College of Fine Arts News Archive

April 2017

  • SFA's 'The Skin of Our Teeth' continues through Saturday

    SFA's 'The Skin of Our Teeth' continues through Saturday

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    April 28, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students, from left, Tenaha senior Avery Tindol and Port Aransas junior Maggie Strain perform in a scene from Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth" being presented at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, April 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. The play is about the Antrobus family, which narrowly escapes one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present, 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. Photo credit: Lane Davidson

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  • Exhibition highlights role of pollinators worldwide

    Exhibition highlights role of pollinators worldwide

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    This image by artist Andy Jefferson is among the featured works in “Pollinators of the World” showing May 4 through 20 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    April 28, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The exhibition "Pollinators of the World" will show May 4 through 20 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    "Pollinators of the World" is curated by Charles Jones, director of the LaNana Creek Press at Stephen F. Austin State University, and Dr. David Kulhavy, Lawrence C. Walker Distinguished Professor in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, SFA.

    International in scope, the exhibition features art from United States, Costa Rica, South Korea, Jamaica, Russia and the Czech Republic. Its purpose is to highlight the role of pollinators around the world.

    "The recurring theme of bees, hummingbirds and bats indicate the significance and importance of these pollinators," according to Kulhavy. "These pollinators play a vital role in our ecosystems by carrying pollen from plant to plant to carry genetic material for reproduction of flowering plants."

    Artists and student-artists of all levels were invited to create works on paper that reflected important pollinators from their area of the world. Among the submissions to the exhibit are images of bees, bats, birds, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles, lemurs, bush babies and geckos.

    "The refreshing styles and varied mediums of the works in the exhibit portray the rich color, texture and vibrancy of this part of our environment," Jones said.

    The exhibit contains work by local artists Piero Fenci and Liz Akamatsu, Corinne Jones, Charles Jones, Peter Andrew, Neal Cox and students from the SFA School of Art. Also represented are block prints of butterflies, bush babies and geckos from young artists from Nová Paka, the Czech Republic. From Jamaica, artists portray pollinating butterflies, hummingbirds and bats in mixed media. From Alapaevsk, Sverdlovskaya region, Russia, artists from the P.I. Tchaikovsky Children's Art School present color engravings on cardboard of "The Rustle of Wings," "Dancing on Flowers," "Velvet Bees" and "Cities of Butterflies." From South Korea, students portray bees and butterflies in mixed media. Other works come from students from Holy Trinity School, Dallas, presenting bees, bats, hummingbirds and the monarch butterfly.

    Jones and Kulhavy included "Pollinator LIVE," the text of a song on a woodcut print, and woodcuts and poetry quatrains of the "Monarch Butterfly" and the "Zebra Swallowtail" from "A Forest Insect Alphabet" series, LaNana Creek Press.

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

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  • 'In the Trees' outdoor concert series to feature SFA's carillon

    'In the Trees' outdoor concert series to feature SFA's carillon

    April 27, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Brad Meyer, director of the percussion studio at Stephen F. Austin State University, will continue his "In the Trees" contemporary/new-music concert series with a performance of his original composition "For Whom …" featuring the carillon atop the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.

    The performance will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, with audience outdoor seating in the green space between Griffith Fine Arts Building and the entrance to Cole Concert Hall in Wright Music Building.

    Specifically written by Meyer for the restored carillon, "For Whom …" is a chronological representation of a tsunami striking a coastal city/town, Meyer explained.

    "The tsunami in this composition is a metaphor for the big changes that happen in each of our lives," he said. "The composition represents the calm before the storm, followed by the feeling of impending doom, the mass exodus of animals that can sense the impending disaster better than humans, the actual strike of the tsunami, the physical and emotional aftermath, and finally the feelings of total uncertainty and loss," Meyer said.

    The performers will include the SFA Percussion Studio, as well as students from the other instrumental areas in the SFA School of Music, with Meyer playing the carillon.

    The recent restoration and expansion of the bell tower of Griffith Fine Arts Building was completed through a campus-community partnership with funding provided by the Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation. The project added 10 new bells to the original 15 installed when the Griffith Building was constructed in 1959. The addition created a full two-octave chromatic carillon.

    After a short introduction by Meyer, the performance should last 45 minutes. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic items and umbrellas to keep out of the sun. If there is inclement weather, the performance will be canceled due to the necessity of the carillon.

    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.

    article ID 1278

  • Topeka artist wins first place in Texas National

    Topeka artist wins first place in Texas National

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    First place in Texas National 2017 was awarded to Yeqiang Wang's “Return to Classic."

    April 27, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Yeqiang Wang, an artist from Topeka, Kansas, was selected as having the winning entry in the 2017 Texas National Competition and Exhibition at Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Juror Benito Huerta chose Wang's "Return to Classic" for the top honor in this year's prestigious competition that garnered more than 90 pieces of art by 81 artists from 29 states as entries.

    SFA School of Art faculty members agreed that this year's competition was "unusually strong," according to John Handley, director of SFA Galleries.

    "Mr. Huerta said at the opening reception that overall the show had a considerably high level of work," Handley said, "which is why he gave seven honorable mentions as well as choosing the typical first-, second- and third-place winners."

    Huerta awarded second place to Kari Rives of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for "Sibyl & Bendix," and third place went to David Bartlett of Moorhead, Kentucky, for "Eastern State Penitentiary I & II."

    Honorable mentions were awarded to:

    • Holland Houdek of Iowa City, Iowa, for "Asymmetrical Mammoplasty" & "Extended Articular Component"
    • Tanja Gant of Madison, Mississippi, for "Little Bird"
    • Betsy Litton of Chesterfield, Missouri, for "New Land Valley"
    • Heather Foster of Athens, Georgia, for "Barking Puppies Silent Night"
    • Thad Duhigg of Worden, Illinois, for "Presence"
    • Tom Wheeler of Palo Verdes, California, for "Cube I" and
    • Karen Hillier of Bryan, Texas, for "Family Monogram"

    The School of Art's annual juried competition and exhibition attracts entrants from across the United States, providing artists an opportunity to have their work juried by highly regarded artists and critics.

    Texas National and a show of Huerta's own work can be viewed through June 10 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

    The exhibitions are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and Texas Commission on the Arts.

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

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1279

  • SFA School of Theatre presents 'The Skin of Our Teeth'

    SFA School of Theatre presents 'The Skin of Our Teeth'

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    April 26, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students, from left, Daniel Hicks, Richmond sophomore; Kara Bruntz, Southlake senior; Avery Tindol, Tenaha senior; and Sarah Lovelady, Leander sophomore, perform in a scene from Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth" being presented at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, April 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. The play is about the Antrobus family, which narrowly escapes one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present, 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. Photo credit: Lane Davidson

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  • Masterwork performance at SFA to feature Mendelssohn's 'Elijah'

    Masterwork performance at SFA to feature Mendelssohn's 'Elijah'

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    Chris Turner, assistant professor in the SFA School of Music, will sing the role of Elijah when the combined choirs at SFA, the Orchestra of the Pines and music faculty soloists perform Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio “Elijah” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

    April 25, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The combined choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University, along with the Orchestra of the Pines and faculty soloists, will present Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio "Elijah" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The oratorio depicts events in the life of the biblical prophet Elijah, taken from the books 1 Kings and 2 Kings of the Old Testament.

    This choral and orchestral masterwork will feature the A Cappella Choir, Choral Union and Women's Choir, along with voice faculty members Debbie Berry, soprano; Ric Berry, tenor; and Nita Hudson, alto. Chris Turner, assistant professor in the School of Music, will sing the role of Elijah. Tim King, director of choral activities at SFA, will conduct.

    "Ever since Handel's 'Messiah' had first captivated audiences in 1743 - and recently for Nacogdoches on April 8 by the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Orchestra - 'Elijah' has occupied a pre-eminent position in concert halls around the world," King said. "After its resounding first performance, 'Elijah' immediately established itself as second only to 'Messiah.' It has received countless performances since its premier in 1846 and has enjoyed an enormous popularity to the present day."

