College of Fine Arts News Archive

November 2016

  • Guest cello duo to perform at SFA

    Guest cello duo to perform at SFA

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    Guest artists Paul Christopher and Milovan Paz will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Guest artists Paul Christopher and Milovan Paz will present a program of cello duos by French composer Jacques Offenbach when they perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Selections will be drawn from the artists’ two recordings of Offenbach cello duos, as well as an ensemble piece for multiple cellos, featuring the SFA cello studio under the direction of Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello instructor in the SFA School of Music.

    Commonly known as the creator of French operetta, as exemplified by the famous Can-can from “Orpheus in the Underworld,” Offenbach was actually German, not French. He entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 16 as a cellist, followed by his tenure as a member of the Opéra-Comique cello section.

    Since 2005, Christopher has been performing and preserving this repertoire, often in world premiere recordings, on the Human Metronome label. With cellist Ruth Drummond, he recorded five CDs. With his current duo partner, Paz, a sixth CD, “The Gift-Wrapping,” Opus 54, Nos. 1-3, was released in May 2016. Their second CD, the seventh in the series, will be released later this year and will feature the world premiere recordings of the “École du Violoncelle,” Opus 19 and 20.

    Christopher has appeared as clinician and guest artist throughout the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panamá and South Korea. He has performed with Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and Shreveport Opera. He is a former lecturer in the SFA School of Music. As a member of the Nashville String Machine, Christopher has recorded with artists such as Faith Hill, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Springsteen and George Strait. He is associate professor of cello and music theory at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

    Paz has worked with the chamber string orchestra in San Pedro Sula and the Sinfónica Centroamericana. A former student of Christopher, he graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Music Performance and in May 2016 with a Master of Music Performance from Northwestern State University. Paz currently performs with symphony orchestras in the Ark-La-Tex area and works in the Natchitoches School Board String Program.

    The Cello Club, a cello ensemble performance endeavor founded by Raychev that strives to bring cellists together, is concert sponsor.

    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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  • SFA Trombone Choir to perform music of Lias, Writer, Nelhýbel

    SFA Trombone Choir to perform music of Lias, Writer, Nelhýbel

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    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Four guest percussionists will be featured when the Trombone Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Performing with the choir, which is directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in the SFA School of Music, will be student percussionists Ethan Ainsworth, Longview freshman; Trevor McCulley, Kyle freshman; Chris Williamson, Robinson freshman; and Austen White, Robinson sophomore.

    Among the program selections is “Sequoia” by Stephen Lias, professor of composition in the School of Music. The piece is among a series of works Lias has written in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. “Sequoia” was written for Scott and the SFA Trombone Choir. It premiered at the 2010 International Trombone Association Conference in Austin.

    Also on the program is “Torque” by Justin Writer, associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. Scott described the piece as “very lively with lots of surprising rhythms, very fun and intense to listen to.”

    “Tower Music” by Václav Nelhýbel is a standard literature for trombone choir, and Scott selected it for the program in anticipation of the restoration of SFA’s carillon set in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, which will be completed in January.

    “I am very excited about the upcoming restoration of the carillon, and it made me think of this wonderful piece for trombone choir,” she said.

    Scott will perform “Amazing Grace,” arranged by Irv Wager. Ben Kelly, drum major of the Lumberjack Marching Band, will conduct.

    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 to screen family favorite ‘Rango’

    SFA to screen family favorite ‘Rango’

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    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of “Rango” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    This Academy Award-winning animated film directed by Gore Verbinski stars Johnny Depp as the voice of Rango, an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff and town hero.

    “‘Rango’ is a film for the whole family,” said Richard Orton, film committee member. “Children and adults will most likely be laughing at it for different reasons. The Friends of the Visual Arts offer it as a holiday treat for Nacogdoches.”

    “Rango” won the Academy Award in 2012 for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year as well as numerous other awards. The motion picture rating is PG for rude humor, language, action and smoking. The film runs 107 minutes.

    This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, Brad Maule, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton, Main Street Nacogdoches and Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

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

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  • Piney Woods Camerata to present Baroque holiday concert

    Piney Woods Camerata to present Baroque holiday concert

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    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Piney Woods Camerata at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a holiday concert featuring SFA harpist Emily Mitchell at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The ensemble is made up of string faculty and students at SFA with Geneva Fung, staff accompanist, as harpsichordist.

