College of Fine Arts News Archive

April 2019

  • SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to present 'Musical Landscapes'

    SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to present 'Musical Landscapes'

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    Dr. Jennifer Dalmas
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    Travis Wattigney
    April 30, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Orchestra of the Pines at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Musical Landscapes" when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 pm. Tuesday, May 7, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Among the highlights of the concert will be a performance of Fort Worth music composition student Travis Wattigney's "The Awakening Valley." The work was the winning entry in the 2018 Tennessee Valley Music Festival for Scores and was selected as winner in the most recent SFA School of Music's Composition Competition, earning it a performance by the orchestra.

    The concert will also feature a performance by Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin, on Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending," according to Dr. Pierre-Alain Chevalier, visiting director of orchestral activities at SFA and musical director of the orchestra.

    Other program selections include "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage" by Felix Mendelssohn; "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss Jr.; "In the Steppes of Central Asia" by Alexander Borodin; "The Walk to Paradise Garden" by Frederick Delius; and "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius.

    Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

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  • Program features 'An Evening of Great American Song'

    Program features 'An Evening of Great American Song'

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    Erin Roth Thomas
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    Kayla Roth
    April 30, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" is a program of all early 20th century popular music and will feature songs from George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and others.

    The performers are sisters Kayla Roth, music theory and ear-training faculty in the School of Music, and Erin Roth Thomas, a mezzo-soprano who performs regularly in the Dallas area (https://erinroth.webs.com/). Both are SFA graduates.

    Among the selections, "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Cole Porter was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song in 1936 and later became a signature tune for Frank Sinatra.

    "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein is originally from the musical "Carousel." "This song has been covered by numerous artists, including Judy Garland, the punk rock band Dropkick Murphies and, most memorably, Elvis Presley," Roth said.

    "By Strauss" by George and Ira Gershwin contains some of Ira's wittiest lyrics, according to Roth. "The singer proclaims that the popular Broadway tunes of Berlin, Kern, Porter, and - in an inspired bit of self-deprecation - even Gershwin, don't compare to the grand waltzes of Johann Strauss and his son," Roth said, "with lyrical references to some of Strauss Jr.'s best-known works, such as 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube,' 'Wine, Women, and Song,' and 'Die Fledermaus.'"

    All pieces will feature Thomas on vocals and Roth on piano. All arrangements are by Kayla Roth.

    The Music Recital Hall is located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

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

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  • 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' cast brings sense of 'family' to SFA's Turner stage

    'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' cast brings sense of 'family' to SFA's Turner stage

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    Among the cast members in the SFA School of Theatre's presentation of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” are, from left, Tyler Junior Kiara Hawkins as Big Momma; Huffman sophomore Mike Warren as Big Daddy; Baytown junior Ryan Marshall as Reverend; Frisco senior Aubrey Moore as Maggie; and Waxahachie freshman Adam Lamb as Brick. The play is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 30 through May 4, in Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building.

    April 30, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The student actors SFA Playwright-in-Residence Jack Heifner selected to portray the colorful cast in his production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" run the gamut in performance experience. Some have acted in many shows at Stephen F. Austin State University, while others are relative newcomers.

    "They've worked hard to create an ensemble, and this is one of the best casts I've had here," Heifner said. "They have created 'a family.' They act like a family on and off the stage."

    In addition to presenting a play that is engaging for the audience and fills W.M. Turner Auditorium, Heifner hopes "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" teaches his students a great appreciation for its author.

    "I want them to appreciate how wonderful a writer Tennessee Williams is," he said. "I discovered his plays when I was a teenager, and I felt like a window had been opened to the world for me. He truly creates characters that are struggling with trying to connect and find some meaning in their lives."

    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is about a southern family in crisis. Set in the plantation home in the Mississippi Delta of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon, the play examines the relationships among members of Big Daddy's family, primarily between his son Brick and "Maggie the Cat," Brick's wife. Huffman sophomore Mike Warren plays Big Daddy in the play. As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Warren brings a different perspective to the stage.

    "Big Daddy is a 65-year-old Mississippi plantation owner who has spent the last five years thinking he was dying of cancer," Warren explains. "After a positive report from the doctor, he is looking at the world in a new light. My approach to this role was to try and understand real pain - the pain of the body and pain of betrayal by those around you, and to experience letting that pain go.

    "Aside from the obvious of playing a 65-year-old dying man, the big challenge for me was playing this larger than life, dominating character with the rest of the cast being more experienced than myself," he said. "I'm very new to acting, and it's intimidating to work with people who have experience. Playing this character in that circumstance was difficult."

    Maggie is portrayed by Frisco senior Aubrey Moore, and her challenge in portraying "this feisty woman" was to "create a line to her emotions."

    "Maggie is an incredibly smart woman," she said. "She can read other people like the back of her hand, and she isn't afraid to let them know how she feels about them. Maggie is a bit of a wild card as well. Her temper can get the best of her, and her emotions can switch back and forth at a moment's notice."

    At her core, Maggie wants her husband, Brick, to love her and for their future to be financially secure, Moore explains.

    "Throughout the play, the audience can see her trying to achieve these goals with varying degrees of success," she said. "Maggie goes on a huge journey through the play, and tracking how she feels and reacts to certain characters helped me discover who she really is. We talk in rehearsals about how each character is playing a game of sorts. For Maggie, she has a particular hand of cards, and if she can just play them right then maybe, just maybe, she will get what she wants."

    Reflecting Williams' poetic writing style, Heifner said he is directing the play in a style that is sometimes called "poetic realism," and he's using notes from the original Broadway production.

    "Williams called this 'plastic theatre,'" Heifner said. "It is a method he and his director Elia Kazan employed to heighten awareness of certain events or characterizations. Plastic theatre is the use of props or staging or sound or lights or all of it to impress upon the audience more abstract ideas. It is often very blatant and seems unrealistic, but it adds to the drama of the scene."

    On its deepest level, Williams' play is about the human condition, Moore said, and about how each individual deals with loss, death and longing. "Williams' play shows that people are stronger together than apart," she added. "These characters struggle to connect with one another, but if they can, they will all be better off for it. I hope when the audience sees the show, they realize this and make a conscious effort to be closer with their loved ones."

    Just directing a Tennessee Williams play is enough of a pleasure for a seasoned director like Heifner, not to mention seeing how this cast of student actors has put Williams' poetry into motion on the stage.

    "They are truly dedicated and are giving their very best," Heifner. "We all realize we are doing a play by one of the greatest American playwrights, and it's an honor to be part of the process."

    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 30 through May 4, in 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 bands to present annual Concert in the Park

    SFA bands to present annual Concert in the Park

    April 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the annual Concert in the Park Sunday, May 5, 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.

    All four SFA concert bands will perform, including the Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA; the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands; Symphonic Band, directed by Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands; and University Band, directed by graduate student conductor Gary Jones.

    A meeting of the Lumberjack Band Alumni Association will be held in the Band Hall following the concert.

    Kappa Kappa Psi 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 present 'Solitary Dances" program

    SFA Wind Symphony to present 'Solitary Dances" program

    April 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Wind Symphony at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert that recognizes dances from around the world when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    "Solitary Dances" will feature works by Warren Benson, John Barnes Chance, Percy Grainger, Alfred Reed, Henry Fillmore and other composers, according to Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands at SFA and director of the Wind Symphony.

    The concert will open with Chance's iconic wind band piece "Incantation and Dance." Originally premiered as "Nocturne and Dance" in 1960, Chance omitted 31 measures and changed the title to depict a ritual of magic or conjuring of spirits, according to Anglley.

    The ensemble will perform Part I of Reed's "Armenian Dances." Parts I and II constitute a four-movement suite for band based on authentic Armenian folk songs from the collected works of Gomidas Vartabed, who is considered the founder of Armenian classical music.

    Grainger's lesser-known band arrangement of "Rustic Dance" is the second of a five-movement suite for orchestra called "Youthful Suite." The band setting was arranged by Mark Rogers in 2008 for Poteet High School in Texas to perform at the TMEA state convention as honor band, Anglley said.

    Also on the program is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Norman Dello Joio's "Satiric Dances." Written in 1975, the piece was commissioned to commemorate the Bicentennial of April 19, 1775, the day that launched the American War for Independence, or the Revolutionary War. Dello Joio, then dean of Boston University's School for the Arts, agreed to do the commission.

    "But he stipulated it would be based on a piece he had used as background music for a comedy by Aristophanes," Anglley explained. "The most famous comic dramatist of ancient Greece, Aristophanes was born an Athenian citizen about 445 B.C. His plays commented on the political and social issues of 5th century Athens and frequently employed satire."

    Other works include Warren Benson's "The Solitary Dancer" and Dmitri Shostakovich's famous "Folk Dances," which includes several Russian folk melodies strung together one after the other as it accelerates to a big finish, Anglley said.

