College of Fine Arts News Archive

March 2017

  • Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform program of woodwind favorites

    Stone Fort Wind Quintet to perform program of woodwind favorites

    March 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Stone Fort Wind Quintet in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    This SFA music faculty chamber ensemble features Christina Guenther, flute; Kerry Hughes, oboe; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Charles Gavin, horn; and Lee Goodhew, bassoon.

    The program will include works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Stacy Garrop, John R. Barrows and Carl Nielsen. Rameau's "Gavotte with Six Doubles" is based on the Baroque dance form Gavotte, and each double features a member of the quintet. Barrows' "March" for Woodwind Quintet is "a short, light, spirited march, sure to be a crowd pleaser," according to ensemble member Guenther.

    SFA bass instructor Carlos Gaviria will join the quintet for Garrop's "Bohemian Café" for Woodwind Quintet and Bass. James Ginsburg, president of Cedille Records, asked Garrop to compose a piece in celebration of the label's 25th anniversary and suggested writing it for a woodwind quintet with the addition of a double bass.

    Of the piece, Garrop writes: "I employ the musicians in various groupings to portray different styles of music. I named the piece 'Bohemian Café,' for when I hear it, I picture myself sitting at an outdoor café in a plaza in Prague, drinking coffee, watching street musicians set up around the plaza, and listening to assorted strands of music wafting through the air."

    The concert will close with Nielsen's Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon, which Guenther described as "a huge standard and a favorite of all woodwind quintets." The thickly orchestrated and at times playful first movement, Allegro ben moderato, presents recognizable, repeated themes and is followed by a lighter second movement, Menuet. The third and final movement, Praeludium, is an introduction, theme and variations. The introduction features an English Horn solo.

    "The variations feature combinations or solo members of the ensemble and range from rich and lush to light and playful in character," Guenther explained. "The piece as a whole uses brilliant instrument pairings in melodic ways and in accompaniment, providing a wide range of sound colors and moods."

    The concert is part of the Cole Performing Arts Series. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Lias composition to premiere at Kennedy Center

    Lias composition to premiere at Kennedy Center

    March 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Another composition by Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition at Stephen F. Austin State University, will have its world premiere on a national stage when the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra performs it at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

    "All the Songs that Nature Sings," written as a commission for the Boulder Philharmonic with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will premiere during "SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestra." The Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts are collaborating to present the inaugural SHIFT Festival from March 27 through April 1.

    The new festival is designed to spotlight North American orchestras of all sizes. The event "celebrates the vitality, unique identity, and extraordinary artistry of orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation's capital," according to information at kennedy-center.org.

    The Boulder Philharmonic will perform "All the Songs that Nature Sings" during Tuesday night's festival performance, which begins at 8 p.m. "Music and Nature" is the program's theme. The concert will also feature Jeff Midkiff's "From the Blue Ridge," Steve Heitzeg's "Ghosts of the Grasslands" and Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring."

    In recent years, adventurer-composer Lias, who has been writing place-inspired compositions throughout his career, has written a sizable series of works about the national parks of the U.S. in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service in 2016. He has served as artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Denali, Glacier Bay, Bering Land Bridge and Gates of the Arctic national parks. His park-related pieces have been performed throughout the U.S. and in Sydney and Taiwan. Last year, Lias released a CD of park-inspired chamber works titled "Encounters: Music Inspired by Our National Parks."

    "All the Songs that Nature Sings" was inspired by Rocky Mountain National Park, where Lias said he had the opportunity to "explore all its secret and inspiring corners, and deepen my relationship with this magical place" while serving as artist-in-residence there in 2010.

    "So it was with great excitement that I accepted a commission in 2015 from the Boulder Philharmonic to write a new orchestral piece about Rocky as part of the celebration of the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service," Lias said. "The resulting piece frames melodies written during my residency in 2010 with undulating and hypnotic textures reminiscent of rippling water, wind-swept grasses and fluttering aspen leaves.

    "It is my hope that the listeners will have a vicarious wilderness experience through this work," he added, "and that those who know the park well will recognize the voice of a familiar friend."