    The concert will feature mostly Baroque concertos that are also Christmas concertos, composed especially for the season, according to Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, associate professor of violin and viola and ensemble member.

    “Christmas concertos differ from other concerto grossos in that they contain a gentle ‘pastoral’ movement that evokes the shepherds’ tale from the Christmas story,” Dalmas said. “The other piece featured is the popular Harp Concerto by Handel, with soloist Emily Mitchell.”

    George Frideric Handel’s Harp Concerto in B flat major is considered a staple in the harp repertoire, Dalmas said.

    “It is a wonderful showpiece for the soloist,” she said. “It follows the typical fast-slow-fast movement structure of later concertos and contains charming and memorable melodies.”

    Other program selections feature Christmas concertos by Italian composers Arcangelo Corelli, Giuseppe Torelli, Pietro Antonio Locatelli and Francesco Manfredini. Of these, the best known is Corelli’s, which may be familiar to the audience.

    “The other concertos, though less known, are delightful examples of concertos from this time period with their polyphonic textures and beautiful tone colors,” Dalmas said.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and 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 (888) 240-ARTS or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Irish ensemble Danú to perform Celtic Christmas concert at SFA

    Irish ensemble Danú to perform Celtic Christmas concert at SFA

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    Celtic music lovers will not want to miss a performance of acclaimed Irish band Danú at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Danú celebrates Christmas at SFA with “Féile Na Nollag” (A Christmas Gathering) as a feature of the College of Fine Arts’ University Series. Photo credit: Kelly Davidson

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Celtic music all the way from Ireland will signal the opening of the Christmas holiday at Stephen F. Austin State University when the College of Fine Arts presents a special performance of the internationally acclaimed professional ensemble Danú at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of its 2016-17 University Series.

    Danú will celebrate the festive season at SFA with “Féile Na Nollag” (A Christmas Gathering). Celtic music lovers around the globe have been thrilled by Danú’s virtuoso players on fiddle, flutes, button accordion and percussion as well as the gorgeous voice of Nell Ní Chróinín, performing along with top-notch guest dancers, according to Scott Shattuck, associate dean for the College of Fine Arts and the director of the University Series.

    “This concert will be a yuletide treat for the entire family,” Shattuck said. “Tickets to this event would make a unique and welcome gift for anyone.”

    Hailing from historic County Waterford, Danú is one of today’s leading traditional Irish ensembles. Their standing-room-only concerts throughout Ireland are spectacular events, featuring high-energy performances and a glorious mix of ancient Irish music and new songs, according to Shattuck.

    “Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a thrilling and memorable concert experience,” Shattuck said.

    Among the selections to be performed during this concert is the Irish version of “Silent Night,” known in Irish Gaelic as “Oíche Chiúin.”

    “‘Silent Night’ is a song that is known the world over,” Shattuck said. “Danú will perform it in the Irish language followed by the English version with the audience invited to join in and sing along.”

    Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has toured throughout much of the world with stops at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Symphony Space in New York City, and major concert venues in the United Kingdom, India, Israel and across Europe. To learn more about Danú, visit http://www.danu.net.

    This performance is sponsored in part by NMC Health Network (Nacogdoches Medical Center).

    Prior to the performance, Dr. Rick Jones, professor of theatre and interim director of the SFA School of Theatre, will present an informative talk about Irish culture at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor.

    Single event ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3.

    Other upcoming University Series performances include Seraph Brass Quintet on Jan. 24 and Olga Vocal Ensemble on Feb. 2.

    For tickets or more information on the 2016-17 University Series, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium.

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  • SFA to present student-directed ‘Really Really’

    SFA to present student-directed ‘Really Really’

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed, full-length play “Really Really” by Paul Downs Colaizzo at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 1 and 2, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Directed by Longview senior Tanner O’Neal, “Really Really” is a quick-witted contemporary drama that pushes the edges of political correctness and embraces the harsh reality of today’s youth, according to O’Neal. The play takes place at an elite university when the party of the year results in the regret of a lifetime, and a student will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is suddenly slipping away.

    The cast features Burleson sophomore Paige Farley as Leigh; Houston junior Haley Gibbs as Grace; San Antonio senior Kevin Holloway-Harris as Johnson; Richmond sophomore Daniel Hicks as Cooper; Houston senior Jason Trevino as Davis; Houston junior Erik Freels-Vargas as Jimmy; and Plano junior Cecily Maucieri as Haley.

