College of Fine Arts News Archive

September 2018

  • SFA's Orchestra of the Pines presents season opening concert

    SFA's Orchestra of the Pines presents season opening concert

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    Pierre-Alain Chevalier, left, and Casey Stringer

    September 19, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its season opening concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Pierre-Alain Chevalier will debut as the orchestra's new music director, and he has selected a program that features works by Richard Wagner, Edward Gregson and Ludwig van Beethoven.

    Casey Stringer, one of last year's winners in SFA School of Music's concerto competition, will perform as tuba soloist on Gregson's Concerto for tuba and orchestra (1976). Stringer is a sophomore music education major at SFA. He participates in various ensembles, such as the SFA tuba-euphonium ensemble, the Wind Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Pines. Stringer was most recently named one of the winners of the Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship, which is awarded each year to only seven students across the state of Texas.

    Other featured concert selections are Wagner's Prelude to "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" (1867) and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 36 (1802).

    Chevalier has performed with orchestras across the country and was a winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2016.

    He is music director of the Baytown Symphony Orchestra. An active orchestra clinician, he has served the communities of Baytown and Houston in the Goose Creek Memorial, Cypress-Fairbanks, Spring, Klein, Katy and Houston independent school districts.

    In concert, Chevalier has conducted the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Coeur D'Alene Symphony (Idaho), Rainier Symphony (Washington), the Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Orchestra (Georgia), the Bayou City Symphony (Texas), the Rose City Chamber Orchestra (Oregon), the Hartt Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Players (Connecticut), the Moores School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras (Texas), Houston Community College's Southwest Choir, the Houston Cecelia Chamber Choir and Willamette University's Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble (Oregon). He's conducted musical theater and opera productions, as well as student choirs and instrumental ensembles in primary and secondary schools and colleges.

    Chevalier holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the Moores School of Music, a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from The Hartt School and a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Willamette University.

    Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    The 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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  • SFA's Percussion Ensemble to perform diverse concert selections

    SFA's Percussion Ensemble to perform diverse concert selections

    September 19, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its first concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The diverse program includes works by Dr. Brad Meyer, director of the SFA percussion studio and the Percussion Ensemble, Steve Reich, Jacob Druckman, Nick Werth, Joe Moore, Eric Sammut and Joseph Aiello.

    Of his own work from "B-Radicles," Meyer states "Marimbabira" is a combination of the two words "marimba" and "mbira" - "marimba" refers to the instrumentation of the piece, which utilizes four players performing on two 4.3-octave marimbas, and "mbira" alludes to the style of the composition. The mbira is a small instrument held in the hand that has small metal tines attached to a piece of wood; each tine is plucked to produce sound. Mbiras are native to Zimbabwe and are used in both secular and religious music.

    Moore's "Denkyem" uses the idea of adaptability throughout the piece "as the motivic material is passed from player to player, adapting to the instruments used and the ever-changing time signatures," Moore writes.

    Sammut performed his original composition "Four Rotations Pour Marimba" in the final round of the 1995 Leigh Howard Stevens International Marimba Competition. The performance of Rotations I and II from "Four Rotations" in the final round was one of the contributing factors of Sammut winning the competition. Junior performance major, Sophia Lee, will perform the solo.

    Aiello's "Classic African" will be performed by sophomore education major Briley Patterson. It is a timpani solo that incorporates rhythms common to African drumming ensembles such as 12/8 time signatures, according to Meyer.

    "The performer is challenged by having to keep different rhythmic ostinato (repeating patterns) going while playing melodic, solo passages at the same time, which creates the aural illusion of one performer becoming two independent players," Meyer writes in his program notes.

    Other program selections include Reich's "Nagoya Marimbas," which features repeating patterns played on both marimbas, one or more beats out of phase, creating a series of two-part unison canons. Druckman's "Reflections on the Nature of Water," performed by Master of Music candidate Spencer Jones, is a reflection of the "magical preludes" of composer Claude Debussy.

    Werth's "Boom Bap," is a new composition for six percussionists that pays homage to the evolution of hip hop.

    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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  • Award-winning jazz legend Branford Marsalis to perform at SFA

    Award-winning jazz legend Branford Marsalis to perform at SFA

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    The College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “An Evening with Branford Marsalis” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Photo: Palma Kolansky

    September 19, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    A sold-out auditorium is anticipated for "An Evening with Branford Marsalis" when the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University presents the jazz great in an Encore Event performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    NEA Jazz Master, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, Tony Award nominee and Hollywood star Branford Marsalis is a true jazz legend, and tickets for the special performance began selling quickly on the first day of sales in August, said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the CFA's University Series and Encore Events.

    "Branford Marsalis may be best known to many as leader of The Tonight Show Band, bantering with Jay Leno," Shattuck said. "But clearly he is one of the greatest and most versatile musicians in his own right, having soloed with some of the world's most revered symphony orchestras and pop superstars as well as fellow jazz icons."

    Corporate sponsor Elliott Electric Supply helped to make the performance possible.

    "We simply could not have attracted a star of this magnitude without the support of a music lover as generous as Bill Elliott and a company as deeply involved in its home community as Elliott Electric," Shattuck said.