    Among the familiar choruses and solos included are "He Watching Over Israel," "Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord," "If With All Your Hearts," "Is Not His Word Like a Fire," "O Rest in the Lord" and "Thanks be to God."

    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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  • Latin Lumberjacks to present outdoor Cinco de Mayo concert

    Latin Lumberjacks to present outdoor Cinco de Mayo concert

    April 25, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Latin Lumberjacks ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a Cinco de Mayo concert from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 4, 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 classical and popular songs in salsa style.

    The 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 piano, bass, brass, congas, maracas, claves and other Latin music instruments, along with vocals.

    The program will combine classical works of C.P.E Bach and W.A. Mozart with the diverse works of Mexican concert pianist, songwriter and recording artist Consuelo Velazquez, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Michael Jackson, Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, Seis del Solar, Gloria Gaynor and Walter Fuentes, according to Lazareno.

    "There will be something for everyone, so bring your dancing shoes," Lazareno advised those who plan to attend.

    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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  • Film series to screen 'If You Build It'

    Film series to screen 'If You Build It'

    April 25, 2017—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 "If You Build It" at 7 p.m. Friday, May 5, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    "If You Build It" follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives.

    Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design-and-build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows 10 teenagers the power of design-thinking to reinvent not just their town, but their own sense of what's possible, according to information at ifyoubuilditmovie.com.

    Directed by Patrick Creadon and produced by Christine O'Malley and Neal Baer, "If You Build It" offers a "compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom in which students learn the tools to design their own futures."

    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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  • Double Bass Quartet to perform at SFA

    Double Bass Quartet to perform at SFA

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    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's Double Bass Quartet will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Music Recital Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. Admission is free.

    April 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's Double Bass Quartet will present a master class and will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Music Recital Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The quartet is UTRGV's most recently formed ensemble, and it is in residence at the university's Edinburg campus. The ensemble includes undergraduate students Andrés Vela and Daniel Morehead and graduate student Gabriel Preusse, all of whom have collected accolades and awards for their performances at the state, national and international level. Their professor, Dr. George Amorim, leads the ensemble.

    Since its formation, the UTRGV Double Bass Quartet has performed in venues throughout the Rio Grande Valley, as well as in New Mexico and El Paso. In September, the quartet had its international debut in Prague, Czech Republic, when it performed as a featured ensemble at the 5th European Double Bass Congress, receiving enthusiastic reviews.

    This spring, the UTRGV Double Bass Quartet has appeared throughout the state and abroad, culminating with a performance at the International Society of Bassists Convention in Ithaca, New York, scheduled for June. On the fourth week of April, the quartet will tour Texas. The tour includes the performance at SFA.

    The quartet will present Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," a tale of the adventures of a brave little boy. Originally written for orchestra, the piece will be in a skillful adaptation for double bass quartet by Justin Writer, composition professor at UTRGV. The second large work of the program features "Afro Sambas" by the icons of bossa nova, Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes. Brazilian bassist Preusse arranged this work. Another piece in the program is "The Mysterious Color of Vampire Sleet at the Moment When Light Becomes Wine" by Austin-based P. Kellach Waddle.

    Admission is free. The Music Recital Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building. For 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 bands to present annual 'Concert in the Park'

    SFA bands to present annual 'Concert in the Park'

    April 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the annual "Concert in the Park" Sunday, April 30, in the wooded area along Vista Drive and in front of the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus. The concert begins at 2 p.m. and is free to the public.

    SFA alumnus Doice Grant, owner of Tatum Music Company in Longview, will be honored with an induction into the SFA Band Directors' Hall of Fame. Grant earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SFA where he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity and was selected "Outstanding Bandsman" of the Lumberjack Marching Band. Grant taught at Carthage and Center ISDs before joining the leadership of Tatum Music in 1994.

    All four SFA concert bands will perform. Opening the concert will be University Band, under the direction of David Campo, associate director of bands, and graduate assistant Teresa Powell. The University Band will perform "Coast Guards March" by Karl King and "Autobahn" by Ryan George.

    The Symphonic Band, under the direction of Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will perform "Cajun Folks Songs" by Texas composer Frank Ticheli. Graduate assistant Brandon Beavers will conduct "Sea Songs" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

    The Wind Symphony, also directed by Campo, will perform three selections, including "Inglesina," a march by Davide Delle Cese.

    The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Fred J. Allen, director of bands, will close the concert and will perform four pieces, including music from the movie "Star Wars" and a march by John Philip Sousa, "The Globe and Eagle." Guest conductor and honoree Grant will conduct "Procession of the Nobles" by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

    KKY and Tau Beta Sigma, honorary band service fraternity and sorority, will sell hamburger plates beginning at 1 p.m. Plates are $5 each and will include a burger, chips and beverage.

    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 Wind Symphony to perform Boss composition 'Tetelestai'

    SFA Wind Symphony to perform Boss composition 'Tetelestai'

    April 21, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Symphony will present "Tetelestai" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.

    Composer Andrew Boss described his "Tetelestai - A Symphony for Wind Ensemble" as work that "portrays images rather than adhering to a strict narrative," allowing for "a different interpretation of these images from each listener as he or she engages in a unique aural experience as the music unfolds."

    Tetelestai is Greek for "It is finished," the last words Jesus spoke before his death, according to the Gospel of John.

    "The nature of this word - in the perfect indicative mood of its verbal form teleo - suggests having completed an action that is both irreversible and infinite," Boss wrote in describing the piece. "Within the context Jesus used, it meant that he perfectly fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic Law on behalf of his people, and that he took the punishment his people deserved and placed it onto his own shoulders by his death."

    Throughout the symphony, Boss attempted to capture images of how he interpreted these series of biblical events.

    "This is not a programmatic work, because I am not retelling the story of this account," he wrote. "Rather, I am portraying images based on how this story makes me feel."

    The first movement portrays images of the crucifixion - betrayal, despair, suffering and death.

    "This movement begins and ends with a linear theme in the horn representing a promise waiting to be fulfilled, which returns intimately later in the piece," he said.

    The second movement portrays images of conflict between two opposing forces, such as life vs. death, or dark vs. light. The third movement is subdivided into two separate sections, beginning with a short interlude, followed by the finale.

    "The finale begins in a reflective mood and slowly intensifies toward a climactic conclusion that portrays images of victory and rebirth," Boss said, "which is how I interpret the resurrection."

    In addition to "Tetelestai - A Symphony for Wind Ensemble," the Wind Symphony will perform works by Davide Della Cese, Pete Wiley and David Maslanka.

    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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  • Wilder play challenges students with large-scale production, complex characters

    Wilder play challenges students with large-scale production, complex characters

    April 20, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Skin of Our Teeth" provides a study in "how we move forward through the problems of life with optimism and courage," according to Jack Heifner, playwright-in-residence at Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The SFA School of Theatre's cast and production team for Wilder's "funny, touching, sensible and absurd" play is learning that very lesson. From summoning the courage to develop multi-faceted characters to hanging a record number of lights in W.M. Turner Auditorium, everyone involved with "The Skin of Our Teeth" is beginning to understand Wilder's vision as the play comes to life.

    The play's dramaturg, Marie Phillips, a junior theatre student from Lewisville, explains that Wilder wanted audience members to "see that there is a duality to humanity; we are both grand and faulty. We shall achieve, struggle, overcome and repeat." That universal theme is evident both on stage and behind the scenes as students prepare for this large-scale production that features a 20-member cast, extensive scenery and multiple costumes and props, according to Heifner, the play's director.

    Maggie Strain, theatre education major from Port Aransas, describes her character of Sabina and Wilder's play as both having "tremendous depth." The maid to the Antrobus family, Sabina cycles between the different roles of unobliging family maid, temptress, and dedicated war follower and then eventually back to the role of maid, Strain said.