    The final piece will be Fillmore's "The Footlifter March." During the Depression of 1929, the Fillmore Band was very popular and gave huge boosts of morale to their radio show audience.

    "Fillmore wrote this march at the request of one of the sponsors of the radio program to tie into their advertising slogan, and, after hearing the new piece, called it a 'footlifter,'" Anglley said.

    The concert is a 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 children's series to present 'The Jungle Book'

    SFA children's series to present 'The Jungle Book'

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    Two performances of “The Jungle Book” will be presented on Thursday, May 16, as part of the Children's Performing Arts Series at SFA.

    April 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children's Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present two performances of "The Jungle Book" on Thursday, May 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Virginia Repertory Theatre's production of "The Jungle Book" is based on the classic tales by Rudyard Kipling. The book and lyrics are by Scott Wichmann, and music is by Julie Fulcher-Davis. Kipling wrote The Jungle Books collection of stories more than 100 years ago, but his classic tales are still being reproduced on the stage and in the cinema.

    The story is set in the jungles of southern India, where a baby is discovered and raised by a pack of wolves. Mowgli, the boy, has a life full of adventure and conflict. Mowgli's best friends are a bear named Baloo and a black panther named Bagheera. The notorious tiger, Shere Khan, is a force to be reckoned with in the jungle.

    "Kipling's story of Mowgli's childhood adventures in the jungle reinforce respect for life, both animal and human, and the idea of harmony among all living things," said Diane Peterson, manager of the SFA Fine Arts Box Office and director of the children's series.

    The show targets children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions for teachers to use in the classroom. A comprehensive study guide for "The Jungle Book" may be accessed at cpas.sfasu.edu.

    Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

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

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  • SFA to screen 'Alive and Kicking' dance film

    SFA to screen 'Alive and Kicking' dance film

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    The phenomenon of swing dancing is examined in the film “Alive and Kicking,” to be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, in The Cole Art Center. Photo: Jessica Keener

    April 25, 2019—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 the documentary "Alive and Kicking" at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Directed by Susan Glatzer, "Alive and Kicking" is a feature-length documentary that takes an inside glance into the culture of swing dancing and the characters who make it special. It explores the culture surrounding swing dance from the emergence of the Lindy Hop to the modern-day international phenomenon. The film looks at the lives of the swing dancers themselves to find their personal stories and why this dance fills them with joy, according to information at http://aliveandkickingfilm.com.

    Run time is 88 minutes.

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

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

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  • SFA Men's, Women's choirs to perform music from around the world

    SFA Men's, Women's choirs to perform music from around the world

    April 22, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Men's Choir and Women's Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert featuring a variety of performers, including high school choirs from Nacogdoches and Lufkin, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    "Songs My Mother Taught Me" is a collection of folk songs, game songs and hymns from around the world, according to Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA and conductor of the choirs.

    The Women's Choir will perform Stephen Hatfield's popular arrangement of the Brazilian folk song "O sapo" (The Toad). Dr. Kristin Lyman, assistant professor of music education at SFA, will play percussion on the song.

    "This piece is highly rhythmic with lots of Portuguese that has served as a challenge for the choir," Fish said. "There are many cool uses of alliteration from the lower three voices to serve as examples of the Tico Tico tradition."

    Herbert Midgley, music technology lecturer, will also join the Women's Choir on the guitar for their performance of "Shady Grove."

    The Men's Choir will perform Brian Tate's arrangement of "Ehara," which is a Maori folk song from the indigenous Polynesian culture of New Zealand.

    "The song speaks to the ideals that love, life, faith and hope are nothing new, and they are handed down from our ancestors," Fish explained.

    The concert will conclude with SFA Men's and Women's choirs combining with the varsity mixed choirs from Lufkin and Nacogdoches high schools to perform Peter Wilhousky's stirring arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

    "We are excited to have these two choirs, directed by SFA alumnae Nicole Stewart and Jennifer Weems, respectively, joining us," Fish said.

    String students from the studios of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin and viola, and Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello adjunct faculty, will accompany the choirs on various selections.

    "I am also thankful for suggestions from Dr. Brad Meyer and members of his percussion studio for their stylistic suggestions," Fish said.

    The concert is a 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 Sound Recording Technology's Rockin' Axes to perform

    SFA Sound Recording Technology's Rockin' Axes to perform

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    SFA's Rockin’ Axes will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The concert will feature the music of Muse, Queen, Nirvana and others.

    April 18, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Rockin' Axes at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert featuring popular songs from different time periods when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    A student group within the School of Music's Sound Recording Technology program, the Rockin' Axes is directed by Nick Lambson, SRT faculty member.

    "Students suggested and voted on these songs, including my selections, so there is no real theme," Lambson explained. "Instead, we made sure to cover a number of sub-genres and songs from different time periods."

    Lambson said he also chose songs and assigned parts that would challenge specific students or that would allow them to develop their strengths. Among the selections are "Supermassive Blackhole" by Muse, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin.

    "We chose one song by Muse that uses a custom guitar with a built-in electronic music controller, which one of the students recently purchased," he said. "We also chose 'Bohemian Rhapsody' because of the recent biopic, but also because it's a classic."

    A student composition, "Through the Dark," co-written by SRT major Chance Hill and student Vic Odom, will be featured. "They have worked hard and gone above and beyond by doing a recording of it, and we're excited for the world premiere," Lambson said.

    Lambson also promised a surprise. "Without giving anything away, there will be a special encore …," he said.

    The concert is a 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/. Follow the ensemble on Facebook at The Rockin' Axes of SFA State University.

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  • SFA music student Edwards award winner in prestigious national competition

    SFA music student Edwards award winner in prestigious national competition

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    Jesse Edwards, Stephen F. Austin State University music composition major from Tyler, recently won second place in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra's national Young Composers Competition for his piece “Saturday Afternoon."

    April 18, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University music composition major Jesse Edwards has garnered another award in a prestigious national competition for one of his original orchestral scores.

    For the third year, The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) conducted a nationwide search to name the three winners in the PYO Young Composers Competition. Edwards, a Tyler senior, earned second place for his piece "Saturday Afternoon." This recent recognition adds to the ever-growing list of accolades Edwards has amassed.

    "It's an honor to be recognized by such an amazing ensemble," Edwards said. "It's especially exciting for me to be able to share my music with a youth orchestra - the next generation of great musicians."

    Edwards studies with Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of composition at SFA, who described Edwards' most recent honor as "well-deserved."

    "Jesse is one of those students I never have to push because his hunger for personal and creative growth is so strong," Lias said. "He has really helped hold the bar high for his colleagues.

    "Composers build their reputation by winning competitions," he added. "The earlier in their career they start doing this, the better for them. So having this on his resume will give Jesse considerable credibility and gravitas as he seeks commissions and applies to graduate programs."

    "Saturday Afternoon" was inspired by one of Edwards' visits to New York City.

    "When my wife lived in New York City, before we were married, I would go up to visit as much as I could," he said. "We never had very much time together - sometimes just a weekend - so it became a sort of challenge to see how many things we could fit in a day. 'Saturday Afternoon' follows the adventures of one such day on a weekend trip during the winter of 2016."

    An internationally performed composer of rising acclaim, Edwards' newest work, "Mint Chic," was recently performed at the Alba International Music Festival, in Alba, Italy, by SOLI Chamber Ensemble. Edwards has worked with SFA's Orchestra of the Pines, Starks Sound, and film director Adam Rothstein to create what has been noted as "accessible," "well spoken," and "straightforward" by Italian composer/educator Ferdinando Nazzaro. His music has been performed by the Lemberg Sinfonietta (Lviv, Ukraine), the Phoenix Ensemble (Ukraine), the Hobart Wind Symphony (Tasmania) and by high school and university choirs and bands throughout East Texas.

    Lias noted that SFA's reputation as an institution that provides a quality fine arts education bodes well for the university as it recruits art, music and theatre students.

    "The fact that SFA can attract students of Jesse's quality and nurture their development in a way that bears fruit like this is a testament to the entire College of Fine Arts," Lias said. "Jesse has collaborated with both the theatre and art programs scoring plays and movies and has spent a semester studying abroad at our partner institution in Hobart, Australia. Although Jesse would have succeeded anywhere, SFA has been an excellent fit and provided him exactly the opportunities he needed to grow into the composer he is today."

    Following graduation in May, Edwards plans to pursue a master's degree in music composition.

    "I'm just looking forward to even more future opportunities like this one that allow me to spread a little more joy and beauty in a world that needs it," he said.

    For more information on Edwards' music, recordings and videos, visit jesseedwardsmusic.com.

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  • SFA Friends of Music to honor Edwards at Extravaganza gala

    SFA Friends of Music to honor Edwards at Extravaganza gala

    April 17, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The SFA Friends of Music and School of Music will honor Dr. Jennifer Edwards at Extravaganza 32, Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music's annual gala banquet. The event is planned for 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the Grand Ballroom of SFA's Baker Pattillo Student Center.