    The production staff includes Nicole Freyer, Corpus Christi sophomore, stage manager; Zaria Harp, Mesquite sophomore, assistant stage manager; Pedro Dominguez, McAllen senior, assistant director; Brooke McPherson, Leander senior, scenic designer; Chelsea Rodrigue, Maypearl sophomore, costume designer; Travis Wilson, Katy junior, lighting designer; Skyler Moore, Plano junior, sound designer; Danika Pettyjohn, Fort Worth senior, hair and makeup designer; and Taylor Solice, Mesquite senior, properties designer.

    The play is recommended for mature audiences. Scott Shattuck is faculty production advisor.

    O’Neal is a theatre major minoring in creative writing. He recently directed “Laundry & Bourbon” and was assistant director for “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” the Festival of New American Plays and “Macbeth.”

    Tickets are $6. 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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  • SFA’s Latin Lumberjacks to perform Christmas concert

    SFA’s Latin Lumberjacks to perform Christmas concert

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Latin Lumberjacks ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform an outdoor holiday concert from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the plaza outside the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

    The Latin Lumberjacks is comprised of members of the Sound Recording Technology program within the SFA School of Music. Directed by Luigi Lazareno, music faculty member, the group will perform a variety of popular holiday songs in salsa style.

    The Christmas-themed program will feature colorful, happy salsa sounds that highlight the powerful rhythms of cha-cha-cha, bolero, guaguancó, son montuno, bachata and others performed with congas, bongos, maracas, claves and other Latin music instruments.

    “Come join the fun and get in the Christmas spirit,” Lazareno said.

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

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  • SFA’s Rockin’ Axes to perform ‘Sounds of the ’80s’

    SFA’s Rockin’ Axes to perform ‘Sounds of the ’80s’

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    Two Rockin’ Axes ensembles will perform music from the 1980s in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Rockin’ Axes at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “The Sounds of the ’80s” when the two student ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Andrew Sperandeo, director of the Rockin’ Axes groups, chose a theme that chronologically followed popular music through the decades because he wanted his students to experience “great music and great artists.”

    Beginning with songs of the ’50s and ’60s three years ago, moving to the music of the ’70s last year, and forward to the music of the ’80s this year, Sperandeo’s students have seen how music, culture and style have changed over time, and they have seen how the music of previous decades influenced musicians that followed, he explained.

    Among the program selections are “Rosanna,” written by David Paich and recorded by Toto; “Let’s Groove,” written by Maurice White and Wayne Vaughn and recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire; and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” written by Trevor Rabin and recorded by “Yes.”

    Toto was comprised of talented studio musicians from the ‘80’s who played on many of the big hits by other artist of the time, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Sperandeo said.

    “‘Rosanna’ can be appreciated by so many because it has solid half-time shuffle groove, catchy chord progression and amazing vocals and harmony,” he said. “It contains a bit more advanced elements such as key changes and style changes, notably in the outro.”

    Sperandeo chose “Let’s Groove” because he “always loved the intro bass line double with a vox vocoder, and also because this band is the epitome of groove – great horn lines and vocal harmonies,” he said. “I knew the kids and the audience would have fun with this one.”

    Performing “Owner of a Lonely Heart” will allow student to experience a little of the “progressive rock scene” of the ‘80’s, Sperandeo said, “and Yes definitely fell into that category.”

    “I love the different textural layers in this tune created from great guitar tone and effects, with synth orchestral hits, hard-hitting bright snare and high clean vocals,” he said. “All of these elements and great mixing and mastering make it sound very progressive, even 30 years later.”

    The Contemporary Ensemble will also perform after the two Rockin’ Axes Groups.

    “Bust out your leg warmers, jean jackets and parachute pants for this concert as we try to transport you back 30 years to a time where MTV music videos changed the course of music history and culture,” Sperandeo encouraged audience members, “to a time we can all look back at our hair styles and wardrobe and honestly say, ‘What were we thinking?’”

    The concert is a 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 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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  • SFA School of Music to present Williams’ ‘This Day’ in annual holiday concert

    SFA School of Music to present Williams’ ‘This Day’ in annual holiday concert

    November 29, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The combined choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University, along with the Orchestra of the Pines, will present SFA’s traditional holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

    The highly anticipated annual celebration will feature “Hodie,” or “This Day,” a Christmas cantata by the great English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, according to Dr. Tim King, director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music.