    One of the principal melodies in the piece was borrowed from a previous piece Lias wrote for Rocky Mountain National Park and premiered by Dr. Gary Wurtz, director of the SFA School of Music, titled "The Timberline Sonata."

    The grant the Boulder Philharmonic received for this commissioning was among the NEA's "Imagine Your Parks" grants specifically aimed at events associated with the NPS centennial.

    Lias will host a composer talk prior to the Kennedy Center performance of the new piece. The performance will be accompanied by choreographed nature photography provided courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park and synchronized by Lias.

    Lias' music is regularly performed in concerts and recitals across the U.S. and abroad.

    For more information about Lias and his work, visit http://www.stephenlias.com

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  • SFA's Rockin' Axes to present 'The History of Rock'

    SFA's Rockin' Axes to present 'The History of Rock'

    March 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Rockin' Axes performing "The History of Rock" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in the Twilight Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    The high-energy concert will feature music originally recorded by rock and pop favorites Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire and others, according to Andrew Sperandeo, director of the Rockin' Axes groups.

    "We have been progressively going through every decade, starting in the 1950s, since this ensemble's inception," Sperandeo said. "This semester, I decided we would essentially do some of the best charts from every semester, tailor-made for the current instrumentation, as a 'greatest hits' semester, which, in turn, really is the 'history of rock' from the '50s through the '80s."

    Sperandeo said every artist he chose to be represented in the concert "somehow revolutionized some parameter of music, either with their writing, instrumentation, crossing genres and even social norms."

    Among the program selections is Presley's "Love Me Tender." The song, recorded by Elvis in 1956, was written by Ken Darby and based on the old Civil War tune, "Aura Lee," Sperandeo explained.

    "I decided to arrange the 'Cirque Du Soleil Viva Elvis' version for the group because it is an absolutely beautiful arrangement not to be missed," he said.

    The Rockin' Axes will also perform "Eleanor Rigby," released by The Beatles in 1966.

    "This has always been my favorite Beatles song," Sperandeo said. "In my opinion, this song epitomized the music-writing philosophy The Beatles had during this time. The whole arrangement consists of a string quartet and vocals only, which demonstrates that you don't always have to follow the norm and, as a writer/arranger, you should be willing to take chances."

    Sperandeo's arrangement expands on this idea, incorporating a much larger ensemble to include brass, woodwinds and rock rhythm sections. "I also tried to stay true to the innovative process by including many rhythmic variations and dynamic interests," he added.

    Earth, Wind and Fire's 1978 release of "September" is also on the program. Sperandeo's arrangement took some ideas for the ending from the live version of this song where the band Chicago played along side Earth, Wind and Fire in a powerful performance, he said.

    Jackson's "Thriller," written by Rod Temperton, has been a Rockin' Axes crowd pleaser in previous concerts, and this performance will be no exception, Sperandeo said.

    "Every song was carefully chosen to represent some specific characteristics that well defined music for each decade from the '50s to the '80s," he said. "I believe this will be one of the best performances by these groups to date because of the diversity of the set lists. Come out enjoy all the great music we have in store!"

    The Contemporary Ensemble will also perform several Stevie Wonder hits during the concert.

    Admission is free. For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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  • SFA theatre students to present Heifner play 'Twister'

    SFA theatre students to present Heifner play 'Twister'

    March 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed, one-act play "Twister" by SFA Playwright-In-Residence Jack Heifner at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    McAllen senior Pedro Adan Dominguez is the director, and he describes "Twister" as the story of a couple that survives a destructive natural disaster to find that their dreams for the future have been very different.

    Characters Betty and Roy are apparently the only survivors of a tornado, which has destroyed their tiny Texas town and all their belongings. After the initial shock wears off, Roy sets about trying to restore their lives, while Betty, suddenly freed from all possessions, wants to move on and start over, according to Dominguez.

    The resulting debate is both hilarious and revealing, as Roy resists the notion that what they had was nothing great, while Betty pours out hopes and frustrations that she has bottled up for years, Dominguez explains. In the end, it is the dream that triumphs: Betty charges off to catch a bus that may never arrive, and Roy attempts to hold on to the present that is fast becoming the past.