    Edwards, a 1967 graduate from the SFA School of Music, retired after an illustrious career as a professor of voice at Kansas State University.

    This year's Extravaganza, "Stars of Tomorrow," celebrates the 32nd 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. This is a very unique experience, and one where there is a lot of fun to be had."

    Part music student awards ceremony, part formal dinner, and part musical potpourri, Extravaganza features 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.

    "Dr. Edwards had a fantastic career as a vocalist and professor after graduating in 1967," Wurtz said. "In addition to a sustained teaching career with numerous student successes, she is a renowned recitalist and oratorio soloist who has performed throughout the Midwest."

    Originally from Longview, Edwards went on to get her Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Oregon and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City. For 36 years, she was a beloved voice teacher and taught many voice-related courses at Kansas State University. She also served as chair of the voice division.

    A recitalist and oratorio soloist, Edwards has performed throughout the Midwest in appearances with the Dayton Bach Society, The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, The Wichita Symphony Serenade Concerts and The Reno Choral Society. Operatic roles include Cherubino in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro," the Principessa in Giacomo Puccini's "Suor Angelica," Carmen in Georges Bizet's "Carmen," and Elizabeth in Robert Ward's "The Crucible." She was a member of the ensemble cast of the musical, "Quilters," a production of Opening Night Theater, which toured for two years throughout the state of Kansas. She also sang the role of the Mother in the same company's production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors."

    She has toured with her husband, pianist/organist Robert Edwards, and trumpeter Craig Parker in recitals of music for organ, trumpet and voice. The three have performed in major churches in Colorado Springs, New York City, New Orleans and Topeka.

    The Extravaganza 32 committee includes John and Melinda Rohrer, co-chairs, Carolyn King, Caryl Hall, MaryAnn and Farrar Bentley, Kimberly LaGraff, Barb Stump, Shirley Watterston and Marinell Booth.

    This year's Friends of Music officers include Carolyn Andrews, president; Missy DeVine, secretary/treasurer; and Marinell Booth, past president.

    "We want to invite everyone to come and celebrate this 32nd Extravaganza with us," John and Melinda Rohrer said.

    Reservations and payments should be made by noon Thursday, April 18.

    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/.

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  • The Villalobos Brothers: Contemporary Mexican music coming to SFA

    The Villalobos Brothers: Contemporary Mexican music coming to SFA

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    Presented by the College of Fine Arts and sponsored by BancorpSouth, the Villalobos Brothers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    April 17, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Acclaimed as one of today's leading contemporary Mexican groups, the Villalobos Brothers will bring their high-octane musical fiesta to Nacogdoches when they perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    The performance is the final show of the SFA College of Fine Arts' 2018-19 University Series, ending the season in a celebration of Mexican folk music that skillfully blends intricate jazz and classical harmonies and rock-and-roll energy with the traditional sounds of the brothers' native country, according Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series.

    "I was blown away by the fiery performing style and infectious charm of the Villalobos Brothers when I heard them live," Shattuck said. "Ever since then, I've been dying to bring them from their home base in New York City to SFA and introduce Nacogdoches audiences to the fun and passion they bring to their concerts."

    The ensemble's virtuosic performances have delighted audiences throughout Latin America, India, Russia and Canada and in more than 30 states across the U.S. They have performed in historic venues and at events including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the New Victory Theatre on Broadway, the Latin Grammy Awards, Montreal Jazz Festival, the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City.

    The Villalobos Brothers recently premiered their Symphonic Project, performing sold-out concerts with both the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Walla Walla Symphony. The ensemble has collaborated with legendary musicians including Grammy winners Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Ana Tijoux, Antonio Sánchez, Regina Carter, Sierra Hull and Dan Zanes.

    In 2013, the Villalobos Brothers won New York's Ultimate Battle of the Boroughs, a citywide talent contest for bands of all genres and styles. Their album "Somos" will be released this year.

    The Villalobos Brothers' performance in Nacogdoches is sponsored in part by BancorpSouth. Additional show parking will be available at the bank's North Street location. The College of Fine Arts has partnered with the SFA Office of Multicultural Affairs to promote the show.

    "We're so grateful to BancorpSouth and the rest of our sponsors, advertisers and other partners for making this event possible," Shattuck said. "Along with them we're celebrating the diversity and vitality of our campus and the entire Deep East Texas region by welcoming this award-winning group to SFA."

    Prior to the performance, Juan Carlos Urena, professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication, 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.

    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.

    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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    article ID 1701

  • Sing-along version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' coming to Cole Art Center

    Sing-along version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' coming to Cole Art Center

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    A sing-along edition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    April 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    A new version of the award-winning film "Bohemian Rhapsody" is coming to The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    A new sing-along edition of the movie will be shown in a free, one-night screening, hosted by the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, in SFA's historic downtown art center.

    In this version of the movie, lyrics appear on the screen to help moviegoers add their own voices to Queen's performances of favorite songs like "We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."

    "We're bringing this film to the gallery at the request of our students and some regular patrons," said Alisa Steed, events coordinator for SFA art galleries. "We hope everyone comes ready to sing!"

    "Bohemian Rhapsody" celebrates the music of legendary rock band Queen and their extraordinary lead singer, Freddie Mercury, as portrayed by actor Rami Malek. The film, which was directed by Bryan Singer, received 16 major nominations in 2019 and won nine awards, among them Academy Awards for Best Picture and for Actor in a Leading Role for Malek; Screen Actors Guild performance awards to Malik and the entire cast; and Golden Globe Awards to Malik and for Best Motion Picture.

    The film is rated Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, suggestive material, drug content and language. Run time is 134 minutes.

    This special screening is sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and Main Street Nacogdoches.

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

    article ID 1697

  • SFA's Swingin' Axes, Aces jazz bands to perform

    SFA's Swingin' Axes, Aces jazz bands to perform

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    SFA's Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    April 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin' Axes and Swingin' Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present their final concert of the year at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Swingin' Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, will showcase performances by some of its longtime players who will graduate at the end of the semester. Those include Winter Springs, Florida, senior Alec Bartlett on saxophone; Houston senior Dawson Dowdy on piano; Purcellville, Virginia, graduate student Luke Vacca on trombone; along with Weatherford graduate assistant Max Muciño on trumpet.

    The Axes will perform two original compositions by Maria Schneider - "Bird Count" and "Arbiters of Evolution." Also on the program is the Sammy Nestico arrangement of "Day In, Day Out" by Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer.

    "'Round Midnight," composed by Thelonious Monk and Cootie Williams and arranged by Mike Tomaro, will feature the Axes' new lead alto saxophonist, Lufkin graduate student Felipe Hernandez.

    Other graduates performing on the concert are graduate student Sam Lana, alto sax from Cincinnati, Ohio; graduate student Sara Crider, tenor sax from Purvis, Mississippi; and senior Kyle Manuel, trombone from Cypress.

    The Swingin' Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, will perform "Two Seconds to Midnight" by Alan Baylock; "Flight of the Foo Birds" by Neal Hefti and recorded by Count Basie Orchestra; and "Kingfish" by Bill Holman and recorded by The Stan Kenton Orchestra.

    The Aces will also feature a brand-new arrangement by Sammy Nestico of Johnny Mercer's "Tangerine" from Nestico's recent album "A Portrait of Sammy."

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

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

    article ID 1698

  • Stone Fort Museum to host third pop-up concert featuring SFA's Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble

    Stone Fort Museum to host third pop-up concert featuring SFA's Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble

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    SFA's Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will perform a pop-up concert from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, outside the Stone Fort on the SFA campus.

    April 16, 2019—University Marketing Communications

    The Stone Fort Museum on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University will host its third pop-up concert featuring members of the SFA Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, May 10.

    The concert will feature traditional Texas tunes performed by the ensemble, which is led by Dr. J.D. Salas, SFA associate professor of music.

    "When people think of a group of tubas playing together, thoughts of massed pachyderms may immediately spring to mind," Salas said. "However, the euphonium, which is similar to a tuba but about half the size, has a higher and lighter sound and performs most of the melodies. Together, the two instruments create an ensemble that possesses remarkably sonorous timbre and a wide dynamic range."

    This concert is the continuation of the Stone Fort Museum's Inside-Out project; intended to reduce barriers to collections and their stories through outside displays and events that engage new audiences.

    "Hosting the inside-outside events is a way to attract members of the SFA and Nacogdoches communities to come to events outside the Stone Fort and then encourage them to step inside and continue the experience," Carolyn Spears, director of the Stone Fort Museum, said.

    The Stone Fort's current exhibit is "Pocket, Purse and Pack: Digging into Everyday Carry." The exhibit examines not only the various tools and objects that were considered necessities of daily life for past generations but also looks at why they were necessary.

    According to Spears, the things we carry may be directly tied to common needs, as is the case with a pocket watch. They also may reflect our habits, interests or beliefs, as with snuff boxes, pocket binoculars or religious icons.