    “This exhilarating telling of the Christmas story was composed between 1953 and 1954,” King said. “It was Williams’ last major choral-orchestral composition and was premiered under his baton at Worcester Cathedral as part of the Three Choirs Festival on Sept. 8,1954.

    “The cantata, in 16 movements, is scored for treble chorus, mixed chorus organ and orchestra, and it will feature our SFA voice faculty soloists,” he said. Those include Charlotte Davis, Scott LaGraff and Richard G. Leonberger.

    The program will also include the popular Christmas carol sing-a-long that has become a favorite feature of the annual event, King said.

    The concert 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.

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  • SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform ‘Mystical Travels’ program

    SFA’s Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform ‘Mystical Travels’ program

    November 21, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert titled “Mystical Travels” when the ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The Symphonic Band will open the first half of the concert with Henry Fillmore’s “Americans We,” conducted by graduate student Dwight Watson of Wylie. Fillmore composed many American marches, but “Americans We” borrows from the sentimental British tune “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms,” which was originally attributed to Irish and Scottish heritage.

    The second selection by Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will be Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep,” which began its life as an a cappella choral setting, with an original poem by Charles Anthony Silvestri.

    “The chorale-like nature and warm harmonies seemed to call out for the simple and plaintive sound of winds, which makes a gorgeous addition to the wind symphony repertoire,” Anglley said.

    The final selection by Symphonic Band will be “Diamond Tide” by Viet Cuong. Written in 2015, Cuong uses innovative percussion techniques and instrumental colors throughout the piece to achieve an alluring imagery, Anglley explained.

    The second half of the concert will feature the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands, performing works by Gustav Holst, Alfred Reed and Michael Markowski.

    Holst wrote his “1st Suite for Military Band” in 1909, although it did not become part of the repertoire of wind bands until many years later, Campo explained. Holst wrote this cornerstone of band literature at the age of 35; five years later he would begin composing his magnum opus, “The Planets.”

    “The suite shows a mastery of orchestration, color and line as it takes us on a journey through emotional connections ranging from valor to despair,” Campo said. Cast in three movements, Holst noted, “As each movement is founded on the same phrase, it is requested that the ‘Suite’ shall be played right through without a break.”

    A prolific composer, Reed penned more than 200 published works for concert band, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles. The Wind Symphony will perform his “Rosalind in the Forest of Arden.”

    The concert ends with Markowski’s “Instinctive Travels.”

    “Markowski’s musical compositions resonate with today’s audiences because of the cross-generational influences that have shaped this young composer’s mind,” Campo said. “He can combine the wittiness of a Gilbert & Sullivan patter song with the insightful social justice message of hip hop; he can meld a Broadway torch song with the smack of a viral video’s irreverent criticism.

    “You may hear a hint of John Adams, Frank Ticheli or John Mackey in Markowski’s music, but don’t discount the likely influences of A Tribe Called Quest, Judy Garland or even Max Weinberg,” he added. “While along for the ride, ‘Instinctive Travels’ might just intersect with any and all of these perennial performers.”

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

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

    November 18, 2016—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, Nov. 30, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    The Percussion Ensemble will play several holiday favorites, including “Deck the Halls,” “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 culminating in the crowd 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.php

    “Students and audience members are encouraged to wear ugly/tacky holiday sweaters to create a festive and fun ambiance,” Meyer said.

    This concert is a joint presentation of the 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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  • Cole Art Center announces holiday hours

    Cole Art Center announces holiday hours

    November 18, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Stephen F. Austin State University’s downtown Nacogdoches art gallery, has announced its holiday hours.

    The art center will be closed Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 22 through 24, and open Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26, during regular gallery hours.

    Cole Art Center will be open during regular hours throughout most of December. The gallery will be closed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and will closed at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

    The art center will be closed the first week of January with the exception of the Friday night, Jan. 6, screening of the film “Inequality For All.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the free screening is at 7 p.m.

    Regular gallery hours will be observed Jan. 10 through 14, which is the last week of three exhibitions currently showing in Cole Art Center. Those include the mixed media “SFA Alumni Showcase” in the Ledbetter Gallery, “Artist Books from the Booklyn Gallery: High Performance Printmaking” in the Reavley Gallery, and the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau’s “All Things Nacogdoches” photo exhibition in the Reception Gallery.