    "Many if not all of the roles I have played throughout my career have been comedic characters," Strain said. "This isn't to say that Sabina isn't funny from time to time, because I find great humor in her character. But she is so much more than that. For the first time I find myself being able to work on monologues that break my heart to deliver, and I have had to muster a new type of courage for seductive scenes."

    Between the play's three acts, each character undergoes "colossal growth and change," Strain said. The show is a play within a play, and the actors are playing both characters in the production and characters putting on the production.

    "I have never had to play a character that is in such constant flux, and yet, is always the same," she said. "To add to the complexity, not only am I playing Sabina, but often times I play the actress playing Sabina, Miss Somerset, who repeatedly stops the play in an effort to get what she wants."

    Sunnyvale junior Maddie Collins is stage managing the play, which she describes as "by far, the biggest show I have ever worked on." It's her job to communicate the director's notes to designers, as well as act as a liaison between the director and actors, making sure everything runs smoothly and is organized.

    "There are a lot of moving parts in this show, and it has been full of new experiences," Collins said. "This show has put more pressure on me than ever to stay organized and get things done.

    "Along with learning new things myself, I have two assistant stage managers who are learning so they can manage Mainstage plays in the future," she said. "By teaching and explaining things to them, I am learning more about how to delegate and work closely with other people. Because 'The Skin of Our Teeth' is such a big show, it has been difficult keeping everything organized. It has challenged me to be proactive about the possible problems that could arise, as well as problem solve on the spot."

    Hutto senior Brittney Tennis is an assistant to guest lighting designer Luis Ramirez. Tennis answers inventory questions, updates changes to the light plot, and acts as the liaison between Ramirez and the play's lighting team. It's different from her previous duties as a production intern at The Long Center in Austin and as a master electrician for the Georgetown Palace Theatre in Georgetown where she was responsible for hanging, circuiting and focusing lights, and in charge of crew calls.

    "I am more involved with the production side and helping the director's vision come alive onstage," Tennis said. "One the of the challenges that this play presents is the fact that we have 195 lights hanging in the air right now. We have never had this many lights hanging in Turner Auditorium, and it has been a new experience for all of us involved."

    Strain describes "The Skin of Our Teeth" as "one of those plays where knowing the history and context in which it was written gives it all the more meaning." A product of its time, the play was completed two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Phillips, the dramaturg, has given the play "tremendous meaning and has shown me the importance of a play's origins," Strain said.

    "The messages and themes in this play are so beautiful and powerful it brings me to tears nearly every day in rehearsal," Strain said. "It isn't often a play has such a profound effect on me. This play is about starting over; it's about family, loss, courage, love, forgiveness in the face of hate, feminism and war. And it's about us; it's a play about the human race."

    "Thornton Wilder really wanted the audience to see and understand that even though disastrous things are happening in the world," Tennis said, "we as humans will always find a way to survive and keep on going."

    The play is appropriate for anyone and all ages, Heifner said, but the subject matter may not interest someone younger than a teenager. He suggests the play would be rated PG13. There is no offensive language.

    "The Skin of Our Teeth" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 25 through 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. 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/.

    article ID 1270

  • Sculpture For All 2017-2019 opens Saturday with reception

    Sculpture For All 2017-2019 opens Saturday with reception

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    A cast iron and steel sculpture by Teresa Lind of Chilton, Wisconsin, is among the works of art in Sculpture For All 2017-2019.

    April 19, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The biennial outdoor exhibition and competition Sculpture For All - SFA - will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Sculpture for All is a joint partnership project that brings together faculty, staff and students from the SFA School of Art and the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Gardens. It features the works of 10 artists selected from a pool of hundreds of sculptors from across the nation who submit their work to the competition.

    Several of the participating artists will attend the opening reception to answer questions and take part in guided tours throughout the gardens. Juror Dewane Hughes, professor of sculpture at The University of Texas at Tyler and president of the Texas Sculpture Group, will announce the winners during Saturday's event.

    "I am honored to be part of this round of Sculpture For All," Hughes said. "It is a great national exhibition filled with work from extremely talented sculptors."

    "This exhibition offers something for everyone," said Jeff "Jeffie" Brewer, assistant professor in the SFA School of Art and organizer of Sculpture For All. "Dewane Hughes did a great job selecting a wide variety of work varying from whimsical to serious, and everything in between.

    "It has been fascinating to watch spectators in the garden as they discover the new sculptures," he added. "Joe Barrington's 'Message for Mankind' has really been a crowd favorite so far. People will come to the arboretum with what appears to be the sole purpose of taking a selfie with this piece - a large skull with a raven perched on top. It's pretty awesome!"

    Since the first SFA-Sculpture For All exhibition in 2014, thousands of visitors have enjoyed a wide variety of sculptures nestled throughout the SFA Gardens, including the Mast Arboretum and Mize Azalea Garden on the university campus. Dozens of groups, classes and civic organizations representing all ages have been led on educational tours throughout the exhibit. Sculpture For All brings national recognition and publicity to SFA, helping to build brand awareness for the school, as well as aiding in recruiting both students and faculty members.

    "Watching people actively pursuing and interacting with public art makes all the work worthwhile," Brewer said.

    The collaborative project's ongoing fundraising goal of $20,000 allows for the continuation of the outdoor exhibition, providing funds for the sculpture installation, stipends, prizes, insurance, promotions, catalogs and other necessary expenses for the 24-month exhibition period. Donations can be made at: https://www.sculptureforall.com/donate

    "Thanks to all of our generous donors and amazing partners, Sculpture For All continues to be a huge success," Brewer said. "It could not happen without this support. With community involvement, art will continue to bloom throughout the SFA Gardens."

    For more information on Sculpture For All 2017-2019, visit http://www.sculptureforall.com.

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  • SFA Friends of Music to honor Wright at Extravaganza 30

    SFA Friends of Music to honor Wright at Extravaganza 30

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    Dr. Peggy Wright to be honored as outstanding Music Alumna at Extravaganza 30, Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music's annual gala banquet, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, in the Grand Ballroom of SFA's Baker Pattillo Student Center.

    April 17, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Friends of Music will accept reservations through noon Monday, April 24, for Extravaganza 30, Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music’s annual gala banquet. The event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, in the Grand Ballroom of SFA’s Baker Pattillo Student Center, will honor Dr. Peggy Wright of Nacogdoches as Outstanding Music Alumna.

    This year’s Extravaganza, “Golden Stars of SFA,” celebrates the 30th anniversary of the gala and fundraiser, which features gourmet dining, performances by student soloists and ensembles, and the presentation of student awards in an exciting evening of music, according to Dr. Gary Wurtz, director of the SFA School of Music.

    “There is no better way to experience a cross section of what the SFA School of Music has to offer than at our annual Extravaganza,” Wurtz said. “While enjoying a good meal, those in attendance hear performances by the top choir, band, orchestra, jazz band, student recitalists, opera performers, and more. Our fantastic students provide both dinner music and a dance to end the evening. It is really a lot of fun!”

    Part music student awards ceremony, part formal dinner, and part musical potpourri, Extravaganza will feature jazz, wind ensemble, choir, opera, string quartet and orchestra. Additional highlights include awarding Outstanding Music Alumni and Outstanding Recitalists of the year.

    As is tradition with Extravaganza, the music faculty has selected an outstanding music graduate to honor, and this year’s recipient is Dr. Peggy Wright.

    “Mrs. Wright is a stalwart of the Nacogdoches community and an avid supporter of all things SFA,” Wurtz said, “but many people may not realize that she has a bachelor’s degree in music from SFA, as well. This year, the committee voted unanimously that Mrs. Wright must be our honoree, and, in fact, they all agreed that it has been an oversight to not award this to her much sooner! Mrs. Wright’s support of the School of Music over the years has been overwhelming, and we are excited to have this opportunity to honor her in this way.”