    "What we carry in our pockets changes as society changes, "Spears said. "Highlights of the exhibit include a pocket-dump station where guests can take a picture of the baubles and knick-knacks they can't leave home without."

    The concert is free and open to the public. Guests will be able to snack on old-fashioned picnic fare. For more information about the Stone Fort, its exhibits or the Inside-Out series, contact Spears at cspears@sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1699

  • SFA to present Tennessee Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

    SFA to present Tennessee Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

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    Frisco senior Aubrey Moore as Maggie and Waxahachie freshman Adam Lamb as Brick rehearse scenes from Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to be presented by the SFA School of Theatre at 7:30 nightly April 30 through May 4 in Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

    April 12, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" comes to W.M. Turner Auditorium April 30 through May 4 as part of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's Mainstage Series. Directed by SFA's Playwright-in-Residence Jack Heifner, the play is about a southern family in crisis.

    Set in the plantation home in the Mississippi Delta of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon, the play examines the relationships among members of Big Daddy's family, primarily between his son Brick and "Maggie the Cat," Brick's wife.

    "'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' is one of Williams' most famous plays, winning him his second Pulitzer Prize," Heifner said, adding the other Pulitzer was for "A Streetcar Named Desire." "The production is about a night that changes the lives of the characters, and it involves many tense emotional situations.

    "It was Williams' favorite play," Heifner said. "It hasn't been performed at SFA since 1989 - 30 years ago. I've always loved the play and have taught it in classes for 20 years, but I've never directed it. I thought it was about time.

    The themes of the play are universal, but most of all, it's a play about a family in crisis."

    Brick, the alcoholic son and former athlete, is haunted by the death of his best friend and his guilt about their relationship. Maggie, his wife, longs for the husband who doesn't ignore her and craves financial security after a life of struggle. Big Daddy, his father who is unaware he is dying of cancer, has a passion for living and is proud of the accomplishments he has made in his life. Gathered for the celebration of Big Daddy's 65th birthday, the family's conflicts are suddenly exposed in an explosive series of confrontations about money that forces the family to part with the lies that have shielded them from reality.

    The play takes place in real time, and the action is continuous, Heifner said. Although there are two intermissions, the play takes place in exactly the same time span as the characters that are living it. Overlapping sounds and actions create some challenges in directing, Heifner explained.

    "Another challenge is dealing with iconic characters from the world of Tennessee Williams," he said. "They are well known; audiences know the names 'Big Daddy' and 'Big Mama.' 'Maggie the Cat' is probably one of the hardest and most famous roles Williams ever wrote for an actor. The play is a challenge for the actors involved, both emotionally and physically."

    The Southern accents and the physicality of the production, including a character that is pregnant, another with a broken foot and another with a terminal disease, provide additional challenges for the student actors.

    Heifner describes the play as "an American theatre classic" that should be seen by anyone who is interested in good theatre. However, it is for mature audiences, meaning there is strong language, the use of alcohol, a discussion of sexual situations and an impending death.

    "Audiences will gain a greater appreciation for Tennessee Williams and experience excitement from watching our young actors grow and learn," Heifner said.

    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 30 through May 4, in 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/.

    article ID 1696

  • SFA's Music Prep announces spring recital schedule

    SFA's Music Prep announces spring recital schedule

    April 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will begin its spring recital schedule with a performance by piano students of Lydia Lim at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Music Recital Hall on the SFA campus.

    Piano and cello students of SFA music major instructors, piano students of Dr. Mario Ajero and saxophone students of Nicholas Bissen will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on campus.

    String students of Alba Madrid, Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and Dr. Evgeni Raychev will perform at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Piano students of Mary Cooper will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building.

    The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, directed by Raychev, will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Cole Concert Hall.

    The SFA Young Violinists and Suzuki violin students of Brenda Josephsen, will perform at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17, in the Music Recital Hall, followed by a performance of harp students of Susanna Campbell at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

    The final concert of the spring for the Music Preparatory Division will be presented by piano students of Linda Parr. They will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, in Cole Concert Hall.

    All recitals are free and open to the public. The recital schedule is posted on the SFA Music Prep Facebook page.

    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 1693

  • SFA's Trombone Choir to perform music from five centuries

    SFA's Trombone Choir to perform music from five centuries

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    The SFA Trombone Choir will perform a concert of varied music at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    April 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Trombone Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert of varied music from the last five centuries when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Comprised of 28 trombone students, the choir is directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone.

    The concert will include arrangements of "Panis Angelicus" (O Lord Most Holy) by Cesar Franck and "Contrapunctus 14" by J.S. Bach. Also on the program is an arrangement of excerpts from Hector Berlioz's opera "The Damnation of Faust." From "Five Jewish Songs of Joy," the group will perform "A Wicked Wicked Man" by S.E. Goldfarb.

    Also on the program are a few contemporary pieces, including "Great Lake Octet" by Eric Ewazen, which will be performed by eight of the student trombonists.

    Dr. Daniel Chapa, low brass professor, will join the group to conduct a select group of players performing "Londonderry Air" arranged by James Christiansen and Mark McDunn.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    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 visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1695

  • SFA to present multimedia, musical performance based on character studies

    SFA to present multimedia, musical performance based on character studies

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    "Canetti-menagerie: a surreal soirée," a program of works by University of North Texas music professor Joseph Klein, far right, will be performed at 6 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    April 11, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present "Canetti-menagerie: a surreal soirée," a program of works by Joseph Klein, at 6 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The program (played continuously without pauses) consists of group improvisations and solo performances of works by American composer Klein, which are based on Elias Canetti's 1974 book "Der Ohrenzeuge: Fünfzig Charaktere (Earwitness: Fifty Characters)," a collection of 50 surreal character studies. The performance is designed as a multimedia event, which includes theatrical lighting and staging, readings from the Canetti texts, and projections of visual interpretations of the various Canetti characters.

    "Canetti was a versatile writer whose body of work reflects his rich and varied interests in philosophy, psychology, sociology and literary criticism, taking the form of novels, memoirs, essays, plays and non-fiction writings," explains Klein.

    The concert features performances by Elizabeth McNutt, piccolo; Kimberly Cole Luevano, basset horn; Kyle Stec, alto saxophone; Andrew May, violin; Madeleine Shapiro, violoncello; with Klein as narrator. Klein is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of North Texas College of Music where he has served as chair of composition studies since 1999.

    Works to be performed include "Canetti-menagerie," "Die Müde" ("The Tired Woman"), "Die Schadhafte" ("The Defective"), "Der Hinterbringer" ("The Tattletale"), "Die Tischtuchtolle" ("The Tablecloth Lunatic"), "Der Tückenfänger" ("The Wile-catcher") and concluding with another full ensemble performance of "Canetti-menagerie."

    Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Klein is a composer of solo, chamber, and large ensemble works, including instrumental, vocal, electroacoustic, and intermedia compositions. His music reflects an ongoing interest in processes drawn from such sources as fractal geometry, chaos and systems theory, often inspired by natural phenomena. His works frequently incorporate theatrical elements. Literature is another important influence.

    Kimberly Cole Luevano has established herself as a formidable soloist and chamber musician known for poignant interpretations and inventive programming. She has performed, adjudicated, taught on four continents and has recorded on several labels. She joined the University of North Texas faculty in 2011.

    Andrew May is best known for innovative and subtle chamber music, some of which involves computer-based agents interacting with human performers. May has performed internationally as a violinist and conductor, specializing in adventurous new music and avant-garde improvisation. He teaches composition at UNT.

    Flutist Elizabeth McNutt is a recitalist who primarily performs contemporary music. She has premiered more than 200 works and performed in Europe, Asia and throughout the U.S. She teaches flute and directs the new music ensemble Nova at UNT.

    Guest artist Madeleine Shapiro presently directs ModernWorks and performs as a solo recitalist throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. In addition to her recital work, Shapiro has had residencies at numerous institutions presenting master classes and workshops.

    Kyle Stec is an educator and performer currently serving as saxophone instructor for the Flower Mound and Marcus high school clusters in the North Texas area. As a soloist, he has been named National Second Prize Winner of the Music Teacher National Association Young Artist Woodwind Competition and winner of the UNT Concerto Competition.

    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 visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

    article ID 1694

  • SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle announces 2019 award recipients

    SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle announces 2019 award recipients

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    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle will recognize four students and the newest endowed professor during the presentation of the annual Dean's Awards at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Pictured (clockwise from top left) are Sarah Bone, art major from Richmond; Travis Wattigney, music major from Fort Worth; Matthew Mitchell, music education major from Huffman; Piero Fenci, School of Art professor and the Dean's Circle Endowed Professor for 2019-2022; and Aubrey Moore, theatre major from Frisco.

