concert.

    The event is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    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 776

  • SFA’s Friday Night Film Series to screen two documentaries in December

    SFA’s Friday Night Film Series to screen two documentaries in December

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present free, one-night screenings of two short documentaries Friday night, Dec. 5, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    The night’s features include “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” and “A Better Me.” The screenings begin at 7 p.m.

    In the Oscar-winning documentary “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” Academy award-winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke tells the story of 109-year-old Alice Herz Sommer, known as the world’s oldest pianist and holocaust survivor. Discussing music, laughter and her optimistic outlook, Sommer shares her views on living a long, happy life. The film runs 39 minutes.

    “A Better Me,” a 5-minute film written and directed by Drew Scott, is described on the IMBD website as “the story of one man’s journey of self realization, from uncertainty to acceptance.” This film is presented in conjunction with the appearance of Scott and his brother, Jonathan, of “Property Brothers” fame, in Nacogdoches as part of the Nine Flags Festival.

    These screenings are part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Night Film Series and are sponsored in part by the Nacogdoches Junior Forum, The Liberty Bell, Main Street Nacogdoches, Bill Arscott, Jill Carrington, Karon Gillespie, John Heath, David Kulhavy and Brad Maule.

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

    article ID 775

  • Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano to perform at SFA

    Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano to perform at SFA

    press image
    Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the College of Fine Arts 2014-2015 University Series, Connect.

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will present Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano performing Fiesta Navidad! at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the 2014-2015 University Series, Connect.

    For more than 50 years, Los Camperos de Nati Cano has featured the finest mariachi musicians from Mexico and the United States.

    The ensemble is noted for complex musical arrangements that highlight the individual skills and voices of the players, said Dr. John W. Goodall, associate dean of the SFA College of Fine Arts. This festive program is a great way to kick off the holiday season and should put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

    Mariachi Los Camperos was founded in 1960 by mariachi "giant" Natividad Nati Cano. His passing in October 2014 was mourned nationwide by performers, students and lovers of mariachi. This concert is dedicated to him.

    In the words of Jesus "Chuy" Guzman, artistic director of Los Camperos, "... el mundo del mariachi ha perdido un gigante (the mariachi world has lost a giant). A traditionalist and a visionary, Cano played an integral role in the development of mariachi music in North America by training and mentoring new generations of mariachi musicians, by expanding the repertoire, and by bringing mariachi performance out of the traditional venue the cantina and into the concert hall.

    Mariachi Los Camperos was one of four mariachi bands that collaborated on Linda Ronstadts album, Canciones de Mi Padre (Songs of my Father). In 1988-89, the group worked on the promotion of the album, including national television appearances on programs such as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Grammy Awards Show. They also appear on Ronstadts Mas Canciones (More Songs).

    The ensemble has recorded nine albums. In 2006, the album Llegaron Los Camperos was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. In 2008, the group released its third CD with Smithsonian Folkways, entitled Amor, Dolor y Lágrima, that won the 2009 Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Album.

    Prior to the concert, J.D. Salas, assistant professor of tuba and euphonium studies at SFA, will present a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery about the artists and their music. 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 events corporate sponsor, Nacogdoches Medical Center.

    Mariachi Los Camperos is presented by Opus 3 Artists.

    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) 468-6406 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    article ID 774

  • SFA art galleries announce Thanksgiving closures

    SFA art galleries announce Thanksgiving closures

    November 25, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art has announced holiday closures for its galleries during the week of Thanksgiving.

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will be open during regular hours Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 25 and 26. The art center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27, and will remain closed throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. The center will reopen during regular hours beginning Tuesday, Dec. 2.

    Regular hours for the art center are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

    Showing in the Ledbetter Gallery through Jan. 10 is “Vision & Substance: The Art of John Cobb,” which features a freestanding chapel filled with egg tempera and gold leaf paintings depicting Biblical scenes and characters of modern-day settings.

    Showing in the upstairs Reavley Gallery through Jan. 10 is “To Spin A Yarn, Distaffs: Folk Art and Material Culture,” an exhibition of spinning tools.

    The Griffith Gallery in the Griffith Fine Arts Building will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and closed the rest of the week for Thanksgiving break. Regular hours for Griffith are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

    Showing in Griffith through Dec. 12 is an exhibition of artwork by students and faculty at the La Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 320 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches. The Griffith Fine Arts Building is located at 2222 Alumni Drive on the SFA campus.