    Wright’s work on behalf of SFA includes her service as president of the SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1974-75; member of the SFA Board of Regents from 1973-83 and 1987-93, serving as chairman of the board for four years; member of the SFASU Foundation Board of Trustees, serving as secretary/treasurer from 1987-2006 and chairman from 1985-87; and member of Friends of Music and the Dean’s Circle. She was named the SFA Distinguished Alumna in 1985 and Nacogdoches Woman of the Year in 1989. In 1997, the SFA Board of Regents selected her as the second recipient of an honorary university doctorate.

    Along with her late husband Tom, Wright’s philanthropy to SFA has been extensive, including the creation of the Wedgeworth-Wright Endowment for the Arts. In recognition of the Wrights’ longstanding commitment and love for SFA, the music building was named the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building in 1999. She also has been highly involved in the Nacogdoches community, serving in numerous leadership roles, including president of the Cum Concilio Club, regent for the Nacogdoches Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, and member of the Texas Council of Economic Education Board of Directors, Citizens 1st Bank Board of Directors, Heritage Club, Dallas Woman’s Club and National Society of Colonial Dames of America. In 2004, the Wrights shared the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce’s Citizens of the Year award. The Wrights are longtime members of Westminster Presbyterian Church, and they have two daughters, Kitty Dippel of Brenham and Peggy Pollock of Dallas, six grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

    The Extravaganza 30 committee includes John and Melinda Rohrer, co-chairs, Carolyn King, Caryl and Harold Hall, MaryAnn and Farrar Bentley, Kimberly LaGraff, Gloria and Cecil Settle, Barb Stump, Shirley Watterston and Gloria Williams.

    “We want to invite everyone to come and celebrate this 30th Extravaganza with us,” Melinda Rohrer said.

    This year’s Friends of Music officers include Caryl Hall, president; Marinell Booth, president-elect; Missy DeVine, secretary/treasurer; and Jackie Warthan, past president.

    Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for SFA students. Patron level tickets range in prices from $65 to $140, and donations will be accepted for the Friends of Music scholarship fund. 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 1268

  • SFA Steel Band to present ‘Blasts From the Past’

    SFA Steel Band to present ‘Blasts From the Past’

    April 13, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Steel Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “Blasts From the Past” when the ensemble performs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Featuring arrangements of songs from the 1960s through 2016, “Blasts From the Past” will showcase the music of popular recording artists throughout the decades, including The Spice Girls, Tom Petty, Twenty One Pilots, Adele, One Direction, Santana, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Aqua and more. The program will also include more traditional steel band tunes, according to Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA and of the Steel Band.

    “This concert is going to be great for all ages,” Meyer said. “Come and sing along with your favorites songs from your childhood.”

    Among the featured tunes is “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, which was a hit single in the late ’90s.

    “The lyrics are probably still stuck in listeners’ heads from 20 years ago,” Meyer said.

    The program also includes The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” which Meyer describes as “a fun, energetic tune that is sure to get the audience out of their seats as they dance and sing along with this infectious song that was an international smash hit.”

    The SFA Steel Band will also perform an arrangement of “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and was the feature track for the 2016 movie “Suicide Squad.”

    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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    article ID 1263

  • School of Theatre students rehearse for ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’

    School of Theatre students rehearse for ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’

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    April 13, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students have a busy rehearsal schedule ahead of opening night of Thornton Wilders’ “The Skin of Our Teeth.” The story of the Antrobus family narrowly escaping one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present, will be presented at 7:30 nightly Tuesday through Saturday, April 25 through 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Ensemble members, from left, Logan Richard, Highlands junior, and Logan Jennings, Longview freshman, rehearse with Port Aransas junior Maggie Strain in the role of Sabina as other cast members watch. 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.

    article ID 1264

  • SFA's Symphonic, University bands to present 'Songs of the Earth'

    SFA's Symphonic, University bands to present 'Songs of the Earth'

    April 13, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Symphonic Band and University Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform their final concert of the spring semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program, titled "Songs of the Earth," will include selections by composers ranging in style from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ryan George.

    The University Band, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA, and graduate student and associate conductor Teresa Powell, will begin the concert with a work by Austin composer George entitled "Autobahn," followed by Samuel Hazo's "Our Yesterdays Lengthen Like Shadows" in which the composer's unique approach has the performers beginning with one note and ending with the same note. The listener becomes unaware of the presence of this note. The single note symbolizes the life of the listener - always present but constantly awash in the music of life, Campo explained.

    Franco Cesarini's charming "Greek Folk Song Suite" features three ancient Greek songs for wind band. All three movements bring to life the spirit of the Greek people through song and dance.

    Lastly, the University Band will perform Karl King's well-known march "Coast Guards." King enjoyed a long career as a circus musician, spending time playing for Robinson's Famous Circus, Yankee Robinson Circus, Sells Floto Circus and the Barnum and Bailey "Greatest Show On Earth." He wrote music while a member of these bands, and in 1913 wrote what would become his masterpiece, "Barnum and Bailey's Favorite." King was one of the most prolific and popular composers in the history of band music, writing at least 291 works. "Coast Guards" is one of his most popular marches.

    The SFA Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands, will open the second half of the concert with Williams' "Sea Songs" conducted by graduate student Brandon Beavers. Williams composed "Sea Songs" the same year as "English Folk Song Suite" (1923).

    The second selection by Symphonic Band will be "Cajun Folk Songs" by popular band composer Frank Ticheli.

    The Symphonic Band will conclude the concert with Robert Russell Bennett's three-movement work "Symphonic Songs for Band." The piece was commissioned by the national band honorary organizations Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma in 1957. Bennett wrote the following program note: "'Symphonic Songs' are as much a suite of dances or scenes as songs, deriving their name from the tendency of the principal parts to sing out a fairly diatonic tune against whatever rhythm develops in the middle instruments."

    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.

    article ID 1265

  • SFA Steel Band to present 'Blasts From the Past'

    SFA Steel Band to present 'Blasts From the Past'

    April 13, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Steel Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Blasts From the Past" when the ensemble performs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Featuring arrangements of songs from the 1960s through 2016, "Blasts From the Past" will showcase the music of popular recording artists throughout the decades, including The Spice Girls, Tom Petty, Twenty One Pilots, Adele, One Direction, Santana, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Aqua and more. The program will also include more traditional steel band tunes, according to Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA and of the Steel Band.

    "This concert is going to be great for all ages," Meyer said. "Come and sing along with your favorites songs from your childhood."

    Among the featured tunes is "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, which was a hit single in the late '90s.

    "The lyrics are probably still stuck in listeners' heads from 20 years ago," Meyer said.

    The program also includes The Spice Girls' "Wannabe," which Meyer describes as "a fun, energetic tune that is sure to get the audience out of their seats as they dance and sing along with this infectious song that was an international smash hit."

    The SFA Steel Band will also perform an arrangement of "Heathens" by Twenty One Pilots. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and was the feature track for the 2016 movie "Suicide Squad."

    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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    article ID 1266

  • Grant to be inducted into SFA Band Directors' Hall of Fame

    Grant to be inducted into SFA Band Directors' Hall of Fame

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    Doice Grant

    April 13, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music has announced that SFA alumnus Doice Grant, owner of Tatum Music Company and a former band director, is the newest inductee into the SFA Band Directors' Hall of Fame.

    The ceremony will take place during this year's Concert in the Park, which gets underway at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30, on the lawn along Vista Drive and in front of the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    Grant earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SFA in 1982. While attending the university, he was treasurer and president of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity. Under his leadership as president, the chapter won the Founder's Award designating it as the outstanding chapter in the nation. Grant was also selected the "Outstanding Bandsman" of the Lumberjack Marching Band. Grant was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. As a KKY active and officer, Grant helped form the SFA Band Alumni Association and the SFA Band Directors' Hall of Fame.

    "His contributions toward forming both of these entities makes the presentation this year all the more meaningful," said Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA.