    One of the most revered instrumentalists of his time and leader of one of the finest jazz quartets in the world today, Marsalis is a frequent soloist with classical ensembles. His most current quartet recording is "Four MFs Playin' Tunes."

    Growing up in a musical family in the rich environment of New Orleans, Branford took up the saxophone when he began working in local bands as a teenager. His first major jazz gig was alongside his brother, trumpet legend Wynton Marsalis, in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.

    Branford formed his own group in 1986, and the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard by which other ensembles of its kind are measured.

    In addition to guest turns with a legion of giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, he has excelled in duets with major pianists including his boyhood friend Harry Connick Jr.

    Broadway has also welcomed Marsalis's contributions. He provided music for stage productions starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson, garnering a Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination. Marsalis's screen credits include the original music for Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues" and acting roles in "School Daze" and "Throw Momma from the Train."

    Marsalis has toured with Sting, collaborated with the Grateful Dead and the Dave Matthews Band, served as musical director of "The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno" and hosted National Public Radio's widely syndicated "Jazz Set."

    Prior to the SFA performance, Dr. Nathan Nabb, professor of saxophone in the SFA School of Music, will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside 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 corporate sponsor.

    Patrons will want to mark their calendars for another special Encore Event that features a full-on rock concert with The Purple Xperience on Friday, Nov. 30. Bringing the spirit and sounds of Prince direct from Minneapolis, The Purple Xperience is the most authentic Prince tribute show in the world. This performance is sponsored in part by Lehmann Eye Center.

    Encore Event tickets are $45 for Section A seating; $36 for Section B seating; and $27 for Section C seating. Discounts are available for seniors, students, children and SFA faculty and staff members.

    For more information, 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.

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  • SFA music faculty to present Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship concert

    SFA music faculty to present Pi Kappa Lambda scholarship concert

    September 11, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Faculty members of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will be the featured performers during the annual Pi Kappa Lambda Music Faculty Showcase at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The concert showcases the talents of the diverse School of Music performing faculty, according to Dr. Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history at SFA and president of Pi Kappa Lambda honors society. Proceeds from the concert fund scholarships for deserving SFA music majors selected by the honors society.

    "I encourage everyone who loves music, who would like to learn more about music, or who is curious about music at SFA to attend this year's Pi Kappa Lambda Faculty Showcase," Weaver said. "Sponsored by the university music honors society, the concert features a wide variety of instruments, voices and musical styles in brief, audience-friendly performances.

    "Faculty members look forward to this concert every year because we have the chance to perform for each other as well as for our students and friends," she added. "Some musicians perform with their talented family members."

    For example, Mario Ajero, professor of piano pedagogy at SFA, will perform with his children, Nio and Olivia Ajero.

    "Many of our faculty artists collaborate in groups, and we all enjoy watching them perform together," Weaver said.

    This year's program will feature performances by a jazz trio, as well as the SFA Brass Quintet, which features Deb Scott, trombone; Jake Walburn and Gary Wurtz, trumpet; Charles Gavin, horn; and JD Salas, tuba.

    Other faculty performers will be Christopher Ayer and Vanessa Davis, clarinet; Debbie Berry, Nita Hudson and Scott LaGraff, voice, with guest artist Kimberly LaGraff; Jennifer Dalmas, violin; Christina Guenther, flute; Abby Yeakle Held, oboe; Bradley Meyer, percussion; Evgeni Raychev, cello; and Mary Cooper, Thomas Nixon, Hyun Ji Oh, Andrew Parr, Ronald Petti and James Pitts, piano.

    The recital is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music and is a feature of the 2018-19 Friends of Music Concert Series. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Wright Music Building at 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/ or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • SFA theatre students to present 'Seascape with Sharks and Dancer'

    SFA theatre students to present 'Seascape with Sharks and Dancer'

    September 11, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Playwright Don Nigro's "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer" will open the fall semester of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's student-directed plays.

    Directed by Center senior Avery Tindol, the full-length play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Set in a beach bungalow during 1978, the play is about a young man who saves a young woman from drowning. The play explores the relationship between the two from that point forward, according to Tindol. Soon, the woman finds herself trapped in the man's life and torn between her need for love and her belief that all human relationships eventually turn into nightmares, Tindol said.

    The two-person cast includes Austin senior Sarah Loveday as Tracy and Waxahachie freshman Adam Lamb as Ben.

    The production staff includes Michael Nunez, Dallas freshman, as stage manager; Gareth Phipps, Dallas junior, assistant director; Kathleen McNamara, Irving junior, scenic designer; Jordyn Averitte, Baytown junior, costume designer; Armando Chavez, Corpus Christi sophomore, lighting designer; Mia Lindemann, Prosper senior, sound designer; and Logan Jennings, Longview junior, properties master.

    Tindol is studying theatre and creative writing at SFA. His public directing credits at SFA are "Picnic on the Battlefield" by Fernando Arrabal and "Baby with the Bathwater" by Christopher Durang. His acting credits include Max in Jack Heifner's "Hot Flashes," Mr. Antrobus in "The Skin of Our Teeth," Carthage Kilbride in "By the Bog of Cats" and Banquo in "Macbeth."