    April 10, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle will recognize four students and the newest endowed professor during the presentation of the annual Dean's Awards at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Sarah Bone, art major from Richmond; Travis Wattigney, music major from Fort Worth; Matthew Mitchell, music education major from Huffman; and Aubrey Moore, theatre major from Frisco, 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 are about inspiring students and giving them the self-confidence to dream what the ideal could be for them, then, through this award, make that dream become their reality," Himes said. "And, in doing so, we hope to inspire others to likewise reach for their dreams."

    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 explained.

    "Many academic units, at this time of year, have awards of some type that recognize their students," he said. "What makes the Dean's Awards distinctive is that these awards are not about what the masses have done, they are about what the few are capable of doing."

    Additionally this year, a distinguished panel of senior Fine Arts faculty members selected School of Art professor Piero Fenci as the Dean's Circle Endowed Professor for 2019-2022. The Dean's Circle created the award in 2016 to recognize and honor those who "embody the qualities of the ideal professor that characterize all College of Fine Arts faculty members," Himes said. The first honoree was Dr. Charles R. Gavin, professor of horn and chamber music in the SFA School of Music. Over the three-year term of the award, the recipient receives a total of $15,000 above his/her base salary. The award is intended to provide the resources for all manner of professional endeavors in which the recipient may choose to become involved, Himes said.

    "The Endowed Professorship now goes to Piero Fenci, not as an individual, but as a symbol of the excellence in teaching, commitment to student preparation, and dedication to one's art form that is characteristic of all faculty members in the College of Fine Arts," Himes said.

    Fenci received his undergraduate degree in Latin-American studies with a minor in art history from Yale University. He earned his M.F.A. from the prestigious New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Fenci has been with SFA since 1975 and has distinguished himself as both an artist and an educator. His ceramic vessels have been featured in Ceramics Monthly, American Ceramics, The Contemporary Potter and Clay and Glazes for the Potter. In 2004, he founded the first university program in contemporary ceramic art in the history of northern Mexico at la Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua in Chihuahua City, and he continues to travel there yearly to mentor the program. Fenci has earned an international reputation as a ceramist, exhibiting his work from coast to coast and in Italy, Russia and Mexico. He was recently named "Texas Master" by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, becoming the fourth person (and the first ceramist) in the state to be honored with the award. Fenci lives and shares a studio with his sculptor wife, Elizabeth Akamatsu, in the small town of Appleby north of Nacogdoches. His work is represented in private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred, New York; and in the Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler.

    Bone, who will receive the Ed and Gwen Cole Dean's Award in Art, is a junior from Richmond pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in graphic design with a minor in marketing. She serves as president of the Art Alliance and the SFA chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and she is on the planning committee for The Big Event. In the fall of 2018, she competed in the American Advertising Federation's Student Competition with a team of SFA student designers, marketers and managers. In May 2018, Bone traveled to Iceland as one of 10 student artists chosen for a residency at the Baer Art Center. Her work from the residency was included in the exhibition "Radljost" in May 2018 and in "Endless Dusk" in September 2018. She is a recipient of the Academic Excellence Scholarship and the Regent's Scholarship for Art. She has been on the Dean's List or President's List every semester at SFA. Bone works as a teacher's assistant for the art section of SFA 101. She has worked as a promotions assistant for the campus recreation center, and she will begin an internship this spring as a junior graphic designer with Aramark. Each summer, she continues working as a mentor in UMARMY, a service mission group of her hometown church. In the future, Bone hopes to work as a creative in the advertising and marketing field.

    Wattigney, who will receive the Naioma Shannon Dean's Award in Music, is a junior from Fort Worth studying music composition under Dr. Stephen Lias. In his time at SFA, Wattigney has received numerous honors and awards as a composer, performer and student. As a composer, his works have been performed both at SFA and across the U.S. His piece "The Awakening Valley" for orchestra was chosen as the winning composition for the 2018 Tennessee Valley Music Festival Call for Scores in addition to being selected for performance by the SFA Orchestra of The Pines. Wattigney has also had several commissions and had two pieces showcased at regional conferences. As a trumpet player, he has participated in the Wind Ensemble, Swingin' Axes jazz band, the Lumberjack Marching Band, the Roarin' Buzzsaws and several chamber ensembles. As a member of a trumpet quintet, he has been two-time quarter finalist in the National Trumpet Competition and selected as a prelude performer for the 2018 International Trumpet Guild Conference. He has also received the honor of being named the Top Scholar for the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference, and he was a finalist in the 2018 conference. Both presentations were in collaboration with the Sound Recording Technology program in the School of Music.

    Mitchell, who will receive the Dr. Robert G. Sidnell Memorial Dean's Award in Music Education, is a junior voice major from Huffman studying under Debbie Berry. Mitchell states that he came to SFA to become a better musician, educator and overall leader, and over the course of his education, he said he has learned "just that and much more." During his time at SFA, Mitchell has been on the President's List every semester. He has been a member of the Honors College, A Cappella Choir (vice president), Madrigal Singers, SFA Opera Theater, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Pi Kappa Lambda honors music fraternity. In addition to the Dean's Award, he has been the recipient of many other honors, some of which include the HOOPS for Scholar, the TLL Temple Scholarship and the Academic Excellence Scholarship. He is the 2016 Anderson Scholar, awarded by the voice faculty for academic and vocal excellence. Following graduation, Mitchell plans to become a high school choir director and eventually pursue a master's degree in conducting. With his education, he hopes to teach his students what he has learned through his years at SFA - "they are loved, they are worth it and they can do it."

    Moore, who will receive the George and Peggy Schmidbauer Dean's Award in Theatre, is a senior theatre major from Frisco. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in performance. While at SFA, Moore has acted in several theatre productions, including "The Skin of Our Teeth," "The Miracle Worker," "Baby with the Bathwater," "Hot Flashes," "The Women of Lockerbie" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." She has also worked on wardrobe crews for "Pitching to the Star," "Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play," "Antigone in New York" and "Sweat." For "The Women of Lockerbie," she received an Irene Ryan Acting Nomination from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In addition to her production work, Moore is a member and president of the Beta Phi cast of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honors Society. As a member of this organization, she actively participates in projects involving the School of Theatre and the Nacogdoches community. She has completed more than 100 service hours this past year. Moore is also an elected member of the Student Production Advisory Committee for the School of Theatre. She has remained on the President's List or Dean's List since her first semester at SFA.

    The student 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 $3,000 individual awards each year for a total of $12,000, Himes said. For more information about the Dean's Circle, contact Himes at himesac@sfasu.edu or at (936) 468-2801.

    article ID 1691

  • Sculpture For All: SFA to open 2019-21 biennial outdoor exhibition

    Sculpture For All: SFA to open 2019-21 biennial outdoor exhibition

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    Pictured left: SFA heavy equipment operator Randy Holland assists artist Joe Barrington in delivering Barrington's “Sock Monkey” sculpture as one of the first installations of the 2019-21 Sculpture For All exhibition in Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden on the SFA campus. Right: Artist Teresa Lind's “The Farmer” is now part of SFA's permanent collection of Sculpture For All art.

    April 10, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Continuing to make art bloom throughout the gardens on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, Sculpture For All 2019-2021 will open with a public reception at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden.

    Sculpture For All is a biennial outdoor exhibition and competition in the form of 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.

    This year's opening coincides with International Sculpture Day, according to Jeffery Brewer, assistant professor of art (sculpture) at SFA.

    "This outdoor artistic endeavor seeks to expose SFA students and faculty members to art they might not otherwise see while bringing national recognition and publicity to SFA," according to Brewer.

    This year's competition was juried by Robbie Barber, associate professor of art (sculpture and 3-D design) at Baylor University. The exhibition will showcase the work of eight artists, including Barber.

    "It's an all-star cast of Texas sculptors and will make for a fabulous show," Brewer said.

    Along with Barber, returning artists include Joe Barrington, Luke Sides, Christopher Thomson, Daniel Hunt, Russ Connell, Dewane Hughes and Kurt Dyrhaug. The exhibition also includes the work of newcomer Michelle O'Michael of Houston.

    Barber received his B.F.A. in sculpture from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, in 1987, and his M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Arizona in 1991. He also studied in Cortona, Italy, through the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program. In 1991, Barber was awarded a yearlong residency at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in Roswell, New Mexico. After returning to North Carolina in 1992, he received a Southern Arts Federation/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship in Sculpture and a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship, both in 1993. In 1994, Barber moved to Wichita Falls to teach Sculpture and Metalsmithing at Midwestern State University. He left in 2000 to teach at Baylor University in Waco where he is currently associate professor of sculpture.

    In 2007, Barber was a founding member of the Texas Atomic Iron Commission, which is comprised of sculpture educators dedicated to the dissemination of iron casting as an approach to art making. Through this organization, he has presented workshops, participated in iron pours throughout Texas and Alabama, and he has been invited to Keen Foundry Invitational Iron Casting Symposiums in Houston. He has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Grace Museum in Abilene, Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, and at Redbud Gallery in Houston.

    With a donation from the Four Seasons Garden Club of Nacogdoches, SFA has purchased last year's people's choice winner, "The Farmer" by Teresa Lind, making it the third in SFA's permanent collection of Sculpture For All art.