    The selection of Grant for Hall of Fame honors continues a family tradition. While a member of KKY, Grant had the privilege of presenting his father, Neil Grant, the Band Directors' Hall of Fame award. Now, Doice Grant's daughter, Rachel Grant, a member of the SFA band, will see her father receive the Hall of Fame honor. He is a life member of both the SFA Band Alumni Association and the SFA Alumni Association.

    Grant was the director of the middle school band in Carthage from 1983-1985, during which time the band won sweepstakes awards each of those years. He went on to direct the Center High School Band from 1985-1993, where his bands also received the sweepstakes award each year. The Center band was a three-time honor band finalist and two-time winner of the Outstanding Band in their class at the National Association of Military Marching Bands (NAMMB) contest held at Texas A&M University. Grant served as the NAMMB president for two years, as the SFA Band Alumni Association president, and the TMEA Region 21 chairman. Grant was selected as a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in 1992.

    Grant is currently the owner of Tatum Music Company in both Longview and Tyler, working for the last 23 years with bands in the East Texas just as his father, Neil Grant, did before him. Many of these bands have gone on to experience great success.

    Grant and his wife, Beth, reside in Longview while their daughter, Rachel, is earning her music education degree at SFA and their son, Levi, completes his junior year at Longview High School. He said he is grateful for the wonderful students he's had the opportunity to mentor over the years.

    "You have blessed me with the gift of music for the last 35 years," he said.

    Concert in the Park admission is free. For more information, call the School of Music band office at (936) 468-4702 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1267

  • SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to perform majestic works of Bartók, Berlioz

    SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to perform majestic works of Bartók, Berlioz

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    Yong-Ha Jung, a junior at Flower Mound High School and the first-place winner of the 2017 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition at SFA, will be a featured soloist when the Orchestra of the Pines performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    April 12, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program "Bartók and Berlioz" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The title signifies the "magnitude of the two composers whose works are to be performed," according to Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA. The program includes two "firsts" in the history of the SFA Orchestra of the Pines.

    A performance of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók's Viola Concerto will feature soloist and first-prize winner in the 2017 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition, Yong-Ha Jung, a junior at Flower Mound High School.

    "Yong-Ha endeared the audience and captured first prize in the coveted Schmidbauer Competition," Moon said. In addition to securing a $2,000 grand prize, Yong-Ha will be the first violist in competition history to perform as guest soloist.

    Yong-Ha has participated in numerous competitions, such as the Vernell Gregg Young Artists Competition (second place, junior division), Juanita Miller Concerto Competition (finalist), MTNA Competition (national finalist), Lynn Harrell Concerto competition (finalist), Dallas Music Festival (second place), and the GDYO Concerto Competition (first place). In addition, Yong-Ha placed third as a freshman and first chair as a sophomore at the TMEA All State convention. Not only is he a talented musician, but also a well-rounded student, ranking among the top 10 percent of his class at Flower Mound High School.

    Capping the 2016-17 orchestra season, the Orchestra of the Pines will perform Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, or Fantastic Symphony.

    "No small task for an orchestra, this performance will be the first time the orchestra has presented Berlioz's enigmatic and well-adored work," Moon said. "In the span of 55 minutes, Berlioz puts into music what the heart yearns for, captures and, just as quickly, loses when in pursuit of true love."

    Berlioz describes the work as "an episode in the life of an artist, in five parts." Fixated upon a woman, Berlioz inscribes her into the work with the use of a musical invention called the "idée fixe," known today as one's theme music, Moon explained.

    "The musical motif permeates throughout all five movements in a variety of disguises," he said, "showing itself lovingly and mockingly, seducing and luring the artist to all ends of imagination."

    Guest speaker Dr. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of musicology, will give a short presentation before the performance of the Fantastic Symphony.

    "Berlioz's work is a hallmark in the development of the symphony and one that comes very close to the amazing task of matching the symphonic majesty of Beethoven," Moon said.

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

    article ID 1261

  • SFA's Music Prep announces spring recital schedule

    SFA's Music Prep announces spring recital schedule

    April 12, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music has announced its spring recital schedule.

    Guitar students of Chance Moore will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the performance hall of the Music Prep House at 3028 Raguet St.

    On Saturday, May 6, violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and cello students of Dr. Evgeni Raychev will perform at 1 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    SFA music major instructors' students and piano students of Dr. Mario Ajero will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on campus.

    Piano students of Linda Parr will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, directed by Raychev, will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, May 8, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The SFA Young Violinists, featuring students of Brenda Josephsen, will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 11, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Music Prep's senior recitals will feature Emma Terrell and Sarah Grace Alders, students of Mary Cooper and Linda Parr, performing at 6 p.m. Monday, May 15, and Trishala Roy, a student of Parr, performing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 30. Both senior recitals will be in Cole Concert Hall.

    All recitals are free and open to the public.

    For a complete listing of classes and types of instruction available through the Music Preparatory Division, visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep or contact Director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

    article ID 1262

  • SFA's Trumpet Ensemble to perform works of Handel, Wagner

    SFA's Trumpet Ensemble to perform works of Handel, Wagner

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    SFA's Trumpet Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    April 11, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Trumpet Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform a diverse concert ranging from traditional fanfares to a newly commissioned work at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Also known as The Wrecking Crew, the ensemble is a music class, made up of mostly trumpet majors, which meets each spring, according to Stephen Campbell, visiting professor of music in the SFA School of Music and the ensemble's director.

    The concert will feature performances by student percussionists, faculty organist Christina Harmon, men's chorus, and music faculty members Dr. Richard G. Leonberger and Dr. Scott LaGraff.

    The men's chorus, organized by Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities for the School of Music, will showcase voice faculty members Leonberger, tenor, and LaGraff, bass soloist. In addition to choral students, the chorus includes members of the SFA Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha.

    The program also includes G.F. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks for six trumpets, organ and percussion, along with a premiere of a commissioned work for trumpet ensemble, titled "Glare," by composer Rusty Banks.

    A performance of a portion of Richard Wagner's Romantic opera "Lohengrin" will feature LaGraff singing the role of King Philip.

    An important notation about the Handel and Wagner works is that they are not arrangements, Campbell said.

    "The musicians (trumpeters) will perform from the orchestral trumpet parts," he said. "The organ part is arranged to cover the remainder of the orchestra parts, but for the trumpeters, this is 'the real deal.' The Wagner work calls for 15 trumpets. The composer even makes an indication in the score to 'Lohengrin' that if you don't have the means to perform this particular scene, skip it and cut right to the next part. I've created an edition of this scene for this particular performance."

    This fun concert will give the audience and performers new musical experiences, Campbell said.

    "I know for the musicians, it'll be a unique experience," he said. "The majority of trumpet ensemble concerts typically consist of arrangements of other pieces, which end up being a rehash of something that wasn't that great to begin with. None of the selections on our program are arrangements, at least as far as the musicians are concerned."

    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.

    article ID 1260

  • SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Awards recognizes students' potential

    SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Awards recognizes students' potential

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    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts 2017 Dean's Awards recipients (left to right): Sarah Jentsch, art major from Etoile; Tyler Thormählen, music performance major from Kyle; Arjang Abrarpour, music education major from Katy; and Margaret "Maggie" Strain, theatre major from Port Aransas.

    April 11, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will recognize four students during the presentation of the annual Dean's Awards at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Sarah Jentsch, art major from Etoile; Tyler Thormählen, music performance major from Kyle; Arjang Abrarpour, music education major from Katy; and Margaret "Maggie" Strain, theatre major from Port Aransas, were selected by the faculty of their respective schools on the basis of their potential to further develop their artistic goals and serve as role models, according to Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

    The Dean's Awards not only recognize the recipients for what they have already accomplished, but the awards are also designed to inspire them to reach deep from within to aspire for the ideal, Himes explained. The awards were established by the Dean's Circle, an external support organization of community members founded in 2008 and "dedicated, in part, to nurturing potential young artists within the College of Fine Arts," Himes said.