    Cole Art Center will be closed during installation of new exhibitions from Jan. 15 to 26, reopening for the grand opening of an exhibition of works by Andy Warhol at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26.

    Exhibitions are 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. Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform at Lufkin church

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir to perform at Lufkin church

    November 17, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at an Evensong Service at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Lufkin.

    Directed by Dr. Tim King, director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music, the ensemble will perform music that the choir will record the following day at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.

    St. Cyprian’s is located at 919 S. John Redditt Drive.

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  • SFA children’s series to present musical celebration of America

    SFA children’s series to present musical celebration of America

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    “Celebration USA! America Sings” will be presented at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the College of Fine Arts’ Children’s Performing Arts Series.

    November 17, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present two performances of “Celebration USA! America Sings!” on Friday, Dec. 2, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Presented by Stars Within Reach Productions, “Celebration USA! America Sings!” features a variety of musical styles – from soulful gospel to sultry swing, heartfelt country to rock-n-roll – to track the cultural and historical moments that helped shape the nation, according to Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and coordinator of the series.

    “This high-energy revue will take students on a musical journey like none other, with a historical trip across the country through song and dance,” Peterson said.

    “Celebration USA! America Sings!” targets children in first through eighth grades. Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    “Audience members will travel through defining eras in American culture from past to present with a mix of classic and original tunes,” Peterson said.

    Presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts, the Children’s Performing Arts Series annually features five shows designed to entertain, educate and engage young audiences of all ages, according to Peterson. Study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions for teachers to use in the classroom.

    Other upcoming CPAS performances include “Seussical” on Friday, Feb. 10; “The Little Mermaid” on Tuesday, March 7; and Super Scientific Circus on Thursday, May 11.

    To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at http://www.cpas.sfasu.edu for additional information.

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  • SFA Wind Ensemble to perform music of Mackey, Grainger

    SFA Wind Ensemble to perform music of Mackey, Grainger

    November 14, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present an “Autumn Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    “This concert is the culmination of our fall rehearsals,” said Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA. “It features various styles of music.”

    Among the featured works will be “Kingfishers Catch Fire” by American composer John Mackey.

    “The piece captures the beauty of the colorful kingfisher bird,” said Allen. “It is in two movements: a slow brooding opening, followed by an exciting fast movement that pictures the birds taking flight.”

    Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will serve as guest conductor on Percy Grainger’s “Children’s March.”

    A piece for brass by Baroque Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli will open the concert, followed by “Serenade” by Richard Straus, which is primarily for woodwinds, Allen said.

    Also on the program will be pieces by John Philip Sousa and Johann Sebastian Bach.

    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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  • Young cast member in ‘By the Bog of Cats’ loves ‘being on stage’

    Young cast member in ‘By the Bog of Cats’ loves ‘being on stage’

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    Guest actor Mae Johnston, 12, in the role of 7-year-old Josie, and SFA theatre student Maggie Strain, in the role of Mrs. Kilbride, rehearse a scene from Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats.” The SFA School of Theatre’s production of the Irish play runs Nov. 15 through 16 at 7:30 nightly in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    November 14, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    In many ways, Mae Johnston is a typical sixth-grade student. She plays the drums in her school band, and she’s on the swim team. She plays piano, watches YouTube and listens to music. She enjoys playing video games on her phone, and she loves Pinterest, “because Pinterest is best.”

    Most of her friends are guys, because “you know, guys are less drama,” she said.

    Her interest in the theatre and acting was sparked when she began attending Junior Jacks summer theatre camp at Stephen F. Austin State University and garnered the leading role in a play her first year.

    “It was really fun, and I loved doing that,” she said.

    Her performance skills caught the eye of camp director CC Conn, associate professor of theatre at SFA, and of the theatre students who worked with Mae during the camp. As a result, Dr. Rick Jones, professor of theatre and interim director of the School of Theatre, cast Mae, 12, in the role of 7-year-old Josie Kilbride in Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats,” which Jones is directing as part of the SFA School of Theatre’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series.

    The Irish play is loosely based on Greek mythology’s Medea legend. It opens with the play’s protagonist and Josie’s mother, Hester Swane, receiving prophecies at dawn that she will die before dusk on the very day her former common-law husband and father to her daughter is to marry a younger and wealthier woman. The play tells the story of that day.