    All art exhibitions are free. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    article ID 773

  • SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to present ‘A Holiday Concert’

    SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to present ‘A Holiday Concert’

    November 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will present “A Holiday Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    The Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will begin the concert with Leroy Anderson’s “The Minstrel Boy,” which is the second movement of his Irish Suite from 1947. The band will also perform the Alfred Reed arrangement of “Greensleeves.”

    “The melody from ‘Greensleeves’ is the second oldest piece of secular music in our Western culture, its origins having been traced back to about 1360,” Anglley explained. “This tune has been adapted as the basis for at least one Christmas carol – ‘What Child Is This?’”

    The Symphonic Band will close its half of the concert with Clair W. Johnson’s arrangement of “Themes from the Nutcracker Suite” by Pëtr Tchaikovsky. The themes included in this arrangement are “March,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Arabian Dance,” “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Russian Dance.”

    The Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. David W. Campo, associate director of bands, will open its portion of the concert with Alfred Reed’s stirring “Russian Christmas Music.”

    “Based on the ancient Russian song ‘Carol of the Little Russian Children’ and combined with motivic elements derived from the liturgical music of the Eastern Orthodox Church, this joyous work reflects the beauty and spirit of a Russian Christmas,” Campo said.

    Dr. Gene Moon, director of orchestral studies at SFA, will guest conduct the Wind Symphony in Percy Grainger’s “Sussex Mummer’s Christmas Carol.”

    “Like much of Grainger’s music, this piece was collected as a folk song by Grainger in 1880 from Miss Lucy Broadwood,” Campo explained. “Richard Franco Goldman, conductor of the Goldman Band, suggested to Grainger that he set this beautiful carol for band, and it was Goldman who completed the arrangement upon Grainger’s death.”

    The final work of the concert is the iconic Leroy Anderson composition, “Sleigh Ride.”

    “Anderson depicts his memories of sleigh rides in his native New England,” Campo said, “using brilliant, colorful scoring and real-world sounds, including sleigh bells and whip cracks.”

    The concert is a joint 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.

    article ID 772

  • SFA Trombone Choir to perform music of Holst, Culver, Wagner

    SFA Trombone Choir to perform music of Holst, Culver, Wagner

    November 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the SFA Trombone Choir performing a program titled “Planets” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at SFA and the choir’s director, selected the theme because the choir will perform the movement “Mars: The Bringer of War” from The Planets by Gustav Holst, arranged by Randall Malmstrom.

    “This arrangement of ‘Mars’ is bombastic and exciting, particularly with our talented bass trombonists; it is very well-scored for the trombone choir,” Scott said.

    The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst, according to information at wikipedia.org.

    The choir will also perform Quartet for Trombones by Chris Culver, former chairman of the music department at Long Island University. Culver was a friend of Scott’s from graduate school where she was in the initial ensemble that played the piece for the composer. Culver died from cancer in 2007.

    “The piece is now well-known and played often by trombonists,” Scott said.

    “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” a traditional hymn arranged for trombone choir by Irving L. Wagner, professor of trombone at the University of Oklahoma, will also be performed.

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

    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 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 771

  • Annual ‘Percussion in the Pines’ concert to usher in holiday festivities

    Annual ‘Percussion in the Pines’ concert to usher in holiday festivities

    November 21, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Percussion Ensemble and SFA Steel Band, both directed by Dr. Brad Meyer, will perform their annual “Percussion in the Pines” holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The Percussion Ensemble will play several holiday favorites, including “Deck the Halls,” “Away in a Manger,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Oh Holy Night” and “Silent Night,” according to Meyer, director of percussion studies for the SFA School of Music.

    The ensemble’s performance of “The 12 Days of Christmas” is always a “hilarious and exciting way to end the first half of the concert,” Meyer said.

    The second half of the concert will feature the SFA Steel Band, also known as the “Jacks of Steel,” performing numerous traditional and contemporary steel band tunes and will culminate in the favorite “Pan Christmas,” Meyer said.

    “This concert is a great, annual tradition that gets the university and community ready for the upcoming winter break,” he said. “Audience members are welcome to sing, clap and dance along during the concert.”

    For anyone who cannot attend in person, the concert will be streamed live at: http://www.music.sfasu.edu/stream.

    This year, for the first time, “Percussion in the Pines” will sponsor an “ugly sweater” contest.

    “Students and audience members are encouraged to participate by wearing the ugliest, tackiest holiday sweater possible,” Meyer said. “During intermission, we will bring everyone on stage to vote on a winner, and he/she will get a festive percussion gift.”

    This concert is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music and 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.