    Jentsch, who will receive the Ed and Gwen Cole Dean's Award in Art, came to SFA in the spring of 2016 to study printmaking and painting. She is interested in the natural sciences and fell in love with the avian world at an early age while bird watching with her father. Growing up, she could often be found with her nose buried in a bird guide. She now focuses her work on the natural world and especially avian life, which continues to fascinate her. She uses her art as a means to research and study the specimens she chooses, communicating the essence of each to her audience. Sarah also holds a position as a gallery assistant at the Cole Art Center, which has given her many opportunities to view and handle great works of art. This position has allowed her to have more personal relationships with her professors and learn valuable skills in art handling and gallery installation. Jentsch says that studying at SFA has been an incredibly enriching experience. She plans to continue on to graduate school and eventually become a professor herself, guiding students as her own mentors have done for her. Thormählen, who will receive the Jack and Naioma Ledbetter Dean's Award in Music, is a junior music performance major with a concentration in orchestral horn performance. He is a three-year member of the SFA Wind Ensemble, a two-year member of the Orchestra of the Pines and SFA Opera Orchestra, and serves as principle horn of each. Thormählen has participated in various chamber ensembles such as the SFA Horn Choir, the Ax'em Brass Quintet, and the Transmute Brass Quintet. He frequently performs with the Lufkin Community Band and East Texas Wind Symphony. Thormählen has been named to either the President's List or Dean's List each semester during his time at SFA and has received multiple merit-based scholarships. He was selected as runner-up in the 2016 TMTA Young Artist Brass Competition, and he plans to continue participating in solo and small ensemble competitions. He is also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, in which he serves the SFA band program as well as the East Texas band community. This summer, Thormählen will attend the Sewanee Summer Music Festival at The University of the South in Tennessee where he will perform in weekly concerts and learn from highly esteemed conductors and pedagogues.

    Abrarpour, who will receive the Dr. Robert G. Sidnell Memorial Dean's Award in Music Education, is a junior music education major from Katy. During his time at SFA, he has been a member of the Wind Ensemble, the Swingin' Axes and The Lumberjack Marching Band, and he is a former member of the Orchestra of the Pines. Abrarpour is a member of the Empyrean Trumpet Ensemble, a small competitive ensemble comprised of the top players within the trumpet studio. The ensemble competed in the semi-final round of the 2017 National Trumpet Competition. He is also a part of the Boundless Quintet, a small jazz combo that performs at community events, including Nacogdoches' 300th birthday celebration. He is a member of the School of Honors and has been on both the Dean's and President's lists. Abrarpour has been presented with the Academic Excellence Scholarship, a band scholarship, the Gary Wurtz Jazz Scholarship, and the Lumberjack Leverage Award. While at SFA, Abrarpour has learned not only music, but also the value of time management, leadership responsibilities, professional behavior and many other virtues. SFA has helped him grow into a more prepared leader and music educator.

    Strain, who will receive the George and Peggy Schmidbauer Dean's Award in Theatre, is a junior from Port Aransas earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an All-Level Teaching Certification. This is her second year at SFA. Her Mainstage credits include "By the Bog of Cats" and Jack Heifner's new play "Bury Me in This," and she is currently playing Sabina in Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth." Strain was also featured in the Downstage performance of "Bobby Gould in Hell." She was runner-up for the Wanda Cochran Scholarship and has been recognized on the Dean's List each semester at SFA. For the coming year, Strain has been elected president of the Beta Phi cast of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, and is on the Student Productions Advisory Committee (SPAC). Most of Strain's experiences, however, can be attributed to volunteer work. She has volunteered for light-hang crews, taught workshops, or simply lent a hand when it was needed - from painting props to moving furniture.

    The awards are made possible because the Dean's Circle believes in investing in the future and is willing to contribute and raise the money needed to fund these awards each year, Himes said. As a result, this year, Dean's Circle sponsors decided to increase these awards from $2,000 to $3,000 each.

    article ID 1259

  • SFA theatre students to present Lonergan's 'This is Our Youth'

    SFA theatre students to present Lonergan's 'This is Our Youth'

    April 10, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed, full-length play "This is Our Youth" by Kenneth Lonergan at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Houston senior theatre student Jason Trevino is the director. He describes the play as the story of "three pot-smoking teenagers" who, in 1982, "resoundingly reject the 1960s ideals of their affluent parents."

    "In hilarious and bittersweet detail, 'Youth' follows 48 turbulent hours in the lives of three very lost souls at the dawn of the Reagan era," he explained. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    Lonergan is perhaps best known as the Academy Award-winning writer and director of the 2016 movie "Manchester by the Sea." Other well-known screenplays include "Analyze This" (1999) and Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" (2002).

    The cast includes Needville sophomore Alex Duty as Warren; Jacksonville junior James Burns as Dennis; and Grand Prairie sophomore Hope Kidd as Jessica.

    The production staff includes Reagan Moore, Richmond junior, stage manager; Bobby Britton, Angleton senior, assistant director; Taylor Dobbs, Baytown senior, scenic designer; Rachel Bollinger, Austin junior, costume designer; Jessica Benson, Chandler junior, lighting designer; Wyatt Gaubatz, Needville freshman, sound designer; Courtney Satterfield, Hutton junior, assistant stage manager; and Danika Pettyjohn, Fort Worth senior, properties master.

    Trevino is a Bachelor of Fine Arts acting/directing candidate. "This is Our Youth" is his third directing project at SFA. Following this semester, Trevino hopes to undertake an internship at a regional theatre to complete the requirements for his degree.

    Faculty production advisor is Scott Shattuck.

    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.

    article ID 1257

  • New York recording artist Davila to perform with SFA jazz band

    New York recording artist Davila to perform with SFA jazz band

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    New York recording artist Jose Davila will perform with SFA's Swingin’ Axes jazz band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The Swingin’ Aces will also perform.

    April 10, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin' Axes and Swingin' Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a diverse program when they perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    A highlight of the evening will be an appearance by New York recording artist and composer Jose Davila, who will perform jazz trombone, euphonium and sousaphone with the Swingin' Axes.

    "It should be a very fun and eclectic program," said Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in the SFA School of Music and director of the Axes.

    A music teacher in the Yonkers Public Schools, Davila has performed with The Ray Charles Orchestra, Steve Lehman, Andrew Hill, Ray Anderson, Charles Mingus Big Band, Marc Anthony, Don Omar, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, NYC Ballet, American Symphony and Arturo O'Farrill. Most recently, he was a member of Henry Threadgill's "Zooid," which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for recorded work on "In for a Penny, In for a Pound." Additionally, he is the 2015 winner of The Annual Bob Stewart Tuba Competition.

    Davila will join the Axes on sousaphone on Denis DiBlasio's "Jackson Square," which is a new Orleans based "street beat" sound, Scott explained. He will also perform on trombone with the Axes on Dan Gailey's "In a Big Way Shuffle."

    The Axes will also perform Gailey's "Early Light" featuring the Axes' lead tenor player, Alec Bartlett of Winter Springs, Florida; "Vibration" by Erik Applegate; and "Sticks" by Jim McNeely.

    The Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium studies at SFA, will perform Count Basie's "Blues for Alfy," arranged by Bill Holman; "Smooth Talk" by Maria Schneider; and Thelonius Monk's "Well You Needn't."

    Davila will also conduct several master classes for both jazz bands where he will discuss being a jazz musician in New York and his work with students individually and in groups to develop their free improvisation skills.

    Concert 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 Theatre to present Wilder’s ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’

    SFA School of Theatre to present Wilder’s ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’

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    April 7, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre is taking on a big task. SFA Playwright-in-Residence Jack Heifner, his teaching colleagues and theatre students will present Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Skin Of Our Teeth” April 25 through 29 as part of this year’s Mainstage Series.

    It’s a play that Heifner has always admired and wanted to direct, despite its large 20-member cast, extensive scenery and multiple costumes and props.