    Although Mae doesn’t have the experience or maturity as her college-age counterparts on stage, she is “remarkably intelligent” and she has “a good handle on things,” Jones said, including the violence contained in the play’s storyline.

    “This is an adult play, and death is involved in the plot,” he said. “Someone Mae’s age – and as smart as she is – can understand and handle that.”

    Jones has made a few rehearsal adjustments as a result of working with a younger cast member.

    “Our rehearsals are at night, and we want to get her out in time for bedtime, then the rest of us have another hour-and-a-half in rehearsal,” Jones said. “It’s not a big deal, but it is something we have to work around. We need her to get enough sleep and be able to do her homework. My standard practice is to rehearse on Sunday night, but it’s a weekend, so we rehearse on Sunday afternoon. We’re making those kinds of accommodations.”

    Mae describes her character as “very naive.”

    “She persists with everything,” she said. “Her mother is basically everything she cares about. She’s made friends with people in the Bog, and she seems to be the only child there.”

    Mae is looking forward to attending Junior Jacks again next summer, and she hopes to eventually take drama classes in school. But, for now, her focus is getting ready to perform “on a big stage” in “By the Bog of Cats.”

    “I like being in front people; I can talk for hours,” she said. “I love the feeling of being on a stage in front of a ton of people.”

    “By the Bog of Cats” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 15 through 19, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. The play is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory may be viewed at http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

    A reception and post-performance interdisciplinary discussion in the Griffith Gallery featuring SFA faculty from theatre, folklore, classical studies and psychology will follow the Thursday night performance.

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

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1173

  • SFA’s Swingin’ Axes, Aces to perform program of ‘jazz giants’

    SFA’s Swingin’ Axes, Aces to perform program of ‘jazz giants’

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    The Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    November 10, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform a concert of jazz masterpieces at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium, will open the concert with several hits from The Count Basie Orchestra, including “Moten Swing” and “Switch in Time.” Other highlights will be performances of jazz classics “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday’s hit “God Bless the Child.”

    The Swingin’ Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone and jazz studies at SFA, will present a program of “jazz giants,” she said.

    “Our program is about historically important jazz composers who were also leaders and performers in their own big bands. We will start in 1945 and progress through 65 years of big band sounds,” Scott said. “All of these pieces were recorded by their own big bands, too.”

    The program will include Tommy Dorsey’s “Chloe,” “All My Yesterdays” from the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and “Berlin Bei Nacht” by Oliver Nelson and his “Berlin Dreamband.”

    “There are also two important modern composer-band leaders included: Gordon Goodwin’s ‘Hunting Wabbits’ by his Big Phat Band, and ‘Aurora’ by Patrick Williams and His Big Band,” Scott said.

    This concert is a joint presentation of the 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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  • Cello Club to perform in SFA’s Cole Performing Arts Series

    Cello Club to perform in SFA’s Cole Performing Arts Series

    November 9, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music will present the Cello Club with Dr. Evgeni Raychev in a recital at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Cello Club continues its mission to promote cello ensemble playing and to bring cellists together, according to Raychev, instructor of cello in the SFA School of Music and director of the ensemble.

    The concert, which is part of the Cole Performing Arts Series, will feature original works and arrangements from different time periods.

    “All of the cellists have been working with me in preparation for this concert in one-to-one communication, either in person or through the Internet,” Raychev said. “It is really amazing to listen to a choir of cellos as the number grows bigger. The listener should expect to see over 20 cellos on stage.”

    The Cello Club is in its third season.

    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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  • Cole Art Center to host CVB photo contest exhibition

    Cole Art Center to host CVB photo contest exhibition

    November 8, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    A reception for the opening of the “All Things Nacogdoches” photo exhibition is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Sponsored by the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, the exhibition will feature the winning entries from a photo contest designed to highlight a variety of themes that showcase Nacogdoches, according to the entry application.

    The exhibition will include the best submitted photos taken of Nacogdoches nature, culture and food, best photos taken with a mobile phone or tablet, best photos captured by someone 21 and younger, best photos of action or adventure moments, and photos that show “what Nacogdoches represents to you.” The CVB accepted entries Sept. 7 through Nov. 7.

    Winners in the juried competition will be announced at the reception, and cash prizes will be awarded. The exhibition will show through Jan. 14 in the Reception Gallery. Admission is free.