    The cast includes Plano junior Cecily Maucieri as Betty, and Sour Lake sophomore Ian Ritchey as Roy.

    The production staff includes Gabriel Penaloza-Hernandez, Austin junior, stage manager; Victoria Medrano, Edinburg junior, scenic designer; Chelsea Rodrigue, Maypearl junior, costume designer; Danika Pettyjohn, Fort Worth senior, lighting designer; Jessica Tinker-Akers, Marshall graduate student, sound designer; and Angel Williams, Beaumont senior, properties master.

    Dominguez is a B.F.A. acting and directing candidate. He recently directed "Beautiful Noises" by Scott C. Sickles and was assistant director for "Really Really" by Paul Downs Colaizzo. He recently performed the roles of Lyncoya/ensemble in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and Andrew (age 5) in "Why Do We Laugh?" He plans to begin his B.F.A. internship in fall 2017 and graduate in spring 2018.

    Faculty production advisor is Scott Shattuck.

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu. The Downstage Theatre is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

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  • Cole Art Center to be open during spring break

    Cole Art Center to be open during spring break

    March 9, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Stephen F. Austin State University’s historic downtown art gallery, will be open regular hours during spring break.


    Currently showing is the exhibition “Andy Warhol: Art Is Anything You Can Get Away With.” The show features a small slice of the renowned artist’s enormous oeuvre, in particular, his “Silver Clouds” – helium-filled silver clouds that drift in the air. The exhibition also includes three of his large screen prints and several of his Polaroid photos.


    Making the exhibition possible are The Andy Warhol Museum, The Andy Warhol Foundation and Texas Christian University. It is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and the Texas Commission on the Arts, which is the state affiliate the National Endowment of the Arts.


    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Regular hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The art center will observe regular hours March 22 through March 25 but will be closed the following two weeks for the installation of Texas National 2017, which opens Saturday evening, April 8.


    Griffith Gallery in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus will be closed during spring break and will reopen Tuesday, March 21. Showing is “The Collector Collects: Art from Private Nacogdoches Collections.” Regular hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday during fall and spring semesters.


    For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA’s Scott to release ‘Playing Favorites’ CD at recital, reception

    SFA’s Scott to release ‘Playing Favorites’ CD at recital, reception

    March 9, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at Stephen F. Austin State University, will release a newly recorded CD during a recital and reception Friday, March 24, at Christ Episcopal Church.


    “Playing Favorites” features Scott on trombone, accompanied by Dr. Ron Petti, director of accompanying for the SFA School of Music, on piano. Scott and Petti have been touring to promote the release of the CD with recent performances at Texas Tech University, Texas Christian University, the University of Oklahoma and, forthcoming, the University of Alabama.


    In a review of the CD, Colin Clarke with Fanfare Magazine writes, “There is absolutely no doubt as to the sheer eloquence of Deb Scott’s trombone playing,” and that Scott is “an astonishingly talented brass player; one awaits her next release with anticipation.”


    The CD, released by Navona Records, features a collection, as the title suggests, of Scott’s favorite works. One piece specifically composed for her by SFA Professor of Composition Stephen Lias is among the selections. “River Runner” sets to music a three-day trip by Lias, Scott and their spouses through Big Bend’s Santa Elena Canyon. Derek Bourgeois’s Trombone Concerto, William Goldstein’s “Colloquy,” and Jean-Baptiste Arban’s variations on “The Carnival of Venice” are also featured.


    The first woman to attain a doctorate in trombone performance at the University of North Texas, Scott was a featured soloist and faculty member last year at Trombonanza in Santa Fe, Argentina. She has performed with the Shreveport Symphony, Shreveport Opera, Longview Symphony, the Twentieth Century Unlimited Orchestra in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Music Festival Orchestra in Taos, the Orchestra of the Pines, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic, and the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth Circus Band. She has performed with such artists as J.J. Johnson, Louis Bellson, Diane Reeves, Frank Mantooth, Phil Woods, Lee Greenwood, the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots.