    “It's a huge play and is rarely done because of the size of the production,” Heifner said. “It is a comedy that is at the same time funny, touching, sensible and absurd. It is a study in how we move forward through the problems of life with optimism and courage.”

    “The Skin Of Our Teeth” was first performed on Broadway in a 1942 production starring Tallulah Bankhead, Montgomery Cliff and Fredric March. Because of its large cast, making it costly to produce, it hadn’t been seen on Broadway since a 1975 revival that closed after seven performances … until now. A Theatre for a New Audience’s Brooklyn revival earlier this spring “reestablishes ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ as “one of the finest American plays of the 20th century,” Terry Teachout recently wrote in a Wall Street Journal review.

    “It seems to truly be the right play at the right time, but maybe it is, in fact, timeless,” Heifner said. “I'm thrilled we are presenting it here at SFA.”

    Completed by the author less than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, “The Skin of Our Teeth” broke from established theatrical conventions and walked off with the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama.

    The Thornton Wilder Society uses the following description of the play on its website: "Time magazine called ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ 'a sort of ‘Hellzapoppin’’ with brains. Combining farce, burlesque and satire (among other styles), Thornton Wilder departs from his studied use of nostalgia and sentiment in ‘Our Town’ to have an Eternal Family narrowly escape one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present.”

    Heading up the cast of characters are “George and Maggie Antrobus (married only 5,000 years); their two children, Gladys and Henry (perfect in every way!); and their maid, Sabina (the ageless vamp) as they overcome ice, flood and war – by the skin of their teeth," the website explains.

    “The show is a play within a play, and the actors are playing both characters in the production and characters putting on the production,” Heifner said. “It's a big show, and there are many people on stage.”

    The duality of the roles the student actors will portray – actors playing actors – and the fact that many of the actors are cast in multiple roles and many costume changes, will be a challenge for the director, the production staff and actors.

    “One actor plays a cleaning woman, a dinosaur, a distraught woman in the audience, a dresser for the leading lady and Aristotle,” Heifner said. “Most of the actors, except the leads, are playing different characters in each act.”

    The play is appropriate for anyone and all ages, Heifner said, but the subject matter may not interest someone younger than a teenager. He suggests the play would be rated PG13. There is no offensive language.

    “I want the audience to have an enjoyable evening, to admire the work of the talented students and have an appreciation of Thornton Wilder's thoughts and words,” he said.

    “The Skin of Our Teeth” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 25 through 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. 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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  • Flower Mound student wins Schmidbauer first prize

    Flower Mound student wins Schmidbauer first prize

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    April 7, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Violist Yong-Ha Jung, a Flower Mound High School junior, won first place in the 2017 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University. The strings and piano competition offers a unique performance opportunity for young musicians, offering prizes that include cash awards, scholarship incentives from the SFA School of Music and performance opportunities with orchestras. Pictured following this year’s event are, from left, Chloe Trevor and James Cho, adjudicators; Claire Wells, second prize; Yong-Ha Jung, first prize; Richard Lee, adjudicator; Jason Wang, finalist; Scott Shattuck, associate dean, SFA College of Fine Arts; Jiaming Zhang, finalist; Sai Sai Ding, third prize; Dr. Gary Wurtz, director, SFA School of Music; and Dr. Gene Moon, competition chairman and director of orchestras at SFA.

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  • SFA’s Contemporary Ensemble to perform music of rock legend Wonder

    SFA’s Contemporary Ensemble to perform music of rock legend Wonder

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    April 7, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Contemporary Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform selections from critically acclaimed musical performer Stevie Wonder’s “Natural Wonder” concert when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    “Natural Wonder” is a live album Wonder recorded in Osaka, Japan, and released in 1995. Contemporary Ensemble Director Andrew Sperandeo selected this theme because he wanted his students to be exposed to Wonder’s music “to ensure they internalize the elements that make up a great piece of music,” he said.

    “Stevie Wonder is one of my favorite musicians,” Sperandeo said. “Not only is he a great songwriter and arranger, but also a great vocalist, keyboardist and drummer.”

    The Rockin’ Axes will open the program with a couple of numbers from their “History of Rock” Concert.

    The ensemble will perform Wonder’s “I Wish,” “Superstition,” “Higher Ground,” “Dancing to the Rhythm” and other favorites.

    “‘I Wish,’ along with other songs on the program such as ‘Superstition’ and ‘Higher Ground,’ show the high level of groove and soul in Stevie’s writing and arranging,” Sperandeo said. “You can’t help but want to get up and dance and sing along with these iconic funk and rock tunes.”

    “Dancing to the Rhythm” is the first song on the double CD set and will be the ensemble’s opening number.

    “It was a lot of hard work transcribing note for note every instrument on this track and arrange it for our group, but I grew so much as an arranger/musician from the highly concentrated effort,” Sperandeo said. “This song, along with ‘Pastime Paradise,’ showcases Stevie Wonder’s Latin groove influence, which are so infectious and so much fun to play.”

    The Contemporary Ensemble is comprised of Barry Martin of Arp, main vocals/piano; Julia Murad of Plano, background vocals/piano; Chase DeShazo of Abilene, background vocal/synthesized percussion; Tyler Hyndman of Leona, guitar; Ryan Lackey of Nacogdoches, guitar; Chance Forrest of Anna, guitar; Austin Gehring of Missouri City, bass; and Matt Coronado of Cypress, drums.

    Sperandeo arranged the ballad “Ribbon in the Sky” to incorporate solos by the ensemble’s guitarists and to feature Martin on lead vocals and Murad on piano.

    “We have quite a few amazing musicians in the band this semester, and they play some challenging yet really fun music,” Sperandeo said. “You are guaranteed to want to jump out of your seat and groove with us.”

    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 Music Prep harp student wins music competitions

    SFA Music Prep harp student wins music competitions

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    Rachel Clark

    April 4, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Rachel Clark of Lumberton, a harp student of Emily Mitchell in Stephen F. Austin State University's Music Preparatory Division, has won first place honors in two distinguished music competitions in recent weeks.

    Clark, an 18-year-old homeschooled student who will graduate high school in May, won first place in the 2017 Symphony of Southeast Texas Concerto Competition in Beaumont, performing G.F. Handel's Concerto in B flat Major. This was an all-instrument competition where Clark competed against pianists, strings, winds and brass. As a result of this competition win, she will perform at the SOST Youth Education Concerts May 16 and 17 in Beaumont.

    She also won first place in the high school division of the Milligan Harp Competition sponsored by the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Harp Society. She will receive a cash prize and will perform for the harp society on Sunday, May 7.

    Clark, who is also an accomplished pianist, travels two-and-a-half hours each week to study harp with Mitchell. Her previous teacher was Charlotte Mizener, with whom she studied for five years in Beaumont.

    "It is wonderful to teach a talented, dedicated student, who comes to lessons thoroughly prepared," Mitchell said. "To watch her efforts pay off has been a great reward. Rachel has not only won these two competitions within weeks of each other, but she received scholarship offers from all universities she auditioned for study next fall."

    For information about the SFA School of Music's Preparatory Division and for a complete listing of classes and types of instruction available, contact director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291 or visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep.

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  • SFA's 'Messiah' to feature talented student, faculty voices

    SFA's 'Messiah' to feature talented student, faculty voices

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    Featured soloists, top row from left to right: Charlotte Davis and Joshua Chavira; second row from left to right: Ric Berry, Debbie Berry and Scott LaGraff.

    April 3, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Student and faculty voices will be featured when the A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University presents a full performance of G.F. Handel's great oratorio, "Messiah," at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    Dr. Tim King, director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music, will conduct Handel's best-known work. The performance will showcase many of King's colleagues as soloists.

    "For 40 years, I have been blessed to work with the most talented voice teachers that you will find anywhere," King said. "Not only are they great teachers, but they are fantastic performers willing to share their talent. This fulfills the charge of an educator - to do whatever it takes to make our student performances musical, exciting and meaningful."