    “The photo contest is a great opportunity for the CVB to partner with the Cole Art Center, to feature local talent and to build upon the CVB’s library of images that will be used to showcase our destination as a film friendly city, and for other promotional purposes such as the CVB’s website and social media, just to name a few,” said Sherri Skeeters, marketing director for the Nacogdoches CVB.

    The Cole Art Center is Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art’s historic gallery at 329 E. Main St.

    For more information, visit http://www.VisitNacogdoches.com or contact the CVB at (936) 564-7351. Contact Cole Art Center at (936) 468-1131.

    article ID 1170

  • SFA’s Orchestra of the Pines to perform works by Sibelius, Shostakovich

    SFA’s Orchestra of the Pines to perform works by Sibelius, Shostakovich

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    November 7, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program “Sibelius and Shostakovich” when the orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Under the direction of Dr. Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA, the Orchestra of the Pines will perform works by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and Russian composer and pianist Dmitri Shostakovich. Leonard Chow, a recent graduate of SFA, will return to Nacogdoches to perform the first movement of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 with the Orchestra of the Pines. Chow completed his Master of Music degree at SFA in May 2016 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Houston. He studied with Jennifer Dalmas during his time at SFA.

    Moon explained that Sibelius longed to become a great violinist, beginning playing the instrument late in life, at the age of 14, but he never quite achieved great skill.

    “His fascination and ambition led him to compose the only concerto in his oeuvre – his hauntingly thoughtful violin concerto,” Moon said. “The concerto is by far one the most popular concerti performed around the world, including at SFA. In addition to Leonard performing the work, two winners of the Schmidbauer Competition in the past have also performed the concerto with the SFA Orchestra of the Pines.”

    Shostakovich wrote music during “some of the most devastating moments in history,” Moon said. After harsh criticism and fear for his life during Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship over the Soviet Union, Shostakovich composed “a heroic and courageous work in his Fifth Symphony,” according to Moon.

    “Consisting of four movements, his Fifth Symphony tells a story of a people enduring and overcoming daunting hardships, eventually reaching a triumphant climax in the end,” Moon said. “While the symphony is entrenched in a Russian sociopolitical climate, any person whose life is full of similar adversities may resonate with Shostakovich’s work.

    “The music resonates with many profound experiences in my life,” he said. “To conduct the work is to hear Shostakovich skillfully put into music what many can never put into words. The music has depth, expanse and limitless reaching plateaus.”

    The performance 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.

    article ID 1169

  • SFA School of Theatre to present Carr’s ‘By the Bog of Cats’

    SFA School of Theatre to present Carr’s ‘By the Bog of Cats’

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    Dr. Richard Jones, professor of theatre at SFA, assists Mae Johnston, guest actor playing the role of Josie, with blocking for School of Theatre’s production of “By the Bog of Cats” by Irish playwright Marina Carr while theatre student Kara Bruntz, in the lead role of Hester Swaine, looks on. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 15 through 19, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    November 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s presentation of Irish playwright Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats” in the fall of 2016 is not coincidental, and it was not selected by its director on a whim.

    Rather, 2016 happens to be the centennial year of the Easter Rising in Ireland, a short-lived but extremely significant revolt against British rule, which led eventually to the establishment of the Irish Free State.

    Dr. Rick Jones, professor of theatre and interim director of the School of Theatre, directs the play. Jones specializes in Irish theatre in his scholarly work; much of his research for the past 20 years has focused on Irish versions on inherited material, including Greek mythology. He’s taken SFA theatre students to Ireland six times to study Irish theatre, taught courses on Irish theatre and authored numerous publications on the subject. Still, he’s never had the opportunity to direct an Irish play in his 16 years at SFA, and the centennial of the Easter Rising seemed an appropriate time to break that drought.

    Described by Jones as “hilarious in places, darkly disturbing in others,” “By the Bog of Cats” is Carr’s best-known play. Loosely based on the Medea legend, this haunting drama is “part tenderness, part quirkiness, and part ferocity,” Jones said. “It is my favorite play by my favorite contemporary Irish playwright.”

    This play has been on Jones’s “someday” list for a long time, but he wasn’t confident he could cast the youngest character – the role of 7-year-old Josie – using college-age students. But when he learned that Junior Jacks veteran actor Mae Johnston, 11, might be interested in performing in the Mainstage production, successful casting of “By the Bog of Cats” became a possibility. Junior Jacks is the summer theatre camp at SFA for students in third through ninth grades.