    The mini recital will be at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary followed by a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall with refreshments provided by Newk’s Eatery. Admission is free. CDs and downstream cards will be available for purchase. Christ Episcopal Church is located at 1430 N. Mound St.


    For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Cole Art Center’s Warhol exhibition to close with open house

    Cole Art Center’s Warhol exhibition to close with open house

    March 9, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The exhibition “Andy Warhol: Art Is Anything You Can Get Away With,” showing in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, will close with an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25.


    The exhibition features a small slice of the renowned artist’s enormous oeuvre, in particular, his “Silver Clouds” – helium-filled silver clouds that drift in the air. The exhibition also includes three of his large screen prints and several of his Polaroid photos.


    The open house coincides with Stephen F. Austin State University’s next Showcase Saturday and Nacogdoches Main Street’s Shop & Stroll, also on March 25. Showcase Saturdays bring hundreds of prospective SFA students and their parents to Nacogdoches to tour the campus, meet faculty and staff and attend campus and community events. Shop & Stroll boasts special savings, prizes and more at downtown shops and businesses.


    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House is SFA’s historic downtown art gallery.


    “We want to encourage all prospective students, but especially prospective art students, and their parents to come see our facility,” said John Handley, director of SFA galleries.


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

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  • Young Nacogdoches pianist to perform on ‘From The Top’

    Young Nacogdoches pianist to perform on ‘From The Top’

    March 9, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Twelve-year-old Nacogdoches pianist Antonio “Nio” Ajero has been invited to perform on “From The Top” with host Christopher O’Riley when it comes to LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center in Longview on Saturday, March 25.


    “From the Top” is considered America’s largest and most prestigious national platform dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents and character of classically trained young musicians. The show, distributed by National Public Radio, has an audience of more than a half million listeners tuned into more than 220 radio stations nationwide. Red River Radio and The Belcher Center are sponsoring the Longview performance. The show is at 7:30 p.m., and Nio will perform Caprice á la Scarlatti in G major by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

    Although Nio is no stranger to performing before large audiences – he has performed a solo recital annually since he was 6 years old at Stephen F. Austin State University where his father is a piano professor – NPR’s “From The Top” is probably his most high-profile performance to date, according to his dad, Dr. Mario Ajero.

    “Nio started piano lessons with me when he was about 3 years old,” Ajero said, “and it was a great learning experience, both from his perspective as a student and with my dual role of parent/teacher, to have untethered access to each other throughout the week rather than just the traditional weekly piano lesson meeting.


    “That allowed us to move at an accelerated pace and make piano study a central component of his educational development,” he said. “Both he and his younger sister, Olivia, have served as sort of ‘experimental students’ in my research interests in incorporating technology in piano pedagogy, and they both have reaped the benefits of that.”


    Nio has been a featured performer at conferences in which Ajero presented, ranging from the TEDx Conference hosted at SFA to the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in Australia. These opportunities built up his confidence, leading him to win the Red River Radio Young Artist Competition multiple times. He received first prize at the Southern Methodist University Institute for Young Pianists Competition and, most recently, first prize at the Baylor/Waco Piano Competition earlier this year. Nio’s most notable achievement was when he was awarded the National Gold Medal from The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program last year for earning the highest score in the United States in their Level 9 Piano Exam.

    In addition to studying with his father, Nio takes piano lessons with Linda Parr in SFA’s Music Preparatory Division, which, with Parr’s “meticulous attention to details in performance,” has further prepared him for this opportunity to perform for a national audience, Ajero said.


    “Nio has an outstanding pianistic talent with an innate ability and confidence to communicate what he believes to be the strongest interpretation of whatever he is playing” Parr said. “I’ve discovered countless times that he ‘gets’ and retains both subtle and the more complex musical and artistic ideas. He has perfect pitch, memorizes quickly, and is truly excited to perform at each lesson.


    “Nio constantly surprises and even overwhelms me with his live performances in both recitals and competitions,” she added. “He is growing quickly as a musician and a pianist, and is now growing into a young man, as well. He communicates beautifully, more consistently, and I believe the ongoing ‘musician’ part will include future experiences with chamber music, accompanying, probably conducting and composition, as well.”