    Soloists include Joshua Chavira, Houston graduate student, countertenor; and faculty members Debbie Berry, soprano; Charlotte Davis, soprano; Ric Berry, tenor; and Scott LaGraff, bass. SFA faculty and guest string players from the Dallas and Houston areas will also perform.

    Chavira completed his bachelor's degree in music education at SFA in 2016 and will complete his master's degree in choral conducting in 2018. He holds a position as a graduate assistant in the College of Fine Arts. He is a performing member of the A Cappella Choir and Madrigal Singers and holds membership in Mu Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Lambda. He has performed in SFA's opera productions singing in the chorus for "La Traviata," as King Kaspar in "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and as Lippo Fiorentino in "Street Scene."

    LaGraff, a baritone, has sung leading and supporting roles with such companies as Tri-Cities Opera, Syracuse Opera, Pensacola Opera, Tulsa Opera and Opera East Texas. He has also appeared as a concert soloist with the East Texas, Syracuse and Baton Rouge symphonies, as well as the Syracuse Oratorio Society, the Canterbury Choral Society in Oklahoma City and at Carnegie Hall with MidAmerica Productions. LaGraff's first CD, "Songs by Stephen Lias, Michael Patterson and Lee Hoiby," was released by Centaur Records in 2009, and a second CD, "Incline Thine Ear and Other Sacred Songs," also with Centaur, is schedule for release April 7. A native of Athens, Ohio, he holds degrees from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, SUNY-Binghamton and Louisiana State University. LaGraff joined SFA's faculty in 2004, after having taught at Simpson College and Cornell University.

    Davis, a native of Tucson, Arizona, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in vocal performance from SFA. Her stage experience includes roles in productions of "The Tales of Hoffmann," "A Little Night Music," "Susannah," "Albert Herring" and "The Impresario." She performs regularly in the East Texas area, and has performed at SFA as the soprano soloist in Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," Handel's "Messiah" and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Hodie."

    Richard Berry, tenor, is professor of music and dean of the Graduate School at SFA. He has taught at the University of Kansas, the University of Denver and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has performed as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Fe, the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Central City Singers, the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, the Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Longview Opera Company and the San Antonio Choral Society. He holds degrees from Kilgore College, SFA and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    Debbie Berry, soprano, is a native of Wichita Falls. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in voice performance from SFA. After a teaching stint at Wayland University, she moved to Kansas City where she did post-graduate work at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her performance credits include solos with the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Longview Opera Repertory Company, the Central City Singers (of the Central City Opera House Association), and regular appearances as a recitalist in Denver, Kansas City and East Texas. Among her operatic roles are as Violetta in "La Traviata," Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni," Musetta in "La Boheme," Baby Doe in "The Ballad of Baby Doe," Rosina in "The Barber of Seville," the Witch in "Hansel and Gretel," and Gilda in "Rigoletto." Her oratorio repertoire includes the soprano solos in Mozart's "Requiem," Brahms' "Ein deutches Requiem," Orff's "Carmina Burana," and Haydn's "The Creation." She has performed extensively in musical comedy: Widow Corney in 'Oliver," Maria in "The Sound of Music," Sarah Brown in "Guys and Dolls," Julie Jordan in "Carousel," Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady," Hodel in "Fiddler on the Roof," Fiona McLaren in "Brigadoon," Magnolia in "Show Boat," and Lilly in "Kiss Me Kate."

    Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 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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  • Concert to premiere SFA's best music students

    Concert to premiere SFA's best music students

    April 3, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the final round of the annual Concerto/Aria Competition at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.

    Each year, the SFA orchestra program hosts a concerto/aria competition inviting students to perform and vie for a spot as guest artist with the orchestra in the next concert season.

    "The invitation as guest soloist is highly sought after and a very unique, sometimes once-in-a-lifetime experience for young musicians," said Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA. The competition highlights the most outstanding musicians in the School of Music, he added.

    Prior to Thursday's event, each area of the School of Music held its own semi-final rounds, and each was allowed to move three finalists to the final round. The finalists are Carlos Prothow, trombone; Lingxiao Guo, piano; Scott Augustine, saxophone; Julie Moore, mezzo-soprano; Payton Andrews, violin; Tyler Thormählen, horn; Gary Jones and Cesar Montelongo, clarinets; Amanda Sheriff, soprano; Danny Chavera, tuba; Preston Patterson, viola; Teresa Powell, flute; and Juan Garza, baritone.

    "The evening presents amazing musicianship," Moon said. "The finalists perform at the highest caliber and truly show the phenomenal character of our School of Music."

    The concert is a presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building. For more information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

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  • SFA theatre students to produce student-written play at Scotland festival

    SFA theatre students to produce student-written play at Scotland festival

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    SFA theatre students are preparing to tour “Closed For Repairs,” written by student Bobby Britton, at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. Presenting the play in a workshop last fall are, front from left, students Marie Phillips, Paige Farley, Amy Miller-Martin and Chelsea Denard; back from left, Taylor Dobbs, James Burns, Hanro Janse Von Rensberg, Bobby Britton, Travis Brasher, Benjamin Hardy-Phillips and SFA Professor of Theatre Angela Bacarisse.

    April 3, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students traveling to Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer to produce the student-written play "Closed For Repairs" recently performed it before the playwright's home audience at the Brazosport Center of Arts and Sciences.

    The semi-autobiographical play by Bobby Britton, senior theatre student from Angleton, was performed as a fundraiser to help defray the students' expenses for the trip. The Brazosport venue is where Britton got his start in community theatre, according to SFA Professor of Theatre Angela Bacarisse. SFA School of Theatre alumnus Wes Copeland is chairman of the board for Brazosport Center Stages.

    "They were super generous, giving us the space and technical assistance as well as publicizing the event and running box office for us," Bacarisse said.

    Bacarisse and Slade Billew, assistant professor of acting/directing at SFA, will lead the group through its festival performances in Edinburgh.

    Britton's "jukebox-musical," which he wrote last fall, is about a young man's struggle to accept himself as it relates to his faith. It will be performed in Fringe Venue 45, the same theatre in which SFA students performed when they attended the festival in 2015. Bacarisse is hoping for similar educational experiences and opportunities for SFA's theatre students again this year. Students Jason Trevino and Anais Saenz participated in 2015 and will return to the festival this year.

    "They had an opportunity to see theatre companies from all over the world perform," she said. "They were so excited to talk to each other and recommend the shows that they had seen. They also made friends with the students who were participating from other universities. It's a great networking opportunity."

    Begun in 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of several festivals that will take place in Edinburgh while the SFA students are there, has become the largest international theatre arts festival in the world. During festival season, which is three weeks in August, the International Festival, the Festival Fringe, jazz festival, art festival and book festival all take place in Edinburgh.

    The festival's advertising about the upcoming SFA production describes it as: "SFA student Bobby Britton's semi-autobiographical play leads us on a young man's journey to discover his personal truth in a conservative Texas town. Blending honest dialogue, contemporary songs, and powerful movement, this ensemble-driven piece takes on issues of identity and acceptance in the Bible belt. As the play moves through moments of intense despair and transcendent joy, performers use their bodies and voices to create the world of small town America, exploring the realities of feeling alone in the Lone Star State. The play is intended for mature audiences."

    As a company, the students are responsible for venue rental fees, travel, equipment rental, and publicity and marketing, and fundraising efforts are important to the success of the trip, Bacarisse said. Students house manage, run the lighting and soundboards and stage-manage for their performances. The total cost per student is approximately $5,000, which includes airfare and room and board.

    "We are so grateful for everyone who supports the arts and our students," she said. "Allowing them the opportunity to tour a show, perform abroad and learn more about our global community is a great gift."

    Tax-exempt donations for the trip can be made at sfasu.edu/giving by clicking on the "give online" tab and writing "Scotland trip" for special instructions.

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