    “Mae is a remarkably intelligent girl – a quick study,” Jones said, adding that she came with recommendations from associate professor CC Conn, the driving force behind Junior Jacks, and from the SFA theatre students who worked with her in the camp. “In order to put the show in this season, I needed to know I could fill that role. So, she’s been in the role since May.”

    All these aspects came together this year to allow “By the Bog of Cats” to be included in the 2016-17 Mainstage Series.

    Dialect will be one of the greatest tasks all the actors will face in this play, Jones said. The skills of new theatre faculty member and visiting assistant professor Stephanie Murphy will be utilized to help students conquer dialect challenges.

    “We will be using three different variations of Irish dialect, loosely described as northern, western and an upper-class Dublin accent,” he said.

    In addition to the dialect, another challenge will be the portrayal of the complex characters that are “more human” in the sense that they have both positive attributes and flaws. Foremost among these characters is the play’s protagonist, Hester Swane.

    As the play opens at dawn, Hester receives prophecies that she will be dead by dusk. It is the wedding day of the man who was once her common-law husband and is the father of her child, and he is being wed to someone younger, prettier and richer, Jones explained.

    “Basically, it is a day-in-the-life, but it is a significant day,” Jones said. “Hester is extraordinarily strong-willed, but she’s pushed to the edge and reacts with vengeance. Whereas we like certain people more than others, Hester is vengeful, given to violence, sometimes dishonest, and she’s got to be our heroine. She has to be sufficiently charismatic, and it is important that we understand why she behaves the way she does. We don’t have to approve of her actions, but we have to have some sort of admiration for her.”

    Whereas a good share of the play is funny, it is a play that is “ultimately about sadness and anger,” Jones said. “Fitting those ideas into the same play is my challenge.”

    “By the Bog of Cats” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 15 through 19, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. The play is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory may be viewed at http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

    A reception and post-performance interdisciplinary discussion in the Griffith Gallery featuring SFA faculty from theatre, folklore, classical studies and psychology will follow the Thursday night performance.

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

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    article ID 1168

  • Lauters’ works featured at poetry reading

    Lauters’ works featured at poetry reading

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    Ken and Judith Lauter will present “Rembrandt and Vermeer – Two Dutch Painters as Seen by Two Nacogdoches Poets” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    November 1, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    A poetry reading by Nacogdoches’ prize-winning poets Judith and Ken Lauter will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    “Rembrandt and Vermeer – Two Dutch Painters as Seen by Two Nacogdoches Poets” will feature the Lauters reading from their books combining poems and paintings. Ken's book is “Vermeer in Words,” and Judith's is “Light from the Left; poems on paintings by Rembrandt.” Each poem will be accompanied by a full-size color slide of the painting it describes.

    “This format lets the two forms of art engage in a dialogue, each speaking to the other,” Judith explained. “The poems celebrate the beauty and artistic genius of these beloved paintings, and they also explore the personal, political and social context of the turbulent times in which they were created.”

    A book signing will follow the reading and slideshow.

    The Lauters have visited the Netherlands a number of times, and their love for the country, its culture and the spectacular work of the painters of the Dutch Golden Age is fully evident in the poems they will read at The Cole Art Center.

    Judith is a neuroscientist, poet and photographer who recently retired from Stephen F. Austin State University after serving more than a decade as the director of the SFA Human Neuroscience Laboratory, capping off a 30-year career as a university professor and researcher. She has published nine volumes of images and poetry, and her books are available both online and from a number of special-interest bookstores and art museums in Texas (Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Longview, Corpus Christi) and New Mexico. Information about her books is available at https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Lauter/e/B00JHWZ3TK , and on her website, http://judithlauter.com.

    Ken has been a university professor of English and creative writing, a university administrator, a mayor's aide (in St. Louis, Missouri), and a grass-roots environmental activist. He has published 12 volumes of poetry and also writes essays and plays. His books are available online at https://www.amazon.com/Ken-Lauter/e/B001KCMCR6. Additional information about his other writings can be found at http://kenlauter.com.

    “Anyone interested in poetry and/or painting, particularly classical painting, will be enlightened by this event,” said John Handley, director of art galleries at SFA.

    Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. For more information, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-1131.

    article ID 1167

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