    Nio has his eyes on “the big name schools,” like Juilliard, the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory, to name a few. But he and his parents try to stay grounded in understanding that it is a highly competitive field, and there are countless other pianists out there who seek similar opportunities.


    “He definitely sees music as the focus of his future career,” Ajero said. “We’ll see how far he can go on the concert stage, but I was flattered to learn that he hopes to teach and maybe run his own studio or music school one day and perhaps with his sister!”


    Performing on “From The Top” also involves a three-day commitment where Nio and the other performers will receive training through the initiative’s Arts Leadership Program and will prepare an outreach musical program for one of the local Longview schools.


    “I’m optimistic that the experience will help inspire him to get involved with doing more outreach programs in our own community and others to encourage more young people to get involved with piano and other musical studies,” Ajero said.


    Parr sees the NPR performance as a possible gateway to future opportunities, as well as a confidence builder.


    “I suppose that this could be a pivotal moment for him in that it may reinforce his desire to become the best pianist and musician possible,” she said. “Such a public forum may connect Nio with many wonderful future contacts and opportunities for performance. I have high hopes for him to continue developing in a healthy way with many new friends, mentors and creative outlets to share his love of music. Nio has a wonderful family – hardworking, but also fun-loving. He is the sweet guy he is because of that constant support.”


    Both Nio’s father and mother, Gina, are obviously proud of their son’s accomplishments, but the national NPR performance holds “particular significance.”


    “We’ve listened to the show for years now, and it feels unreal that Nio will be a part of it,” Ajero said. “It is a tremendous honor for Nio and might give him hope to attain similar accolades in the future. At the same time, we are also delighted that, despite all these successes, Nio remains a down-to-earth, nice and compassionate person. I don’t think many parents could ask for more than that.”


    Tickets to the performance are available for purchase at the Belcher Center website: https://belchercenter.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=159


    The recording of the show will be broadcast the week of May 29 on NPR and also on “From The Top’s” website and podcast. Additional details are available on the website at: https://www.fromthetop.org/musician/antonio-nio-ajero

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  • SFA Opera Theater to present ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’

    SFA Opera Theater to present ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’

    March 9, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    East Texas opera lovers will see a first when they attend the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music’s performance of Otto Nicolai’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” to be presented March 30 through April 1 on the SFA campus.


    “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is rarely performed outside of German speaking countries unless a university opera program performs it in English, according to Dr. Deborah Dalton, associate professor of voice at SFA and the opera’s director.


    “This is an SFA Opera Theater premiere,” Dalton said. “This will be the first performance of this opera in East Texas!”


    Based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is about the escapades Falstaff, an old and decidedly rotund knight, who still believes that he is irresistible to women, Dalton explained.


    “When he is in need of funds, he writes letters to a couple of merchants’ wives so that he may woo one of them and gain access to her husband’s purse,” she said. “Unfortunately, these two wives are neighbors and friends. When they discover that Falstaff has written identical letters to each of them, these merry wives decide to have some fun and exact their revenge.”


    When they encourage Falstaff under the nose of one very jealous husband, Falstaff ends up being dumped in a cold river along with the dirty laundry, dressed as a woman, beaten and chased out of the house and, finally, tormented and frightened by elves, spirits and insects under a magical oak tree.


    “The jealous husband is tricked a few times, and the merry wives have a high old time laughing at them all,” Dalton said.


    The opera is selected each year to specifically fit the voices and experience of current SFA voice students. This year’s opera has nine major roles. All, with the exception of one, are double cast, with students performing on alternating nights.


    “This gives 17 students the opportunity to learn, rehearse and perform an opera role,” Dalton said.


    The audience may recognize the overture, which is popular on orchestral concerts, and the soprano aria, “Nun eilt herbei” (Come to my aid), is well-known for its beauty and its difficulty, Dalton explained.


    “All of the music is very Italianate and beautiful, and the SFA singers are up to the challenge,” she said.