    For more information about Sculpture For All, call (936) 468-4404 or email sculptureforall@sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1692

  • SFA to present Symphonic Band, University Band concert

    SFA to present Symphonic Band, University Band concert

    April 9, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Symphonic Band and the University Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Poetic Lines" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Some selections on the program draw inspiration from artistic text, according to Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA and director of the Symphonic Band.

    Under the direction of graduate conducting student Gary Jones, the University Band will open the concert with "Arsenal" by Jan Van der Roost. Composed for the 50th anniversary of the 'Harmonie van het Spoorwegarsenaal' (railroad arsenal) based in Mechelen, Belgium, "Arsenal" has been described as a "stately concert march with beautiful themes and a broad melody in the trio."

    The second piece by Robert Sheldon is the one-movement work "Choreography," commissioned by the Association of Texas Small School Bands in 2008 for its All-State Band. Written in overture form, the piece draws its inspiration from dance movements found in contemporary stage, ballet and theatrical productions.

    Also on the program, Ryan George's "Café 512" is a dance-like, energetic piece built on a motivic phrase based on a 5+1+2 note grouping (512 being the area code for Austin) and is structured in A-B-A form.

    University Band will end the first half of the concert with Randall Standridge's energetic "Steel." Third in the composer's "machine" series, "Steel" contains "exciting percussion writing, interesting use of syncopation, motivic development, and multiple time signature changes."

    The Symphonic Band's portion of the program "explores works that draw inspiration from various mediums of artistic text," said Kaatz. The second half opens with David Maslanka's "Mother Earth," a "dark and brooding" piece inspired by a poem by St. Francis of Assisi. The composer describes it as "an urgent message from Our Mother (Earth) to treat her more kindly!"

    Eric Whitacre's lush and pensive "Lux Aurumque" follows the opening fanfare. The lyrics of the work's original setting for a cappella choir are from a poem by Edward Esch describing heavenly light.

    John Zdechlik's "Chorale and Shaker Dance" is the central piece of the concert's second half. Written in 1972, the work uses the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" as one of its two primary melodic components, the other being the originally composed chorale, which opens the work.

    The concert closes with John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan," a 6/8 march that was extracted from the composer's operetta of the same name. The original work is set in 16th-century Spanish-occupied Peru and tells the story of a viceroy who disguises himself as a rebel leader named "El Capitan" in order to foil a plot against his people. The comical drama of the operetta is represented in Sousa's tuneful melodies, playful use of dynamics and inclusion of a 2/4 trio, Kaatz explained.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    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 visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

    article ID 1689

  • 'Continuous Conversation': Jackie Rosenfeld creates immersive classroom experience

    'Continuous Conversation': Jackie Rosenfeld creates immersive classroom experience

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    Jackie Rosenfeld, dramatic writing and theatre appreciation instructor in Stephen F. Austin State University's School of Theatre, speaks with students about the history of opera on stage in SFA's Turner Auditorium. Rosenfeld recently received the 2019 Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award.

    April 9, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Engaging in students' learning process and seeing the growth they experience when taught to think critically and creatively ranks high among the rewards of teaching for Jackie Rosenfeld, dramatic writing and theatre appreciation instructor in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre.

    "I see education as a continuous conversation with everyone taking part," she said. "It is crucial for students to be participants in this conversation and to take an active role in their own learning."

    In order to achieve this, Rosenfeld creates a classroom environment that is respectful and attuned to the needs of each individual class.

    "I believe that good theatre and thoughtful learning most often result when participants feel uninhibited and unbound," she said. "When students are confident and enthusiastic about learning, we are all successful."

    Earning a B.A. in drama from Angelo State University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Texas Tech University, Rosenfeld's plays, such as "keepingabreast" and "Queen of the Mist," have been produced nationwide, including three off-off -Broadway productions. An audiobook of her play "keepingabreast" is available on Audible. She also directed the School of Theatre's pilot radio drama production of O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi," adapted by SFA Playwright-in-Residence Jack Heifner.

    In the fall of 2017, School of Theatre Director Cleo House Jr. accepted Rosenfeld's proposal to produce a 24-hour Theatre Festival in SFA's Downstage Theatre.

    "Throughout my years at SFA, I became aware of a lack of opportunities not only for our playwriting students to see their work performed, but also for our acting and directing students to work on new plays," she said. "Having worked as a playwright and advisor of a similar festival while on the faculty at Texas Tech, I knew this to be a unique opportunity for student playwrights, directors and actors to collaborate on a collection of short productions."

    Being forced to work within a set of established limitations of budget (none), time (24 hours) and resources (a short play, a few props and costumes, and actors) allows the students to maximize their imagination, creative abilities and team-working skills, Rosenfeld explained. The result: Two highly successful theatre festivals. Plans are underway for the 2019 event.

    This semester, Rosenfeld created a script-reading course offered through independent study for students looking to expand their knowledge of contemporary plays. Students are assigned eight award-winning plays by a diverse group of playwrights written since 2013. The course utilizes quizzes and discussion to assess critical thinking and understanding.

    "While our students read a great number of plays, most are classics considered to be in the cannon, and thus very few are contemporary and even fewer are written by women and playwrights of color," she said. "This course provides them with the ability to leave SFA with the knowledge to discuss contemporary works at interviews, auditions and graduate school."

    This innovative approach to teaching earned Rosenfeld one of SFA's 2019 Teaching Excellence Awards. The Teaching Excellence Award is based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, commitment to continuous improvement, contribution to the quality of teaching at SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members, and interest in and availability to students.

    "I am so honored to receive this kind of recognition from the university," she said. "Teaching is my greatest love, and this award is a great way to learn it's reciprocal."

    article ID 1690

  • SFA students get involved with community through Help-Portrait project

    SFA students get involved with community through Help-Portrait project

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    SFA photography students LaShauna Bell, Ashley Spitzmiller and Yared Jasso pose for their own portrait during a lull in the action at Help-Portrait day at Nacogdoches HOPE.
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    Nacogdoches HOPE treasurer Kathy Griffin and her poodle, Babette, get their photo taken during the Help-Portrait event. Getting the correct exposure for a black dog against a black background was a technical challenge.
    April 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Photography students from the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art recently put their skills to work for a good cause by taking part in a national service event called Help-Portrait.

    Students set up a mobile lighting studio at Nacogdoches HOPE, a local food pantry, and made portraits for clients who might not otherwise have been able to afford professional quality photographs. Students also edited and printed the portraits on site, so that people were able to take home several finished prints from each session.

    "I love doing this project," said Amanda Breitbach, assistant professor of art at SFA. "The students learn from working with new people and making portraits in a new setting, and they also learn that they can use their skills in photography to give back to their community."

    Breitbach's students in the photographic lighting class have spent this semester learning the technical and creative aspects of lighting using studio strobes, flash and ambient light. The Help-Portrait project gave them the opportunity to practice those skills in a real-world setting, Breitbach said.

    "I'm so glad we did this," said student Cameron Sweet as he and colleagues packed up their gear at the end of the day.

    "Our clients and volunteers were absolutely delighted with their pictures," said Nacogdoches HOPE director Denise Lee. "It was a joyful day for me to observe individuals and families getting such beautiful portraits when I am certain they could not afford such a luxury. Everyone left with smiles on their faces."

    Breitbach said she hopes to make the project an annual event for SFA photography students.

    Photographer Jeremy Cowart founded Help-Portrait in 2008 with the mission of empowering photographers and others to use their skills, tools and expertise to give back to their communities. Help-Portrait events take place each year in communities across the country.

    article ID 1686

  • Exhibition celebrates SFA printmaking collaborations

    Exhibition celebrates SFA printmaking collaborations

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    The exhibition “Image & Text Collaborations: A 20-year Celebration of SFA Book Arts” shows April 13 through June 8 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House. A panel discussion is planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, followed by a reception at 6 p.m.

    April 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and Art Galleries will host "Image & Text Collaborations: A 20-year Celebration of SFA Book Arts" April 13 through June 8 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    The exhibition was organized to recognize the history of the former Lanana Creek Press, which for 20 years served as a center for collaborative projects between artists, writers and designers and achieved regional and national attention, according to Dr. David Lewis, professor of art history at SFA and curator of the exhibition.

    "The exhibition surveys the production of the LCP's long engagement with the book as a fine art and brings attention to its core mission of creative collaboration," Lewis writes in his description of the show. "Its impact has been extensive and enduring."

    The idea for collaborative printmaking at SFA began in 1997 in a conversation between printmaker Charles D. Jones and Lewis. At the time, Jones had been professor (now emeritus) of printmaking for many years, and Lewis had joined the SFA faculty in 1995.

    "We discovered a shared conviction that the book was a viable medium of contemporary expression, and perhaps, since the advent of the digital age, one that might be appreciated anew," Lewis writes.