    To find out more information about the SFA Percussion Studio, visit/subscribe/”like” their online presence at:
    • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SFAPS
    • Website: http://www.Brad-Meyer.com/sfa
    • Twitter/Instagram/Vine/Tumbler/Pinterest: SFAPercStudio

    article ID 770

  • ‘Spamalot’ opens Tuesday

    ‘Spamalot’ opens Tuesday

    press image
    November 17, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    “Spamalot,” the Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of the classic film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, and runs nightly through Saturday, Nov. 22, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Rehearsing a scene from the musical, produced by the SFA Schools of Theatre and Music, are, from left, Thomas Elam, Rosharon senior, as Patsy; Matthew Kelley, exchange student, as King Arthur; and Austin Davis, Keller junior, as Sir Galahad. Tickets range from $7.50 to $20, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit theatre.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    You may also be interested in these related articles:

    article ID 769

  • Faculty jazz combo to perform with SFA Wind Ensemble

    Faculty jazz combo to perform with SFA Wind Ensemble

    November 17, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    A jazz combo comprised of Stephen F. Austin State University music faculty will perform with the SFA Wind Ensemble in a concert titled “New Directions” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

    The faculty combo includes Deb Scott, trombone; Larry Greer, guitar; J.D. Salas, bass; Brad Meyer, percussion; and James Pitts, piano. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands, will guest conduct the piece they will perform with the Wind Ensemble – “Electric Vortex” by Jennifer Bellor.

    “Jennifer Bellor composed the piece to simulate the idea of an electric vortex where the jazz combo is the center of the vortex from where all electricity emerges,” Anglley said.

    SFA is among eight schools across the country that commissioned this piece last spring, Anglley explained.

    “We will be performing the Texas premiere,” she said. “We would like to thank our student organizations Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma for their financial contribution towards this endeavor.”

    Bellor recently completed her doctorate at the Eastman School of Music and primarily composes for jazz big bands.

    “She is a new, young composer who has an interesting musical voice,” Anglley said.

    This concert, which is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, is called “New Directions” because most of the compositions were written in the last 10 years, according to Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA and of the Wind Ensemble. The lone exception is “Ouverture” by French composer Germaine Tailleferre, performed in a transcription by John Paynter. Other pieces include “Crossing Parallels” by Kathryn Salfelder and “Tiger Tail March” by Louisiana composer Julie Giroux.

    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 768

  • Duet recital to feature violin, double bass

    Duet recital to feature violin, double bass

    press image
    Martha Walvoord
    press image
    Jack Unzicker
    November 13, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the violin and double bass duet of Martha Walvoord and Jack Unzicker at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    Walvoord and Unziker, both professors of music at the University of Texas, Arlington, are married, and each enjoys an active career as a soloist and chamber musician.

    Walvoord’s recent solo performances have taken her to China, Hong Kong, Spain, England, Costa Rica and across the U.S., including her performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto” with the Quingdao Symphony Orchestra.

    Unzicker is the principal double bassist of the newly formed Dallas Chamber Symphony and the Plano Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as principal with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Dallas Wind Symphony and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. He regularly performs with the Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera.

    Their SFA program will feature chamber works for the violin and double bass, an “interesting combination” in that the highest and lowest members of the string family are represented, according to Jennifer Dalmas, associate professor of violin at SFA.

    “The contrast in timbres and the sonority of these instruments together will create a really enjoyable concert experience,” Dalmas said.

    The most well known piece for this relatively obscure chamber music combination is a Suite for Violin and Double Bass by Reinhold Gliere, a composer of the Romantic era. Other works on the program are by more contemporary composers, and Walvoord transcribed two of the works for these instruments.

    Admission to the recital is free. For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 767

  • Exhibition features beautiful spinning tools

    Exhibition features beautiful spinning tools

    press image
    The exhibition “To Spin A Yarn, Distaffs: Folk Art and Material Culture,” now showing at The Cole Art Center, will be discussed in a gallery talk at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, followed by a reception. A spinning demonstration will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22.

    November 13, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The exhibition “To Spin A Yarn, Distaffs: Folk Art and Material Culture” is showing through Jan. 10 in Reavley Gallery in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    According to the guest curator, Michael T. Ricker, the exhibition features spinning tools, which represent one aspect of the weaving tradition common to virtually all cultures.

    Ricker will discuss the exhibition in a gallery talk at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, followed by a reception. Historian Sarida Steed-Bradley will give a spinning demonstration at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22.

    The exhibition contains more than 60 19th- and 20th-century distaffs, originating from Russia and European countries from Scandinavia to the Balkans. Ricker describes them as “beautiful, but inherently simple, tools used for spinning fiber.” He provides an expanded discussion of distaffs in his book by the same title, “To Spin A Yarn, Distaffs: Folk Art and Material Culture,” published by SFA Press.