    Several SFA theatre students are assisting with the production. Kathleen Easterling, senior theatre major from Central Heights, is costume coordinator. She has measured all 45 cast members in order to determine which costumes must be rented. Others will be pulled from the SFA costume shop stock. The set is more representational than realistic, Dalton said, and sophomore Isabel McNeil of Katy is designing and supervising its construction. The lighting design is by Katy junior Travis Wilson, who recently co-designed the Mainstage production of “Intimate Apparel.”


    “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is an opera everyone will enjoy, Dalton said.


    “It is a comedy with plenty of physical ‘bits’ and, of course, the music, the singing, and the orchestral playing are all gorgeous,” she said.


    The opera will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

    Cutline: The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present Otto Nicolai’s opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor” at 7:30 nightly Thursday through Saturday, March 30 through April 1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

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  • SFA's Parr to present 'Contrasts in Romantic Piano Music'

    SFA's Parr to present 'Contrasts in Romantic Piano Music'

    March 7, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present Andrew Parr in a faculty piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. A presentation of the Cole Performing Arts Series, the recital will feature Parr performing "Contrasts in Romantic Piano Music." The program includes Johannes Brahms' Piano Sonata No 1, Op. 1 and a group of pieces by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz from his "Iberia Suite." "The Brahms work is the first composition that the composer permitted to be published," Parr said. "It was written to be a virtuoso vehicle for recitals by the young Brahms, when he was still a performing pianist." The "Iberia Suite" of Albéniz is a collection of 12 pieces written to portray different regions of Spain, particularly in the mountainous region of the Iberia peninsula, which includes areas of Spain and Portugal, Parr explained. "I will present some selections from this Suite, which is generally considered to make enormous technical demands of the performer," he said. Parr is professor of piano in the SFA School of Music and has performed extensively in solo, chamber and concerto settings. He has presented guest recitals and master classes at universities in Texas, regionally, and in international venues such as Hong Kong. He was a member of the piano faculty at the Vienna Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria, helped to create the First International Piano Camp for students in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was among the artist faculty of the Interharmony Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy, and joined the jury of the Second International Iberoamericano Competition for Young Pianists in Santo Domingo in 2016. He has been awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for the SFA College of Fine Arts and in 2016 was awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award for Texas by the Texas Music Teachers Association. Recital 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 (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Raychev to present 'Musical Foray' cello performance

    Raychev to present 'Musical Foray' cello performance

    March 7, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present Evgeni Raychev in a faculty cello recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The recital, titled "Musical Foray," takes the listener into the world of the great composer Gabriel Fauré with other selections by Carl Maria von Weber, J.S. Bach and Joseph Haydn.

    Performing with Raychev will be Olga Wong, piano, along with Jonah Raychev, Jennifer Dalmas and Jarred Kennedy, violin; Preston Patterson, viola; and Carlos Martinez, cello.

    "The recital will focus on the works for cello and piano by the French Romantic composer Gabriel Fauré, whose musical style influenced many 20th-century composers," Raychev said. "His works often have descriptive titles and are very picturesque in character. They have unique figurative language, so typical of Fauré, which takes us on a special journey through various mental images."

    Although most of these pieces are short and programmatic, Fauré's Sonata for cello and piano is larger in scope, Raychev said. Other composers and styles featured on the program provide contrast to Fauré's music.

    "Weber's Adagio and Rondo, originally for harmonium and orchestra, is an interesting showpiece transcribed by the famous cellist, Gregor Piatigorsky," Raychev said.

    Raychev will be joined by his son, Jonah, in the first movement of Bach's well-known concerto for two violins. The concert also features the third movement of the Haydn Cello Concerto in C major, which Raychev describes as "an exciting showpiece for the soloist, fully exploring the range and technique of the cello." The last two selections will be accompanied by string quartet.

    Cello instructor in the SFA School of Music, Raychev is the co-founder of the Piney Woods Camerata and Piney Woods Youth Orchestra and founding member of Alazan Piano Trio. A new endeavor is the Cello Club in which cello enthusiasts of all ages are prepared online to gather together for a concert at SFA.

    Wong is principal organist at St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood. She completed a Master's Degree in Piano Performance at SFA while serving as full-time graduate assistant in piano, accompanying student ensembles.

    Recital 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 (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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