    "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer" is recommended for mature audiences. Faculty production advisor is Dr. Rick Jones.

    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 School of Theatre to present Pulitzer Prize-winning "Sweat"

    SFA School of Theatre to present Pulitzer Prize-winning "Sweat"

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    The SFA School of Theatre will present Lynn Nottage's “Sweat” in what will be the play's Texas premiere. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 2 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    September 11, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    A play that speaks to working class Americans with real-life issues opens the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's Mainstage Series this fall.

    Lynn Nottage's "Sweat" won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, for a five-night run at SFA in what will be the play's Texas premiere.

    Using a backdrop of industry job cuts, downsizing and poverty, "Sweat" gives working class people a voice, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the SFA School of Theatre and of the play.

    "We selected this play because it speaks to real issues and real people," House said. "It speaks to working class people of all races.

    "The play is also highly entertaining and funny, all while tackling some serious economic issues for the average working class American," he added.

    "Sweat" is the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on a factory floor.

    "But when layoffs, promotions and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat," House said.

    Veteran entertainment journalist Jeremy Girard called the play "ferociously engrossing" stating, "no play in recent memory has shed more light on the crises and tribulations of America's great retrenched working middle class."

    Nottage is an American playwright whose work often deals with the lives of marginalized people. She is a professor of playwriting at Columbia University. SFA School of Theatre presented her play "Intimate Apparel" in 2017. Her play "Ruined" won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

    Because of its themes, "Sweat" is recommended for age 13 and up. House also recommends the play to anyone who is curious about people and their reactions to adversity.

    "The play really does look into how we as a community respond to an inevitable change that threatens our dreams and our plans," he said.

    The play bounces back and forth in the time periods in which it takes place - from 2000 to 2008.

    "To be able to clearly communicate time and place without making it about time and place is a delicate balance," House said.

    Student actors will be challenged to portray characters who are older than them and who have more life experiences, House said.

    "There's a certain sense of being grounded that comes with age," he said. "Getting young actors to find that takes time."

    House hopes audiences will be both entertained and engaged with "Sweat."

    "I hope they leave with a conversation on their lips," he said. "I hope that they ask themselves, 'What would I do?' if they found themselves in these characters' positions."

    "Sweat" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 2 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive, on the SFA campus.

    Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. 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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  • SFA's Music Prep to host Middle School Choir Camp

    SFA's Music Prep to host Middle School Choir Camp

    September 11, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will host its annual fall Middle School All-Region Choir Camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The choir camp is designed to help East Texas area middle school students learn their UIL all-region competition music, according to Pat Barnett, director of the Music Preparatory Division.

    Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA, is the combined conductor for the camp. Clinicians are Charlotte Davis, Music Prep faculty, soprano I; Amanda Sheriff, graduate student, soprano II; Jennifer Weems, NISD choir instructor, alto; Nita Hudson, lecturer of voice and opera, tenor; and Dr. Chris Turner, assistant professor of voice, bass.

    Accompanists are Linda Parr, Donna Dear, Nio Ajero, Kaden Harman and Mary Cooper, piano. The Music Preparatory Division's Advisory Board is in charge of arrangements. Nicole Stewart, Lufkin High School choir director, is the overall camp director.

    All participants should bring Region 21 All-Region music, pencil, water and a snack. Concessions will be available for purchase during scheduled breaks. The dining hall in the Baker Pattillo Student Center will be open and serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Cost per student is $20. Registration is accepted by calling (936) 468-1291 or by email at pbarnett@sfasu.edu.

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  • 'Endless Dusk: An Icelandic Exhibition' highlights SFA students' artwork

    'Endless Dusk: An Icelandic Exhibition' highlights SFA students' artwork

    September 5, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University art students who participated in a Maymester study abroad program in Iceland will present the course work they created in an exhibition to show Sept. 10 through 21 in the lower art building on the SFA campus.

    "Endless Dusk: An Icelandic Experience" will open with a reception at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, in the student galleries.

    This past May, 10 SFA art students traveled to the Baer Art Center in northern Iceland where they observed and explored the Icelandic landscape and responded by making creative work: drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and installation. Wesley Berg, assistant professor in the School of Art, and Lauren Selden, SFA professor of art, accompanied the students on the residency.

    SFA art exhibitions are free and open to the public. For information, contact the School of Art office at (936) 468-4804.

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  • Tickets available for Reduced Shakespeare Company's performance

    Tickets available for Reduced Shakespeare Company's performance

    September 5, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available to a performance of the Reduced Shakespeare Company in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, with additional material by Reed Martin, and directed by Martin and Austin Tichenor, the play became London's longest-running comedy and also enjoyed a successful New York run. The Nacogdoches performance, which is part of the SFA College of Fine Arts' University Series, is the first stop on a national tour that will take the RSC from California to Massachusetts.

    Prior to the performance, Dr. Elizabeth Tasker Davis, associate professor and coordinator of graduate studies in SFA's Department of English and Creative Writing, will present an informative talk on "Shakespeare's Women" at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3. The play is recommended for mature audiences.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Fine Arts Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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