    “SFA Press published the beautiful full-color book last year, and so we brought the exhibition to the Cole Art Center,” said John Handley, director of SFA art galleries.

    In his book, Ricker writes, “In certain cultures, distaffs evolved over centuries from plain sticks to surprisingly ornate sculptures. They eventually became important cultural objects, with almost ritualistic significance.” He adds, “Despite their importance and wide proliferation, distaffs are rarely found today. Many did not survive years of hard use. Others were relegated to attics and barns, deteriorating both physically and within communal memory. Today, distaffs remain cultural touchstones and marvelous examples of the rural craftsman’s talent and creativity.”

    The exhibition is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum. Admission is free.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For information about this exhibition and others at The Cole Art Center, call (936) 468-1131.

    article ID 766

  • SFA jazz bands to perform music of Goodwin, Davis, Tomaro

    SFA jazz bands to perform music of Goodwin, Davis, Tomaro

    November 13, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The music of Los Angeles-based jazz composers as well as jazz legends like Miles Davis will be featured when the Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces at Stephen F. Austin State University perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Pieces by John Clayton, Tom Kubis and multi-Grammy nominated composer Gordon Goodwin will be among the music performed by the Swingin’ Axes, directed by Gary Wurtz, professor of trumpet and jazz studies at SFA.

    “Because of the influence of the Hollywood recording industry, L.A. is the home to some of the best all-around musicians in the world,” Wurtz said. “With access to such a high level of talent, these gifted composers can comfortably write almost anything they want, knowing the local musicians are up to the challenge. For that reason, some of the most cutting-edge music comes to us out of the L.A. scene.”

    Goodwin’s “The Phat Pack,” “Horn of Puente,” “Backrow Politics” and “Hunting Wabbits” are on the Swingin’ Axes’ program, along with “Samba Dees Gotta Do It” by Kubis and Clayton’s “I Be Serious ‘Bout Dem Blues.”

    The Swingin’ Aces, directed by Deb Scott, professor of trombone and jazz studies at SFA, will perform Nightowl Suite, Movement 1 by Mike Tomaro, “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis, “Caravan” by John Tizol and arranged by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band/Wynton Marsalis, and “After You’ve Gone” by Turner Layton and arranged by Mark Taylor. Also on the Swingin’ Aces’ program is “Tank” (opening theme to “Cowboy Bebop”) by Yoko Kanno and arranged by Eric Dannewitz.

    “The Aces are performing a wide variety of jazz styles,” Scott said, “including the fun Latin Dirty Dozen Brass Band sound of ‘Caravan,’ which features the bass line on tuba performed by freshman science major Aarron DeLuca from Kaufman. Senior music major from The Colony Josh Reyna, on alto saxophone, will be featured on the exciting swing theme, ‘Tank.’”

    The concert is a joint 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.

    article ID 765

  • SFA’s Orchestra of the Pines to present ‘Memorable Melodies’

    SFA’s Orchestra of the Pines to present ‘Memorable Melodies’

    press image
    Flora Wall
    press image
    Juwan Blanton
    November 13, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Orchestra of the Pines in concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The orchestra will present “Memorable Melodies,” a program that ranges from “the extremely familiar to the nearly obscure,” according to Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA.

    “Nonetheless, those who join us will leave with a number of memorable melodies to hum on the way home,” Moon said.

    Guest artists for the evening are senior voice student Flora Wall, soprano from Humble, and senior percussion student Juwan Blanton of Lufkin, who will play the snare drum.

    Among the most familiar pieces to be performed is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which is known for its opening four-note motive, “fate knocking at the door.” Orchestra of the Pines last performed this famous work seven years ago, Moon said.

    “This is one of Beethoven’s most thrilling works, if not in the entire orchestral oeuvre,” Moon said.

    The orchestra will also perform Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte, whose opening melody played on the horn is “wistfully mesmerizing,” Moon said. Joining the guest soloists will be guest conductor and graduate conducting student, Jeff Leung from Hong Kong.

    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 764

  • ‘Spamalot’ features fun, challenging score for directors, cast, orchestra

    ‘Spamalot’ features fun, challenging score for directors, cast, orchestra

    press image
    “Spamalot” cast members rehearsing one of the numbers in the musical by Eric Idle, John Du Prez and Neil Innes are, from left, Bobby Britton, Stuart Neef, Keenan Chaisson, Heather Abbott, Daniel Miller, Adrian Lopez and Amy Miller-Martin.