    The two founded the printmaking initiative with Jones as director and master printer and Lewis as editor. During the life of the program, the book arts experienced a renaissance among contemporary artists, critics, collectors and historians, with many workshops, conferences and exhibitions held across the country, according to Lewis.

    Books from SFA have entered major rare book collections across the globe, including among others, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, Yale University Library, the Harry Ransom Center and the Boston Public Library. A number of these publications feature works by internationally recognized artists. SFA faculty artists, writers and professors contributed to text and editing the books, and many SFA students participated in printmaking projects as interns or volunteers.

    A soft opening of "Image & Text Collaborations," which will show in Reavley Gallery of The Cole Art Center, coincides with the opening of the 2019 Texas National Competition and Exhibition on April 13 in Ledbetter Gallery. An art talk for "Image & Text Collaborations" will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and will feature a panel discussion with Lewis serving as moderator. In addition to Jones, panelists will include SFA art faculty members Candace Hicks, Neal Cox and Aloma Marquis. The audience will be invited to participate in the discussion. A reception will follow at 6 p.m.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131. Exhibitions and receptions are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, The Flower Shop and William Arscott.

    article ID 1687

  • SFA Percussion Ensemble's spring concert features 'An Evening of Soloists'

    SFA Percussion Ensemble's spring concert features 'An Evening of Soloists'

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    Dr. Eric Willie

    April 8, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "An Evening of Soloists" with guest artist Dr. Eric Willie at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies in the School of Music, directs the ensemble. Willie is director of percussion studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

    The program includes "Duende" by Francisco Perez; "Xylophonia" by Joe Green, arranged by Bob Becker, with Ethan Ainsworth, soloist; "Marimba Spiritual" by Minoru Miki with Willie as soloist; "Dark Sky" by Dustin Schulze with Briley Patterson and D'Angelo Brackeen as featured performers; and "Bend" by Peter Martin.

    "Marimba Spiritual" was a commissioned piece for three percussionists. As a person who had experience suffering before and after the end of World War II, Miki used "Marimba Spiritual" to express his condolences and anger about the many people in Africa who died of starvation in the early 1980s.

    Green's "Xylophonia" is a xylophone solo with piano accompaniment written in the 1920s and is described as a "ragtime march." In 1973, Becker and his group Nexus arranged the piece for xylophone solo and marimba accompaniment.

    Schulze conceived "Dark Sky" to portray a "unique and foreboding landscape," the composer writes. Divided into three connecting sections, the piece is "bound by a recurrent foundation that incessantly drives its energy and mood with intensity and dreamlike imagery."

    Perez states that "Duende" was inspired by a "fond musical experience in Spain," and it is the fusion of many musical idioms that characterizes a "beautiful performance of flamenco" he saw in Madrid.

    Martin's "Bend" draws inspiration from the player-piano compositions and piano rolls of amateur composer Bruce Goff. The work evokes an unconventional sound palette created with alternative techniques on two marimbas.

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    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 visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1688

  • Lumberjack Marching Band to perform in 2021 Rome New Year's Day Parade

    Lumberjack Marching Band to perform in 2021 Rome New Year's Day Parade

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    SFA Lumberjack Marching Band members celebrate the recent announcement that the band will perform in the 2021 New Year's Day Parade in Rome, Italy, and hear the Pope's New Year's Day blessing.

    April 5, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Lumberjack Marching Band at Stephen F. Austin State University has accepted an invitation to march in the 2021 New Year's Day Parade in Rome, Italy. The announcement was made to band students Thursday afternoon by Associate Director of Bands and LMB Director Dr. Tamey Anglley.

    The band has represented SFA and Nacogdoches in prestigious venues across the nation and around the world, previously marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the New Year's Day Parade in London, England, and in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland.

    "Getting an invitation to march in the Macy's Parade makes you one of the best bands in the world," Anglley said. "So from there we got invitations to march in parades all over the world.

    "Well over 50 million people across the world have seen our band," she said.

    These experiences have not only had an impact on the students who participated, but the worldwide exposure has impacted recruiting and branding efforts of the university in a positive way, Anglley said.

    In addition to performing in the Rome parade and in other venues, band members and alumni will visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. They will take a train ride through the hills of Tuscany to Florence for a walking tour of the city and to visit art galleries.

    On the day of the parade, the band will march down the main thoroughfare of the city directly into St. Peter's Square where the students will perform.

    "After that, we will hear the Pope give his New Year's Day blessing," she said. "This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

    On Jan. 1 each year, tens of thousands gather in St. Peter's Square, filling the streets with pageantry and music, to celebrate and receive the Pope's New Year's Day blessing. A focal point of Rome's holiday season and the World Day of Peace, the Rome New Year's Parade celebrates life, cultural diversity and international goodwill.

    Because of this observance of peace, the parade is also considered a peace march, Anglley explained. In conjunction with this observance, the Lumberjack Marching Band will participate in a community service project by collecting warm-weather clothing during the months leading up to the trip. The clothing will be shipped to Rome to be distributed by band members to Rome's homeless shelters.

    article ID 1684

  • 'The Pirates of Penzance' continues at SFA through Saturday

    'The Pirates of Penzance' continues at SFA through Saturday

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    April 5, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present the comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, April 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Memorable melodies, sharp dialogue, a twisting plot, and clever lyrics make "The Pirates of Penzance" one of the most beloved shows in the English-speaking world. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

    article ID 1685

  • Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Deb Scott

    Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Deb Scott

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    Dr. Deb Scott, Stephen F. Austin State University professor of trombone, is the 2019 Teaching Excellence Award recipient for the College of Fine Arts. Photo by Hardy Meredith

    April 4, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Creating a positive and safe environment where students can thrive and help their peers succeed is a goal of Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone in Stephen F. Austin State University's School of Music.

    While Scott is comfortable performing on stage before crowds, it's inside the classroom that some of her greatest contributions have been made and greatest rewards have been realized.

    "Attending a university means getting a universal education," she said. "The tradition of learning about all aspects of human knowledge and gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for mankind, nature and culture is a worthy goal. It's wonderful to see students' minds expand and grow through their time in college, knowing that gaining more intelligence, independence and skills will enable them to manage their own lives to eventually become contributing members of society."

    An active performer and clinician in both classical and jazz styles, Scott also is the director of SFA's top jazz band, the Swingin' Axes. Her solo CD, "Playing Favorites," was released in 2017 by Navona Records. She is a featured soloist in recitals and concerts with bands and orchestras in Texas.

    Most recently, Scott was part of Christopher Bill's YouTube sensation featuring 28 trombonists from throughout the world performing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." In 2016, she was a featured soloist and faculty member in Santa Fe, Argentina, at Trombonanza. She also is regularly featured in radio broadcasts throughout North America.

    As a music educator, Scott's job is unique in that she works closely with each student during the entire four years of his/her college career.

    "To watch them grow from high school graduates into adulthood is my favorite part," she said. "To see those 'a ha' moments and to watch them gain insight into life is so rewarding. I love helping them find their own paths to success and being there for them through their struggles. When they perform their final recital, I am proud of how hard they have worked and how much they have progressed."

    Scott feels a unique responsibility in directing jazz studies at SFA.

    "I've been conducting and teaching jazz bands for 28 years, and it's important to me to teach and promote this amazing 'Made-in-the-USA' art form," she said. "The community support at our concerts is fantastic, and I love bringing the joy of music to such an appreciative audience.

    "Music really is a universal language with such a rich heritage," she added. "It can express so many different emotions and feelings. Each culture has its own unique sound. Hearing live music is a way for people to enjoy themselves and briefly be 'transported' to another time or place."

    For her continued dedication to the musical field and her students, Scott recently was honored as SFA's 2019 Teaching Excellence Award recipient for the College of Fine Arts.

    The Teaching Excellence Award is based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and availability to students, commitment to continuous improvement, and contribution to the quality of teaching at SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members.

    article ID 1683

  • SFA School of Music presents 'The Pirates of Penzance'

    SFA School of Music presents 'The Pirates of Penzance'

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    April 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present the comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 4 through 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. The most popular and beloved of all Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, "The Pirates of Penzance" promises fun for the entire family. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407.

    article ID 1682

  • Held to perform concert that celebrates music written by American composers

    Held to perform concert that celebrates music written by American composers

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    SFA music faculty member Dr. Abby Yeakle Held will present the recital program “Celebrating the Music of American Composers” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the university campus.

    April 2, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Abby Yeakle Held, adjunct professor of oboe at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present the recital program "Celebrating the Music of American Composers" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    With a goal of presenting a program of only American repertoire, Held selected a "made-in-the-USA" theme featuring the music of William Grant Still, Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Gian Carlo Menotti, Douglas Moore and Alyssa Morris. Performing with Held will be SFA collaborative pianist Hyun Ji Oh.

    "This recital is a diverse melting pot, like our country, and celebrates music written by Americans," Held said. "There is oboe-piano repertoire, as well as transcriptions of opera arias. The selection of composers is also more diverse than the average program, as it includes both a female composer and an African American composer."