    November 7, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    Are there enough orchestra lights for everyone in the pit? When will the piano be tuned? Can the cast sing that note while jumping? How will the offstage singers see the conductor? How many timpani will fit in the pit? How long does it take for the feet of God to lift off?

    These are some of the questions spinning around in the mind of Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composing at Stephen F. Austin State University and the music director of Monty Python’s “Spamalot” to be presented by the SFA Schools of Theatre and Music.

    “Spamalot,” the Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of the 1975 classic movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” takes the stage in W.M. Turner Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 18 through 22, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee performance. Angela Bacarisse, professor of theatre at SFA, is director and choreographer for the musical by Eric Idle, John Du Prez and Neil Innes.

    A seasoned director for many musical productions, Lias described such an undertaking as “an incredibly complex puzzle that requires a lot of people from different disciplines to all be working toward the same goal.”

    Prior to his work at SFA, Lias conducted the musicals "My Fair Lady," "Man of La Mancha," "Guys and Dolls" and "She Loves Me" at the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Since his arrival at SFA in 2000, he has served as musical director for "Cabaret," "Follies," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Little Shop of Horrors."

    “The thing I like best about the entire process is getting to work collaboratively with so many excellent colleagues in theatre and music,” Lias said. “Although my domain is music, this intersects with things such as sets, lighting, costumes, sound reinforcement, props, etc.”

    “I could not have undertaken this project without such an amazing partner as Dr. Lias,” Bacarisse said.

    Lias has been involved in “Spamalot” “right from the beginning,” he said, participating in auditions and attending every rehearsal with the cast.

    “In addition, I'm also responsible for hiring and rehearsing the pit orchestra,” Lias said. “The pit is made up mostly of students from the School of Music, but we are joined by three faculty members.”

    There are about 15 players covering all the standard parts of the orchestra – strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, piano and guitar.

    Lias describes “Spamalot” as “a pastiche of many other Broadway musicals,” making the score both very traditional, but also tongue-in-cheek.

    “In many places there are musical clichés used to push the sound just a little over the top,” he said. “It is a challenging score, but not as hard as many. I'd say it sits in the middle of the difficulty range for Broadway musicals. It is a very fun score to play and conduct!

    “I really enjoy the big dance numbers the best,” Lias said. "‘You Won't Succeed on Broadway’ and ‘Knights of the Round Table’ certainly give the orchestra a lot to do, and I'm sure they'll bring the house down.”

    Katy Rutherford, assistant director for “Spamalot,” and Anna Goldberg, dramaturg for the production, will present an informative talk about the musical at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Griffith Gallery, which is located across the hallway from Turner Auditorium.
    “Spamalot” is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory is available at http://theatre.sfasu.edu.

    “Spamalot” is a feature of the SFA College of Fine Arts’ 2014-2015 University Series, “Connect,” and is among the School of Theatre’s Mainstage productions, which are sponsored in part by Tipton Ford Lincoln of Nacogdoches.

    Tickets range from $7.50 to $20, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://theatre.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    You may also be interested in these related articles:

    article ID 763

  • SFA music faculty member Gaviria to present ‘Bass & Co.’

    SFA music faculty member Gaviria to present ‘Bass & Co.’

    press image
    Carlos Gaviria

    November 3, 2014—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present music faculty member Carlos Gaviria in a chamber recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Gaviria will present “Bass & Co.” and will be joined by colleagues Jennifer Dalmas, violin; Evgeni Raychev, cello; Melissa Nabb, viola; Christina Gunether, flute; and Geneva Fung, piano.

    “‘Bass & Co.’ is a play on words to describe chamber music with the double bass, an instrument that is not commonly associated with chamber music,” Gaviria said. “The only piece that comes to mind when thinking of the double bass and chamber music is (Franz) Schubert’s ‘The Trout’ quintet. However, composers have experimented with the low register of the bass and produced a significant output.

    “My idea was to introduce to the audience pieces that are not as well-known but are true musical gems and feature the double bass nicely,” he said. “It will be a lot of fun.”

    Among the pieces to be performed are Piano Quintet in C minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Concertino for Viola, Flute and Double bass by Erwin Schulhoff; “Contrabajeando” by Astor Piazzolla; and “Appalachian Waltz” by Mark O’Connor.

    Of the Williams piece, Gaviria said the composition “features lush romantic harmonies and textures, typical of composers of the Romantic period, like (Johannes) Brahms, whom Vaughan Williams admired.” And Concertino for Viola, Flute and Double bass is an “unusual instrumental combination by the Czech composer that explores the timbric characteristics of the instruments while combining them with Czech folk dances,” he added.

    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.

    article ID 762

Connect with the University Series on Facebook