    The program includes Still's "Incantation and Dance," Barber's "Canzonetta," Gershwin's "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess," Menotti's "Steal me, Sweet Thief" from "The Old Maid and the Thief" and Moore's "Willow Song" from "The Ballad of Baby Doe."

    It also features Morris' new music, "27-72," which will have had its world premier five days prior to Held's recital.

    "I am a part of the consortium which commissioned Alyssa Morris' '27-72,'" Held said. "The piece was inspired by and dedicated to my undergraduate oboe professor at Baylor University, Dr. Doris DeLoach."

    The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

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

    article ID 1680

  • Celebrated curator Michelle White to serve as Texas National juror

    Celebrated curator Michelle White to serve as Texas National juror

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    Michelle White

    April 2, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Michelle White, senior curator at the Menil Collection in Houston, will serve as juror for the 25th Texas National, Stephen F. Austin State University's acclaimed art competition and exhibition, which opens April 13 and runs through June 9 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Texas National features an assortment of art, including photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media, according to John Handley, director of SFA galleries. This year's exhibition includes 50 pieces of art from across the nation. Among the pieces are works by four current or former students in the SFA School of Art, including works by Sarah Jentsch, Santiago Escobido, Mason Cullen and Sara Gray.

    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 acclaimed curators and critics, such as White, Handley said.

    "Each year for our Texas National Competition and Exhibition, we seek to engage a well-respected individual from the arts to act as the juror for this national exhibition," Handley said. "Michelle White is a curator at one of the nation's most respected institutions."

    White will give a gallery talk at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the art center, followed by the announcement of this year's Texas National winners during the exhibitions' opening reception, which begins at 6 p.m.

    The exhibition and reception are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, The Flower Shop, William Arscott and corporate sponsor R&K Distributors, Inc. Also assisting with the reception are SFA hospitality students led by Dr. Gina Causin.

    As senior curator at the Menil Collection, White has organized the exhibitions "Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma," "Barnett Newman: the Late Work," "Lessons from Below: Otabenga Jones and Associates," "Imaginary Spaces," "Leaps into the Void: Documents of Nouveau Realist Performance," "Between Land and Sea: Artists of the Coenties Slip" and "Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966."

    She was the co-curator of the first retrospective of the drawings of Richard Serra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She organized the retrospective drawing exhibition of works on paper by Lee Bontecou for the Menil and the Princeton University Art Museum and "Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil" at the Morgan Library & Museum. She has worked with Claes Oldenburg on a publication and exhibition of the "Strange Eggs," organized commissions with Dario Robleto, Leslie Hewitt and Bradford Young, and she is currently working on a drawing exhibition with Roni Horn.

    Formally regional editor of the quarterly journal Art Lies, White has contributed her writing to various art journals, including Art Papers, Flash Art, Modern Painters, Master Drawing and Gulf Coast Literary Journal, and she has written essays for exhibition catalogues published by the Fondation Beyeler, The Des Moines Art Center, The Print Center and the University of Texas Press.

    She received her B.A. at the University of California, San Diego, and her M.A. in art history from Tufts University. She has held positions at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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

    article ID 1681

  • SFA School of Theatre Peer Mentoring Program

    SFA School of Theatre Peer Mentoring Program

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    CC Conn

    April 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    After attending a conference at the University of New Mexico in 2012, a Stephen F. Austin State University faculty member became inspired by the concept of peer mentoring - so much so that she developed a program for SFA theatre students that has proven successful and continues to grow and evolve.

    CC Conn's mentoring program utilizes highly qualified junior- and senior-level SFA students as peer mentors.

    "The program has contributed to strengthening the already high retention and graduation rate for the School of Theatre," Conn said, "and it has resulted in significant reduction in our ineligibility list, which means students are avoiding academic pitfalls by having a mentor to help guide them."

    After testing the waters with a pilot program in the spring of 2013, a full mentoring strategy was developed. Mentors must go through an application process, and they must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Orientation for mentors includes suicide-prevention and other emotional wellness training, as well as specific instruction on how to guide young theater students.

    "Each mentor has typically four to eight 'understudies,' which is our theatre word for 'mentees,'" explained Conn, who is an associate professor at SFA. "I send monthly prompts to the mentors to discuss with their understudies. These include items such as auditions, production assignments postings, mid-term check in, study resources for midterms, seeking advising assignment, registering for classes in spring, etc. We do periodic challenges that encourage participation in theatre/campus activities, and prizes are awarded."

    With the SFA program's proven success, Conn recently earned a Bright Spot award presented by the SFA Faculty Senate, the Center for Teaching and Learning and SFA vice presidents, and she has been invited to present at the same conference that inspired her years ago, as well as at the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

    "It is always received with enthusiastic interest, and several schools have reached out to me for further information and to help with similar programs," she said. "My research on peer mentoring has led to interest in faculty mentoring as well as college-to-career mentoring. I recently presented at UNM on a college-to-career tool set that I am designing for our students."

    Conn hopes to see theatre's pool of mentors increase in the future, and she hopes the program continues to gain momentum. She hopes to seek financial support that could provide monetary scholarships to the strongest mentors, fund events and prizes, and fund the design of similar programs across campus.

    For more information about SFA's College of Fine Arts, visit http://www.sfasu.edu/finearts.

    article ID 1677

  • SFA's Contemporary Ensemble to perform rhythm, blues concert

    SFA's Contemporary Ensemble to perform rhythm, blues concert

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    The SRT Contemporary Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. The rhythm and blues concert will feature the music of Ray Charles, Anderson.Paak, The Fugees, James Brown and others.

    April 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The SRT Contemporary Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a rhythm and blues concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Among the selections to be performed are "Celebrate" by Anderson.Paak, "Funky Drummer" by James Brown, "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees, and "Hallelujah! I Love Her So" by Ray Charles.

    The Contemporary Ensemble is one of the two commercial music ensembles within SFA's Sound Recording Technology program; the other being the Rockin' Axes, according to SRT faculty member Nicholas Lambson.

    "All of our students study music technology and are also musicians," Lambson said. "We perform popular music that many of the students are becoming fluent with, and the genres we perform each semester will change.

    "This year, we are focusing on R&B music with its many sub-genres," he said. "Besides being an amazing art form, it was a good fit for our students' interests and the instruments they play, such as brass and woodwinds, in addition to drums, bass, keys and guitar."

    The program also features songs that were in famous court cases, including "Blurred Lines," which was found to violate the copyright of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give it Up."

    Studying the legalities of the music business is also part of the SRT program.

    "It's good experience for our students to learn about the issues tied to the music they are playing," Lambson said.

    Other popular tunes on the program are "Oh Honey" by Delegation, "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, "Valerie" by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, "Just the Two of Us" by Grover Washington, "Got to Give it Up" by Marvin Gaye, "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke, "Funky Drummer" by James Brown and "What You Won't Do for Love" by Bobby Caldwell.

    "SRT student Conner Darnell has composed an excellent new piece this semester in conjunction with SFA faculty," Lambson said. "We will be performing its world premiere at our concert."

    SFA student Travis Wattingney was hired last semester to do transcription work for the ensemble. "He did such a fantastic job, we hired him again," Lambson said. "He helped with 'Valerie' by Ronson and Winehouse and 'Celebrate' by Anderson.Paak."

    The concert is a 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.

    article ID 1678

  • Scott to perform trombone recital featuring works of Szentpáli, Schneider, Pryor

    Scott to perform trombone recital featuring works of Szentpáli, Schneider, Pryor

    press image
    Dr. Deb Scott

    April 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Among the varied works to be featured is "Pearls II" by Roland Szentpáli, a Hungarian composer and world-renowned tuba player. This second piece in his series of three "Pearls" was originally composed for either trombone or euphonium, but is usually played by a euphonium player, according to Scott.

    "It is a highly technical piece of three movements, each one composed in a different jazz style: swing, ballad and Latin," she said.

    Dr. Ron Petti, director of accompanying at SFA, will perform with Scott and will be featured on "Rhapsody" by Michael Schneider, who is a collaborative pianist and composer in the Dallas area.

    "The unique part of this composition is that the trombone will be used as the accompanying voice rather than the primary," Scott said.

    Also included on the recital is one of Arthur Pryor's compositions, "Annie Laurie." Pryor was a virtuoso trombone soloist with John Philip Sousa's band from 1892 to 1902.

    "Once after performing for a German audience, he was ordered to take his trombone apart, for they refused to believe that anyone could play the trombone so well, claiming his performance was a 'Yankee trick,'" Scott said.

    A fun part of the recital will involve audience participation. For an undisclosed piece of music, the audience will be asked to guess the different insects represented by Scott's performance. Winners will receive a small prize.

    The concert is a presentation of the College of Fine Arts, School of Music and the Friends of Music Concert Series. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

    article ID 1679

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